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ExonHit and bioMerieux Amend Their Strategic Partnership

PARIS, January 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ExonHit Therapeutics, a drug and diagnostic discovery company, announced today that it has signed an amendment to its strategic partnership with bioMerieux in the field of cancer diagnostics. Under the terms of the amendment, ExonHit will gain commercial rights on the diagnostic kits developed through the partnership and bioMerieux will have a greater flexibility to initiate new research and development projects in that field.

The partnership, initiated in October 2005, is based on ExonHit's gene expression analysis expertise and intellectual property, and on bioMerieux's know-how in the field of in vitro diagnostics. Its goal is to develop DNA microarrays to detect cancer markers in blood samples. DNA microarrays are perfectly suitable to detect many nucleic acids allowing the identification of multigenic diseases such as cancers.

Three programs to develop blood-based cancer diagnostics are currently underway: the first is on breast cancer for which a prospective study is ongoing, the second is aimed at colorectal cancers, and the third, targeting prostate cancer, was initiated in January 2007.

As of now, the commercial rights granted will allow ExonHit to market the diagnostic kits developed through the partnership to pharmaceutical companies, or to hospitals taking part in clinical studies, in order to help them recruit patients for their clinical studies.

"This amendment is a major step forward in ExonHit's development because it allows us to consider generating our own source of revenues from products based on our technology which are issued from the collaboration" declared Bruno Tocque, Chairman of the Management Board of ExonHit. "To this end, we are modifying our laboratories and our processes in order to best meet the pharmaceutical industry's specific requirements."

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.

Philippe Rousseau, C.F.O.

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

SOURCE ExonHit Therapeutics SA
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