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Monogram HIV Antibody Assay Is Key Component of Innovative Vaccine Development Program

Collaborators from Maxygen, Inc. Present Abstracts at Prominent HIV Vaccine


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Monogram Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: MGRM) today announced that company researchers have co-authored with collaborators from Maxygen, Inc. and Aldevron LLC several important abstracts presented during the Keystone HIV Vaccines: Progress and Prospects Symposium in Banff, Alberta.

Maxygen, based in Redwood City, CA, is using Monogram's Neutralizing Antibody Assay in its HIV vaccine program to rapidly and accurately screen candidate immunogens produced by gene shuffling for their ability to induce antibodies that protect against a broad range of HIV variants. The Maxygen HIV vaccine approach is being funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

"The research presented at the Keystone Symposium underscores the value that Monogram's advanced HIV assays bring to not only clinical practice and the development of new classes of HIV therapeutics, but to promising vaccine programs as well," said Chris Petropoulos, PhD, Monogram's Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Research and Development, Virology. "Maxygen has made great strides in developing vaccines against incredibly challenging viruses. Their sophisticated development process and use of advanced screening technologies, including the Monogram assay, have led to the development of HIV vaccine candidates that elicit more promising antibody responses than any other program we've seen."

Maxygen-Monogram co-authored abstracts presented at the meeting in Banff included an oral presentation by Dr. X. Sean Du of Maxygen, "Directed Molecular Evolution Created Genetic and Antigenic Diversity and Improved Overall Immunogenicity of HIV-1 gp12- Immunogen," which detailed Maxygen's program to recombine and manipulate viral envelope DNA in order to produce vaccines which can neutralize a broad number of HIV variants. Other abstracts, presented during poster sessions, included:
-- Comparison of Trimeric Motifs for Their Effects on Trimer Formation,

Antigenicity and Immunogenicity of a Non-cleavable JRCSF HIV-1 gp140


-- ParallelaVax(TM) Technology for High-Throughput HIV-1 Vaccine

Screening; and

-- Broad Survey of the Immunogenicity of HIV-1 Envelope Proteins.

"Our approach to developing a successful HIV vaccine is grounded in our ability to thoroughly and rapidly examine how well our immunogenetic candidates produce virus-neutralizing antibodies in animal models," said Maxygen Director of Infectious Diseases, Robert Whalen, D.Sc. "Our partnership with Monogram has been critical to our program's speed, productivity and progress towards a viable HIV vaccine."

About Maxygen

Maxygen is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing improved versions of protein drugs. The company's lead program, MAXY-G34, is designed to be an improved version of long-acting G-CSF for the treatment of neutropenia. MAXY-G34 is currently in Phase II clinical trials. Also in Maxygen's pipeline are a new Factor VIIa product candidate for the treatment of hemophilia and new CTLA4-Ig product candidates for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Maxygen uses its proprietary DNA shuffling technology and extensive protein modification expertise to pursue the creation of biosuperior proteins.

About Monogram

Monogram is advancing individualized medicine by discovering, developing and marketing innovative products to guide and improve treatment of serious infectious diseases and cancer. The Company's products are designed to help doctors optimize treatment regimens for their patients that lead to better outcomes and reduced costs. The Company's technology is also being used by numerous biopharmaceutical companies to develop new and improved anti-viral therapeutics and vaccines as well as targeted cancer therapeutics. More information about the Company and its technology can be found on its web site at

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These forward-looking statements include references to the use, demand and effectiveness of our neutralization assay technology , the size and timing of clinical trials utilizing our products, the number of patients each year in the U.S. who potentially could be candidates for new classes of HIV drugs and or vaccines , expected protection provided by patents, possible regulation of our neutralization assay and our other products by the FDA, and activities expected to occur in connection with the Pfizer collaboration. These forward- looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: risks and uncertainties relating to the performance of our products; the growth in revenues; the size, timing and success or failure of any clinical trials our ability to successfully conduct clinical studies and the results obtained from those studies; our ability to establish reliable, high-volume operations at commercially reasonable costs; expected reliance on a few customers for the majority of our revenues; the annual renewal of certain customer agreements; actual market acceptance of our products and adoption of our technological approach and products by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; our estimate of the size of our markets; our estimates of the levels of demand for our products; the impact of competition; the timing and ultimate size of pharmaceutical company clinical trials; whether payers will authorize reimbursement for our products and services and the amount of such reimbursement that may be allowed; whether the FDA or any other agency will decide to further regulate our products or services, including CLIA/ Cap and the "Research Use Only" offering of our neutralization assay; whether the draft guidance on Multivariate Index Assays issued by FDA will be subsequently determined to apply to our current or planned products; whether we will encounter problems or delays in automating our processes; the ultimate validity and enforceability of our patent applications and patents; the possible infringement of the intellectual property of others; whether licenses to third party technology will be available; whether we are able to build brand loyalty and expand revenues; restrictions on the conduct of our business imposed by the Pfizer, Merrill Lynch and other debt agreements; the impact of additional dilution if our convertible debt is converted to equity; and whether we will be able to raise sufficient capital in the future, if required. For a discussion of other factors that may cause actual events to differ from those projected, please refer to our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, as well as other subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake, and specifically disclaim any obligation, to revise any forward-looking statements

to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements.

contacts: Alfred G. Merriweather Jeremiah Hall

Chief Financial Officer Feinstein Kean Healthcare

Tel: 650 624 4576 Tel: 415 677 2700

SOURCE Monogram Biosciences, Inc.
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