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Avalon Updates the AVN944 Phase I Hematologic Malignancies Trial

GERMANTOWN, Md., June 13, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , today announced that it is will provide an update on the Phase I clinical trial of AVN944 in hematologic malignancies on Tuesday, June 19, 2007, after the close of the U.S. financial markets. The Company will also host a conference call on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. Interested investors, analysts, members of the media and the general public can listen to the call over the Internet from the investor section of the Company's website or by dialing the numbers listed below. A PowerPoint presentation will accompany the webcast presentation.

    Conference Call Details:


    Dial-In:   (800) 291-5365(U.S.)

               (617) 614-3922 (International)

               Passcode:  74005634

    Webcast:   Please go to, Investor Relations, within

               15 minutes prior to the call and select the webcast link. If

               listening by phone and viewing the slides, please choose the

               'Live Phone' option to view the slides in real time as there is

               a 30 second delay otherwise.

    The conference call replay will be available through August 15,2007.

About AVN944

AVN944 is an oral small molecule drug candidate that inhibits inosine 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 a nd 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.

About Avalon Pharmaceuticals

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 cancer 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.


    Avalon Pharmaceuticals               Russo Partners, LLC

    David D. Muth                        Wendy Lau (Media)

    Executive Vice President &           Tel: (212) 845-4272

    Chief Business Officer

    Tel: (301) 556-9900                  Th
e Trout Group, LLC

    Fax: (301) 556-9910                  Chad Rubin (Investors)

    Email:              Tel: (646) 378-2947

CONTACT: David D. Muth, Executive Vice President & Chief Business Officer,Avalon Pharmaceuticals, +1-301-556-9900, or fax +1-301-556-9910, Email:; or Media, Wendy Lau, Russo Partners, LLC, +1-212-845-4272; or Investors, Chad Rubin, The Trout Group,LLC, +1-646-378-2947,both for Avalon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Web site:

Ticker Symbol: (NASDAQ-NMS:AVRX)

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