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Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (SIAL) And Rosetta Inpharmatics, Inc. (MRK) Establish Partnership For siRNA Design

5/24/2006 10:48:34 AM

ST. LOUIS, May 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich , a leading $1.7 billion Life Science company, announced today that it has entered an exclusive arrangement with Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC to access the company's proprietary and patent pending bioinformatics design tools for siRNA research and development purposes.

Sigma-Aldrich and Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., have signed an exclusive license agreement that will provide RNAi researchers with cutting-edge siRNA design technology for enhanced performance through improved specificity and silencing. Sigma- Aldrich plans to utilize Rosetta Inpharmatics' design technology to launch human and model organism siRNA whole genome libraries, to deliver siRNA panels targeted to specific gene families, and to provide access to single-target pre-designed siRNAs through an enhanced Web interface on Sigma-Aldrich's award-winning Web site. Researchers will have access to these products that will be manufactured worldwide by its Sigma Genosys and Proligo operations. This milestone agreement marks the latest of a number of licensing and equity deals that position Sigma-Aldrich as a leader in RNAi with best-in-class gene silencing technology.

"The expertise and recognition Rosetta Inpharmatics has in the area of bioinformatics is world-class," said Shaf Yousaf, President of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotechnology Business Unit. "We are excited to create this powerful relationship and continue our goal of providing cutting-edge tools to enable life science research."

Douglas Bassett, Jr., Executive Director, Informatics at Rosetta Inpharmatics, said: "We are excited to work with Sigma-Aldrich. It offers the opportunity for our most advanced siRNA design technology to be leveraged in the marketplace to provide enhanced knock-down for low expressed genes in concert with reduced off-target effects."

Sigma-Aldrich has made a major commitment to the fast developing area of RNAi. This commitment began with the establishment of a research collaboration with The RNAi Consortium (TRC), which consists of a partnership among the Broad Institute, MIT, Harvard, Dana Farber and other research organizations and several major pharmaceutical companies. This was followed by a license with MIT to make and sell the shRNA libraries developed by TRC and, subsequently, the introduction of Sigma-Aldrich's MISSION(TM) TRC shRNA Libraries. The acquisition of Proligo secured Sigma-Aldrich's ability to synthesize RNA and provided access to one of only four licenses to a key MIT patent for RNAi. Additional agreements with Alnylam, Benitec and Oxford BioMedica provide Sigma-Aldrich with a major intellectual property portfolio in RNAi.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 35 countries and has 7,000 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award- winning Web site at .

Cautionary Statement: This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future performance, goals, strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Companies' expectations, goals, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding the Companies' operations and conditions in the markets the Companies serves. The Companies do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Photo: Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.orgPRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.comSigma-Aldrich

CONTACT: Sean Battles, +1-314-286-7616, or Christina Bailey,+1-314-713-5784, both for Sigma-Aldrich

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