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Xmark Requests That Icagen Oust Its CEO and Pursue Strategic Alternatives, and Calls on Board Members to Resign

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 1, 2009, Xmark Opportunity Partners, LLC, the sole member of the investment manager of Xmark Opportunity Fund, L.P. and Xmark Opportunity Fund, Ltd., sent the following letter to the Board of Directors of Icagen, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICGN).

                            XMARK OPPORTUNITY PARTNERS, LLC
                                    90 Grove Street
                                       Suite 201
                             Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877

                                                               April 1, 2009
    Board of Directors
    Icagen, Inc.
    4222 Emperor Boulevard
    Suite 350
    Durham, NC  27703

Lady and Gentlemen:

There are four words that no one ever wants to say: I told you so. For almost a year, we have been telling you to pursue strategic alternatives; we told you so when Icagen had a higher stock price, more cash and a cleaner profile for its compounds. We have been telling you so as the markets have fallen further and further, and as the company's cash on hand has fallen concomitantly.

We believe that the management team and the Board of Directors have failed miserably and repeatedly. In an era where stalwart companies such as General Motors, Citigroup and Lehman Brothers have had high-level management turnover due to the failure of their respective management teams, in our opinion, there is absolutely no reason why Icagen should not follow suit.

Accordingly, we call on the Board to immediately (a) initiate a public search for a replacement Chief Executive Officer, (b) hire an investment banker to evaluate and pursue strategic alternatives so that the company's shareholders are not left holding a "zero" in the near to mid-term, and (c) remove the recently-adopted poison pill.

Once both a new chief executive and a process are in place, Board members Dr. Charles A. Sanders, Lead Director of Genentech, Inc., and Anthony B. Evnin, Managing General Partner of Venrock Associates, should resign, as they have been front and center in our dialogue with the company, and have ignored our sound advice.

Respectfully submitted,


About the Xmark Funds

The Xmark Funds are dedicated to making investments in publicly-traded, small-cap life sciences companies and seek to achieve substantial capital appreciation by investing directly in public life sciences companies trading at venture-level valuations. The Xmark Funds conduct extensive fundamental due diligence and tailor their investments to the risk/reward profile of each target.

The team's investment professionals have worked together since founding the investment manager in 2001. The investment team includes life sciences professionals with extensive experience and expertise in clinical research, business development, medical practice, hospital and physician practice management, asset management and law.

SOURCE Xmark Opportunity Partners, LLC
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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