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ComGenex Inc. And Echelon Biosciences Inc. Expand Their Drug Discovery Collaboration

10/19/2005 5:11:55 PM

BUDAPEST, Hungary and SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- ComGenex Inc. and Echelon Biosciences Inc. announced today the extension and expansion of their drug discovery and development collaboration. Both companies have benefited from this productive two-year relationship. ComGenex has provided Echelon with proprietary small molecules and drug discovery chemistry expertise while Echelon has contributed its rich biology knowledge of lipid cell signaling of promising cancer targets. Using its novel screening technology, Echelon has identified from ComGenex' targeted compound libraries a number of unique small molecules that have shown efficacy in xenograft animal models against ovarian cancer.

Under additional terms of the agreement, Echelon has the right to acquire ComGenex's share of jointly held intellectual property (IP) generated under the drug discovery collaboration. Financial details were not disclosed, but Echelon can secure exclusive rights to joint IP by making an upfront payment as well as milestone related payments as projects progress through development into clinical testing. In addition the companies will further continue joint drug discovery in other promising oncology target areas.

Dr. Laszlo Urge, CEO of ComGenex Inc., commented "We are proud that a world class oncology therapeutic company such as Echelon is willing to license the intellectual property we jointly created. This demonstrates the success of the current drug discovery collaboration and creates the basis for further successes. ComGenex used its discovery and design capabilities and Lead Multiplier technology as well as EMIL and Substitute(TM) as a starting point which also demonstrates the power of our technology. In terms of strategical partnerships this collaboration has been a win-win relationship for both companies."

Mr. W. Tim Miller, President of Echelon, stated "We are aggressively pursuing our drug discovery and development programs in the field of oncology. This relationship is an important ingredient in our success. ComGenex presents integrated chemistry experience that would take us years to recreate. This collaboration takes advantage of the respective strengths of ComGenex in drug design and lead optimization, and Echelon's target site discovery and drug development capabilities."

ComGenex will continue to provide chemical support to Echelon's proprietary drug discovery platform. Under the master agreement, IP generated under the collaboration is jointly owned with both companies having an option to buy out the other at various stages. The new agreement outlines the terms under which Echelon can take control of the IP jointly created.

About Echelon Biosciences Inc.:

Echelon Biosciences Inc. is a private biotechnology company and a leader in the field of research into the lipids and lipid-protein interactions that are essential top level regulators in numerous cell signaling cascades. Abnormal signaling cascades lead to many diseases like cancer. Echelon has been a top supplier of research information, lipid signaling assay and reagent technology for years. It is now in the process of transforming this biology knowledge into significant cancer therapeutics.

About ComGenex, Inc.:

ComGenex is an integrated discovery service provider for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The company uniquely integrates innovative discovery related technologies including proprietary methods in the area of medicinal chemistry, instrumentation, high-throughput analytics, informatics and ADME. The company has a proven track record of successful collaborations with major pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies.

Echelon Biosciences Inc.; ComGenex Inc.

CONTACT: W. Tim Miller or John Wirthlin of Echelon Biosciences Inc.,+1-801-588-0455

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