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Envoy Therapeutics Enters Diabetes and Obesity Collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)  
1/26/2010 6:44:03 AM

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JUPITER, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Envoy Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a multi-year research collaboration agreement with an affiliate of Merck & Co., Inc. to discover novel diabetes and obesity drug targets.

Under the agreement, Envoy will use its proprietary bacTRAP® technology to identify proteins expressed specifically in certain cell types. Merck will then work to identify and develop compounds that modulate protein targets with therapeutic potential for the treatment of metabolic disorders. Merck will pay Envoy an upfront fee and research funding. In addition, Envoy is eligible to receive payments upon achievement of certain milestones associated with development of drug candidates and royalties on any products derived from the collaboration.

"Obesity and diabetes have become epidemics with horrific mortality rates and devastating social stigmas," stated Brad Margus, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envoy. “We’re thrilled that our technology will be applied towards discovering drug candidates for the growing millions of patients that suffer from these conditions.”

"Partnering with companies developing innovative drug discovery technologies like Envoy is an essential part of our diabetes and obesity portfolio discovery strategy," said Nancy A. Thornberry senior vice president and franchise head, Diabetes and Obesity, Merck Research Laboratories.

About Diabetes

At least 180 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by the year 2030, this number will almost double. In the United States alone, there are roughly 24 million people with diabetes, while another 57 million people are estimated to be pre-diabetic. It has been estimated that diabetes costs $132 billion per year in the United States alone.

Obesity is a leading cause of death worldwide, with increasing prevalence in both adults and children. Health authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Obesity increases the likelihood of numerous diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

About Envoy Therapeutics

Envoy Therapeutics’ mission is to discover new drugs with superior efficacy and fewer side effects than existing treatments. The company’s bacTRAP® technology enables the identification of proteins in vivo that are produced by specific cell types without requiring the isolation of those cells. The technology is especially powerful in tissues of the brain, where many hundreds of cell types are intermingled. Because therapeutically modulating the activity of a specific cell type has until now been prevented by the inability to determine which proteins are uniquely expressed by that cell type, Envoy brings a new day in drug discovery.

Contact:

Envoy Therapeutics, Inc. Brad Margus, Chief Executive Officer, 561-210-7705

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