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EpiCept to Present Pre-clinical Advances of Myc Oncogene Directed Drug Discovery at Assays and Cellular Targets Conference

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- EpiCept Corporation (Nasdaq and OMX Nordic Exchange: EPCT) today announced that Dr. John Drewe, Senior Director of Lead Discovery, will be presenting at the IBC conference on Assays and Cellular Targets at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA on October 17, 2007. Dr. Drewe will describe the advances into pre-clinical testing of drug discovery efforts targeting the Myc oncogene pathway utilizing EpiCept's Anti-cancer Screening Apoptosis Platform (ASAP).

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The presentation will focus on the rapid identification and optimization of lead product candidates related to the Myc oncogene pathway which utilized the cell- and caspase-based apoptosis induction assay for both discovery and successive structure-activity relationship studies. Oncogenes such as Myc play a key role in the regulation of processes in both normal and cancer cells. Deregulation of Myc expression is intimately linked to development of several cancers and has been a difficult target for drug discovery. EpiCept's ASAP technology provides a means for identification of compounds targeting the Myc pathway that lead to apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Optimization by medicinal chemistry has led to the identification of a compound that is highly efficacious in vivo in Myc deregulated tumor models. The ASAP technology has also identified two anticancer drug candidates currently in clinical development, EPC2407 in Phase I and Azixa(TM)* in Phase II trials.

About EpiCept's ASAP Technology

Cancerous cells often exhibit unchecked growth caused by the disabling or absence of the natural process of programmed cell death, which is called apoptosis. Apoptosis is normally triggered to destroy a cell from within when it outlives its purpose or it is seriously damaged. One of the most promising approaches in the fight against cancer is to selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells, thereby checking, and perhaps reversing, the improper cell growth.

EpiCept's proprietary apoptosis screening technology can efficiently identify new cancer drug candidates and molecular targets that selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells through the use of chemical genetics and its proprietary live cell high-throughput caspase-3 screening technology.

Chemical genetics is a research approach investigating the effect of small molecule drug candidates on the cellular activity of a protein, enabling researchers to determine the protein's function. Using this approach with its proprietary caspase-3 screening technology, EpiCept researchers can focus their investigation on the cellular activity of small molecule drug candidates and their relationship to apoptosis.

This combination of chemical genetics and caspase-3 screening technology allows EpiCept's researchers to discover and rapidly test the effect of small molecules on pathways and molecular targets crucial to apoptosis, and gain insights into their potential as new anticancer agents. This screening technology is particularly versatile and can be adapted for almost any cell type that can be cultured, and it can measure caspase activation inside multiple cell types (e.g., cancer cells, immune cells, or cell lines from different organ systems or genetically engineered cells). This allows researchers to find potential drug candidates that are selective for specific cancer types, which may help identify candidates that provide increased therapeutic benefit and reduced toxicity.

EpiCept has identified several families of compounds with potentially novel mechanisms that induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Several compounds from within these families have progressed to lead drug candidate status with proven pre-clinical efficacies in tumor models and identified molecular targets.

About EpiCept Corporation

EpiCept is focused on unmet needs in the treatment of pain and cancer. EpiCept has a staged portfolio of pharmaceutical product candidates with several pain therapies in late-stage clinical trials, and a lead oncology compound (for acute myeloid leukemia, or AML) with demonstrated efficacy in a Phase III trial; a marketing authorization application for this compound has been submitted in Europe. EpiCept is based in Tarrytown, N.Y., and its research and development team in San Diego is pursuing a drug discovery program focused on novel approaches to apoptosis.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release and any oral statements made with respect to the information contained in this news release, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include statements which express plans, anticipation, intent, contingency, goals, targets, future development and are otherwise not statements of historical fact. These statements are based on EpiCept's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or developments to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or developments to differ materially include: the risk that the proposed public offering will not be consummated, the risks associated with our need to raise additional financing to continue to meet our capital needs and our ability to continue as a going concern, the risk that Ceplene will not receive regulatory approval or marketing authorization in the EU or that Ceplene, if approved, will not achieve significant commercial success, the risk that Myriad's development of Azixa will not be successful, the risk that Azixa will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that we will not receive any significant payments under our agreement with Myriad, the risk that the development of our other apoptosis product candidates will not be successful, the risk that our ASAP technology will not yield any successful product candidates, the risk that clinical trials for NP-1 or EPC 2407 will not be successful, that NP-1 or EPC 2407 will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that our other product candidates that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in larger-scale or later stage clinical trials, the risk that EpiCept will not obtain approval to market any of its product candidates, the risks associated with dependence upon key personnel, the risks associated with reliance on collaborative partners and others for further clinical trials, development, manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates; the cost, delays and uncertainties associated with our scientific research, product development, clinical trials and regulatory approval process; our history of operating losses since our inception; competition; litigation; risks associated with prior material weaknesses in our internal controls; and risks associated with our ability to protect our intellectual property. These factors and other material risks are more fully discussed in EpiCept's periodic reports, including its reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You are urged to carefully review and consider the disclosures found in EpiCept's filings which are available at or at You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, any of which could turn out to be wrong due to inaccurate assumptions, unknown risks or uncertainties or other risk factors.


*Azixa is a registered trademark of Myriad Genetics, Inc.

SOURCE EpiCept Corporation
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