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Drais Pharmaceuticals and Diatos S.A. Partner to Develop and Commercialize DTS-108 for Treatment of Cancer

12/22/2008 10:16:28 AM

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. and PARIS, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Drais Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Diatos S.A. today announced that they have entered into a global agreement to develop and commercialize DTS-108 for the treatment of solid tumors. DTS-108 is currently ready to begin Phase I clinical trials in Europe for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumors.

Under the terms of the agreement, the license grants exclusive rights to Drais to develop and commercialize DTS-108 worldwide. In return, Diatos will receive an upfront payment, development milestones and sales milestones, plus royalties. The total value of the non-royalty portion of the partnership is valued at $46.9 million.

"We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with Diatos, which leverages both companies' unique experience and expertise," said Dr. Donna L. Tempel, president and chief executive officer of Drais Pharmaceuticals. "DTS-108 will become a key asset for Drais and we believe strongly in its potential to provide significant benefits over existing cancer therapies. This is a major step for Drais as we continue to build our therapeutic pipeline."

John Tchelingerian, president and chief executive officer of Diatos commented: "We are excited about this promising development and commercial cooperation with Drais, which represents another important step in the commercialization of the Diatos portfolio of compounds. We are confident that DTS-108 will fulfill its potential as a valuable addition to the physician's armamentarium in the treatment of cancer. This transaction also represents further validation of the Diatos Vectocell(R) technology platform. Diatos has built its portfolio of drugs and drug candidates based on our proprietary pro-drug, drug delivery and targeting technologies, Tumor-Selective Prodrug (TSP) and Vectocell(R). The Vectocell(R) platform generated the DTS-108 program."

Rodman & Renshaw, LLC, served as the exclusive investment banking advisor to Diatos SA for the License Agreement.

About DTS-108

DTS-108 is a pro-drug of SN38, the active metabolite of the widely-used anti-cancer chemotherapy drug irinotecan. DTS-108 has been designed, based on Diatos' Vectocell(R) technology platform, to offer therapeutic advantages over unmodified SN38 and irinotecan.

Irinotecan is an antineoplastic enzyme inhibitor of the topoisomerase I inhibitor class primarily used in the treatment of colorectal cancer. Irinotecan is a derivative of camptothecin. Camptothecins interact specifically with the enzyme topoisomerase I which relieves torsional strain in DNA by inducing reversible single-strand breaks. Irinotecan and its active metabolite SN-38 bind to the topoisomerase I-DNA complex and prevent religation of these single-strand breaks. Current research suggests that the cytotoxicity of irinotecan is due to double-strand DNA damage produced during DNA synthesis when replication enzymes interact with the ternary complex formed by topoisomerase I, DNA and either irinotecan or SN-38. Mammalian cells cannot efficiently repair these double-strand breaks. By applying the proprietary Vectocell(R) technology, Diatos has shown in non-clinical models that it can deliver high doses of SN38, while avoiding the gastrointestinal toxicity observed with irinotecan.

About Drais Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Drais Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held, drug development company dedicated to the in-licensing, development and commercialization of novel therapeutic treatments that address unmet medical needs, providing significant benefits over currently available therapies. In September 2008, Drais announced a worldwide development & commercialization deal for UNBS-5162 with Unibioscreen S.A.

Formed in September 2007, Drais completed a Series A financing round in January 2008 from lead investors, InterWest Partners (Menlo Park, CA) and Sutter Hill Ventures (Palo Alto, CA). The Drais management team consists of highly experienced individuals with a successful track record in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to forming Drais, the management team founded AkaRx, Inc. Drais is based in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

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About Diatos S.A.

DIATOS S.A. is privately owned and was founded in 1999. The Company is headquartered in Paris, France with two subsidiaries in Leuven, Belgium and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Diatos is focused on the research, development and marketing of new versions of existing anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drugs with enhanced tumor targeting or improved bio-distribution. Diatos is successfully developing and commercializing a broad portfolio of compounds and pre-clinical programs which addresses clear unmet needs, targeting markets with multi-billion dollar revenue potential and is protected by a robust Intellectual Property position. There are four key characteristics which distinguish Diatos in the oncology sector:

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CONTACT: James F. Lynch, PhD, Chief Business Officer of Drais
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-908-895-1216, or John Tchelingerian, PhD,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Diatos S.A., +33 1 53 80 9340

Web site:

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