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ExonHit Therapeutics: Allergan and ExonHit's First Collaboration Compound to Begin Human Clinical Trials

PARIS, August 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ExonHit Therapeutics, a drug and diagnostic discovery company, today announced that its drug discovery collaboration with Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN), a global speciality pharmaceutical and medical device company, has reached a success milestone. As a result of the efforts of the Allergan and ExonHit research team, human clinical testing will be initiated on the first collaboration New Chemical Entity (NCE). This NCE (designated EHT/AGN001) has a novel mechanism of action and will enter a phase I study later this year.

The objectives of Allergan and ExonHit's strategic collaboration are to identify, develop and commercialise drugs targeted at the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, pain and ophthalmology. The collaboration was initiated in 2003 and has been extended twice as a consequence of its good productivity.

"We are happy to see that this collaboration has lead to a clinical candidate in such a short period of time. This success is a result of the dedicated efforts and focus by the research teams from both companies," said Dr. Scott Whitcup, Executive Vice President, Research & Development of Allergan Inc.

"By industry standards, this collaboration's productivity is exceptional, delivering a clinical product in less than four years together with two other innovative pre-clinical projects," stated Bruno Tocque President of the Management Board of ExonHit. He added "I would like to express my gratitude to our scientists who have developed a drug discovery engine enabling this achievement".

Under the terms of the agreement, Allergan will assume responsibility for the ongoing clinical development and commercialisation of EHT/AGN001. Contingent upon progress, ExonHit will receive milestone payments and royalties upon commercialisation.

About ExonHit Therapeutics

ExonHit Therapeutics is the world's leader in the analysis of alternative RNA splicing, a process which when deregulated plays a key role in the onset of various diseases.

ExonHit has a multi-component commercial strategy to capture the maximum value from its leadership in alternative splicing. The Company is already generating revenues from a new generation of microarrays, SpliceArrayTM family of products that enable life science researchers to detect crucial disease-associated information. These products are marketed worldwide in conjunction with Agilent and Affymetrix. In the field of diagnostics, ExonHit has a major collaboration with bioMerieux to develop completely novel predictive blood-based cancer diagnostics, which could play a key role in improving the treatment of breast cancer and other major cancers and develops its own projects for the detection of other chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or atherosclerosis.

In parallel, ExonHit is developing its own therapeutic pipeline in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The Company has advanced drug candidates into clinical trials and is evaluating several promising pre-clinical compounds. ExonHit also has a strategic partnership with Allergan, to discover and develop new therapeutics in the areas of pain, neurological diseases and ophthalmology. This collaboration provides on-going research funding to ExonHit.

Founded in 1997, ExonHit is headquartered in Paris, France and has a U.S. facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Company is listed on Alternext of Euronext Paris (ticker: ALEHT; ISIN: FR0004054427) since November 17, 2005.

This press release includes only summary information and does not purport to be comprehensive. The projections, forecast and estimates of ExonHit Therapeutics which may be contained herein are for illustrative purposes only and are based on management's current views and assumptions. Such projections, forecast and estimates involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, as described at Section 4.2 "Facteurs de risque" (Risk Factors) of the Document de Base available on ExonHit Therapeutics' website (, that may cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those anticipated in the summary information.

In addition, ExonHit Therapeutics, its shareholders, and its affiliates, directors, officers, advisors and employees have not verified the accuracy of, and make no representations or warranties in relation to, statistical data or predictions contained in this press release that were taken or derived from third party sources or industry publications, and such statistical data and predictions are used in this press release for information purposes only.

Finally, this press release may be drafted in the French and English languages. In an event of differences between the texts, the French language version shall prevail.


ExonHit Therapeutics

Bruno Tocque, C.E.O.

Tel: +33-1-58-05-47-00

Philippe Rousseau, C.F.O.

SOURCE ExonHit Therapeutics SA
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