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Echelon Biosciences Inc. Granted US Patent For PI3K Reinforcing Its Leadership In The Commercialization Of Cancer Assays


6/19/2006 12:32:12 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, June 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Echelon Biosciences Inc. announces the allowance in the U.S. of its patent application covering non- radioactive, competitive phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) assays. This patent reinforces Echelon's leadership position in the phospholipids research space, is the first patent allowance of its kind, and strengthens the oncology synergy within Echelon's parent company, AEterna Zentaris .

PI3-K is a key cellular enzyme and is often altered in diseases, leading to abnormal cell growth in cancer and pathological cellular response in inflammation. Considerable research is being done to determine its importance and potential as a target for therapeutic development. Echelon's PI3-K competitive assay patent exemplifies Echelon's unique leadership role with scientists investigating PI3-K as a therapeutic target for drug development. Any competitive PI3-K assay employed for use or sale in the U.S. will require use of Echelon's assay reagents or a license to this important patent.

Echelon offers a family of competitive PI3-K assays to assist in both primary cellular research and high throughput (HTS) compound screens for drug discovery in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Assay formats offered by Echelon include ELISA, fluorescence-polarization (FP), AlphaScreen(TM)(x), and its most recent TRue-FRET(TM) formats. These assay kits are complemented by Echelon's new generation labeled phosphoinositides branded Glo-PIPs(TM) which are labeled with BODIPY(R)-FL, BODIPY(R)-TMR, or biotin.

Given its notice of allowance, Echelon expects this patent to issue in the U.S. in the next few months. Echelon also has a pending application related to this one and expects additional claims to issue in the near future. A related Canadian patent application is in the review process.

About Echelon

Echelon Biosciences Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah, is a wholly owned subsidiary of AEterna Zentaris of Quebec City, Quebec, a growing global biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and marketing of therapies for cancer and endocrine disorders. Echelon Biosciences Inc. is a leader in the field of lipid research and lipid-protein interactions that are essential top-level regulators in numerous cell signaling cascades. Abnormal signaling cascades lead to many diseases like cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Echelon has been a top supplier of research information, lipid signaling assay and reagent technology for years. It also has an early-stage program in anti-infective development, targeting a novel pathway found in many problematic Gram negative bacteria.

AlphaScreen(TM) is a trademark of PerkinElmer Life Sciences BODIPY is a trademark of Molecular Probes/Invitrogen True-FRET(TM) and Glo-PIPs(TM) are trademarks of Echelon Biosciences Inc.

AETERNA ZENTARIS INC. (FORMERLY/ANCIENNEMENT - LES LABORATOIRES AETERNA

CONTACT: Echelon contact information: (801) 588-0455, www.echelon-inc.com;W. Tim Miller, President wtmiller@echelon-inc.com; John B. Wirthlin, Dir.Business Development jbwwirthlin@echelon-inc.com; To request a free copy ofthis organization's annual report, please go to http://www.newswire.ca andclick on reports@cnw.



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