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ESBATech Starts Drug Discovery Collaboration With Novartis (NVS)


10/19/2005 5:13:10 PM

ZURICH, Switzerland, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- ESBATech announced today that it has signed a collaboration agreement with Novartis in the field of drug discovery for receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Under the non- exclusive license Novartis gains access to ESBATech's cellular HTS technology to identify inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases, which are important drug targets in the field of oncology.

The aims of this collaboration are to broaden ESBATech's screening platform and to fully integrate the technology into Novartis' drug discovery process. Under the terms of the agreement ESBATech will receive upfront payments, research funding and milestone payments. Dominik Escher, CEO of ESBATech commented: "Novartis is a recognized world leader in the field of kinase inhibitors. The start of this collaboration with the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, headquartered in Cambridge MA, USA, shows the attractiveness and uniqueness of our yeast cell-based screening technology. We are confident that our yeast cell-based technology will dramatically reduce the drug discovery time and identify compounds of high quality for Novartis."

About ESBATech AG

ESBATech AG is a drug discovery and development company applying cellular systems for efficient hit and lead compound identification and optimization in the field of Proteases, Secretases and Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) inhibitors. Small molecule inhibitors are developed with biotech and pharma partners. Furthermore, for drug development ESBATech AG focuses on its proprietary, highly stable and fully human, therapeutic antibody fragments. ESBATech applies these proprietary, fully human antibody frameworks in a unique screening procedure allowing the identification of novel antibody fragments against an antigen of choice. In addition the technology can be applied to existing antibody fragments to improve their stability and solubility and hence achieve better expression properties. ESBATech's pipeline comprises programs in preclinical development for inflammatory diseases, Alzheimer, and glioblastoma.

ESBATech AG is a spin-off company from the Institute of Molecular Biology of the University of Zurich. The Company was founded in September 1998 and has currently 30 employees.

ESBATech AG

CONTACT: U.S. Media Contact: Bryan P. Murphy of The LaVoie Group,+1-781-596-0200, ext. 105, bmurphy@lavoiegroup.com; or Company Contact: OliverMiddendorp, PhD, Business Development of ESBATech, middendorp@esbatech.com,+41-1-733-4900

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