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Atugen AG And ASINEX Ltd. Announce Discovery Program For Novel Protein Kinase Target

10/19/2005 5:12:38 PM

BERLIN, Germany and MOSCOW, Russia, February 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Atugen AG, a biopharmaceutical company focused on development of siRNA-based drugs, and ASINEX Ltd, a worldwide leader in lead generation and optimization today announced that they have entered into a long-term drug discovery and development collaboration. The announcement was made at the 3rd Annual BioPartnering North America (BPN) Conference in Vancouver, Canada, 6-8 February 2005.

Atugen will contribute its expertise in target discovery and in-vivo screening. Drug design, medicinal chemistry and in-vitro screening expertise will be provided by ASINEX.

The novel kinase target PKN3, discovered by Atugen, is required for malignant prostate cell growth downstream of activated PI 3-kinase. ASINEX will establish assays for bioscreening at their facilities in Moscow, and design and select potential hit compounds that will be screened and optimized. The ultimate aim is to find novel compounds that are useful for therapeutic intervention in cancer. The drug discovery collaboration will be performed on a shared risk basis and future revenues will be equally divided between ASINEX and Atugen.

Atugen is currently pursuing a program to develop siRNA therapeutics to treat advanced cancer and plans to begin clinical development later this year. The company has proprietary siRNA molecules and uses a novel, patented delivery mechanism.

Klaus Giese, CSO and VP Research of Atugen stated, "Working with ASINEX will introduce the essential chemistry expertise that will allow us to progress our promising discoveries around the PI 3-kinase pathway implicated in prostate cancer. By making this a 50-50 collaboration we are both keen to realise a new compound for further development."

"We are looking forward to working with Atugen, this collaboration will test our skills in computational design, medicinal chemistry and screening. The role of ASINEX's bioscreening department, shall be especially important." said Elmira Safarova, ASINEX's Head of BioScreening. "This will be our first collaboration that requires expertise in assay development."

Note to Editors:

Atugen is an open house presenter at the Conference: 08 Feb, 09:30 - 11:30, booth #5.

Atugen AG and ASINEX Ltd

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Katja Stout, NorthbankCommunications, Tel: +44-(0)20-7886-8153, . Dr Andre Lochter,Director Business Development, Atugen, Tel: +49-30-9489-2804,Email: , . Alistair Melvin,Head of Business Development, ASINEX Ltd, Tel: +7-095-728-3891,Email: ,

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