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Avalon Pharmaceuticals to Present at the American Association for,Cancer Research 2007 Annual Meeting

GERMANTOWN, Md., April 10, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , today announced that AVN944 will be the subject of three poster presentations at the American Association for Cancer Research 2007 Annual Meeting to be held on April 14-18, 2007 in Los Angeles, Calif.

The first poster presented by Avalon, will review the data derived from the Avalon ongoing Phase I clinical trial of AVN944 for the treatment of hematological cancers. The poster is titled, "The Modulation of Gene Expression and Guanosine Pools by Inhibition of Inosine Monophosphate Dehydrogenase (IMPDH); correlating In Vitro Cell Resistance with Biomarker Response in Patient Samples from the Phase I Trial." This poster will provide data from clinical samples that correlate IMPDH inhibition, GTP pool suppression, and associated changes in tumor cell gene expression. The presentation will be Monday, April 16, 2007 from 8 a.m. until noon Pacific Time.

The second Avalon poster presentation is titled, "Antiangiogenic Properties of AVN944, A Potent Inhibitor of IMPDH." The poster will describe in vitro and in vivo experiments that reveal the effects of AVN944 on blood vessel formation. The presentation will be on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 from 8 a.m. until noon Pacific Time.

Another poster that will discuss AVN944 will be presented by the lab of Dr. Beverly Mitchell of Stanford University. The poster is titled, "GTP depletion induces translocation of TIF-IA and PAF53, inhibition of pre-rRNA synthesis and dislocation of nucleolar proteins." The presentation cites AVN944 as a compound that has effects on rRNA inhibition and nucleolar protein translocation. The poster presentation will be Tuesday, April 17, 2007 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

All three posters are in the Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics Poster Sessions.

AVN944 is an oral small molecule drug candidate that inhibits inosin e monosphospate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), an enzyme that is critical for cells to be able to synthesize guanosine triphosphate (GTP), a molecule required for DNA synthesis and cellular signaling. IMPDH is over expressed in some cancer cells, especially in the case of hematological malignancies. In laboratory experiments, AVN944 has been shown to inhibit IMPDH activity in cells, and suppress pools of GTP. Anticancer activities of IMPDH inhibitors correlate with sustained depletion of GTP pools both in cellular models and in human subjects. AVN944 appears to have a selective effect on cancer cells in that deprivation of GTP in normal cells results in a temporary slowing of cell growth, while GTP deprivation in cancer cells induces cell death, or apoptosis. Results from preclinical studies of AVN944 indicate that AVN944 inhibited the proliferation of lymphoid and myeloid cells, the principal cells involved in the most common types of human leukemias. In a single-dose, dose- escalation phase I clinical trial of AVN944 conducted in the United Kingdom in healthy volunteers, AVN944: (1) was well tolerated at all tested doses with no notable side effects; (2) demonstrated good pharmacokinetic properties; and (3) had a significant inhibitory effect on IMPDH enzyme activity. Avalon filed an IND with the FDA in August 2005 and initiated U.S. phase I clinical trials in January 2006 for the treatment of hematological cancers.

Avalon Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company using its proprietary technology, AvalonRx(R), to discover and develop cancer therapeutics. Avalon has a lead product in Phase I clinical development (AVN944 - IMPDH inhibitor), as well as preclinical programs to discover inhibitors for the beta-catenin and aurora pathways now in late stage lead candidate optimization. Avalon also has discovery programs on modulators of survivin function and a drug discovery program targeting the MYC oncoprotein, one of the most important and previously intractable c ancer targets. The company has value generating partnerships with Merck, MedImmune, Medarex, and Novartis. Avalon Pharmaceuticals was established in 1999 and is headquartered in Germantown, Md.

This announcement contains, in addition to historical information, certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, in particular, related to progress in our drug discovery programs and our collaborations, and clinical progress in the development of AVN944. Such statements reflect the current views of Avalon management and are based on certain assumptions. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated as a result of a number of factors, risks and uncertainties including the risk that the discovery programs and collaborations may not be successful and that AVN944 will not progress successfully in its clinical trials, and other risks described in our SEC filings. There can be no assurance that our development efforts will succeed, that AVN944 will receive required regulatory clearance or, even if such regulatory clearance is received, that any subsequent products will ultimately achieve commercial success. The information in this Release should be read in conjunction with the Risk Factors set forth in our 2005 Annual Report on Form 10-K and updates contained in subsequent filings we make with the SEC.


    Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.              Noonan Russo

    Gary Lessing                              Greg Geissman (Media)

    Executive Vice President & CFO            Tel: (619) 814-3510

    Tel: (301) 556-9900

    Fax: (301) 556-9910                       The Trout Group LLC

    Email:                   Chad Rubin (Investors)

                                              Tel: (646) 378-2947

CONTACT: Gary Lessing, Executive Vice President & CFO of AvalonPharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-301-556-9900, ; or Greg Geissmanof Noonan Russo, +1-619-814-3510; or Investors, Chad Rubin of The TroutGroup LLC, +1-646-378-2947, both for Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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Ticker Symbol: (NASDAQ-NMS:AVRX)

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