BIO IT Coalition Awards Avalon Pharmaceuticals 2006 Best Practices Company Award

GERMANTOWN, Md., May 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq and ArcaEx(R): AVRX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics, today announced that it was awarded the 2006 BIO IT Best Practices Company Award. The award was presented by the BIO IT Coalition at their 5th Annual Conference held at George Mason University, on May 4-5, 2006.

The BIO IT Coalition Company Award is given to the company whose imagination, innovation and intelligent risk-taking in the application of IT in the life sciences has led to the most dramatic progress in the advancement of BIO IT either through its own development or its influence on the industry.

"We are honored to be selected by the BIO IT Coalition for this award," commented Kenneth C. Carter, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We are at an exciting stage in the use of our unique technology, AvalonRx(R), as we work to produce the next generation of cancer medicines and guide their development through the use of our proprietary biomarker strategies. Our partnerships with companies like Novartis and MedImmune also allow us to expand the opportunities that AvalonRx(R) provides to other disease categories, helping us continue to strive toward practical innovation."

About Avalon Pharmaceuticals

Avalon Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics through the use of a comprehensive, innovative and proprietary suite of technologies based upon large-scale gene expression analysis which it calls AvalonRx(R). This platform facilitates drug discovery by expanding the range of therapeutic targets for drug intervention, including targets and target pathways frequently considered intractable using conventional HTS approaches, allows more informed decisions about which compounds to advance towards clinical trials, and facilitates drug development through identification of biomarkers of efficacy that can stratify patients or provide early indicators of response. Avalon's focus is oncology but has discovery programs in other therapeutic areas with partners. Avalon Pharmaceuticals was established in 1999 and is headquartered in Germantown, Maryland.

For more information please visit http://www.avalonrx.com

About the BIO IT Coalition

The BIO IT Coalition bridges the life sciences and information technology industries to promote the growth of the Bio IT industry through interactive, content driven programs which highlight innovation, investment, education, collaboration and partnership. This industry expansion will result in faster development and delivery of new therapies and diagnostics, better patient care, and other life science related technologies, goods and services. Each year the Coalition hosts a Conference for the purpose of bringing members of the bio IT community together to hear about cutting edge technologies and the state of the industry. This year's Conference -- Using Advanced Information Technologies to Develop Personalized Medicine /Healthcare was sponsored by AMRN, Inc; Arlington County Office of Economic Development; Intellor, Inc.; George Mason University-School of Science; The Volgenau School of IT and Engineering; Pepper Hamilton LLP and Wachovia Bank.

For more information please visit http://www.bioitcoalition.org

This press release includes forward-looking statements based on Avalon's management's current expectations. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from such expectations include, but are not limited to: the ability to secure future funding; the success of the Companies' research strategies; the applicability of the discoveries made therein; the difficulties inherent in the development of pharmaceuticals, including uncertainties as to the timing and results of preclinical studies; delayed achievements of milestones; reliance on collaborators; uncertainty as to whether the Companies' potential products will succeed in entering human clinical trials and uncertainty as to the results of such trials; uncertainty as to whether adequate reimbursement for these products will exist from the government, private healthcare insurers and third-party payors; and the uncertainties as to the extent of future government regulation of the pharmaceutical business.

Contacts: Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Noonan Russo Gary Lessing Wendy Lau (Media) Executive Vice President and CFO Tel: (212) 845-4272 Tel: (301) 556-9900 Fax: (301) 556-9910 Jane Petrino (Investors) Email: info@avalonrx.com Tel: (212) 845-4274

Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Gary Lessing Executive Vice President and CFO, AvalonPharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-301-556-9900, Fax: +1-301-556-9910,info@avalonrx.com; Wendy Lau (Media), +1-212-845-4272, or Jane Petrino(Investors), +1-212-845-4274, both of Noonan Russo for AvalonPharmaceuticals, Inc.

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