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CYGNUS: LEADING RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS JOIN CYGNUS ELECTROPORATION TEAM

 REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Cygnus Therapeutic Systems (NASDAQ: CYGN), a leader in transdermal drug delivery, announced that it has entered into a research agreement with the Frumkin Institute of Electrochemistry in Moscow. The agreement gives Cygnus access to premier researchers in the rapidly advancing field of tissue electroporation and brings Cygnus one step closer to the commercial application of electroporation in therapeutic drug delivery.
 "The Frumkin research team complements our ongoing collaboration with M.I.T. and places Cygnus in a unique position to lead worldwide development efforts of this important new drug delivery modality," commented Dr. Gary W. Cleary, chairman and chief technical officer of Cygnus. "Electroporation holds promise for the successful transdermal drug delivery of large molecules such as proteins and peptides. Additionally, the technique has potential application for the localized delivery of drugs for chemotherapy."
 Concurrently, Cygnus reported that a major presentation of electroporation research sponsored by Cygnus and conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) was recognized at the 1992 annual meeting of the Controlled Release Society in Orlando, Fla.
 Active Transdermal Transport Is the Key
 Current transdermal drug delivery systems rely on the passive diffusion of therapeutic molecules (e.g., nicotine) through the skin into the body. Electroporation augments drug diffusion by using pulsed electrical fields to increase the permeability of human tissue. This allows the enhanced transdermal transport of larger therapeutic molecules such as proteins and peptides. The ability to increase permeability locally can also facilitate the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents in poorly vascularized, solid mass tumors.
 The first theoretical description of electroporation was credited to Dr. Yuri Chizmadzhev and his associates at the Frumkin Institute 15 years ago. Since then, this group has firmly established itself as a world-recognized authority on electroporation, with more than 50 publications, including three books, on the subject. Chizmadzhev is the head of the Department of Biological Electrochemistry at the Frumkin Institute and editor in chief of "Biological Membranes," an international journal.
 Meantime, parallel efforts at M.I.T., led by Dr. James C. Weaver and Dr. Robert Langer and sponsored by Cygnus, have demonstrated the use of electroporation for trans-tissue drug delivery in human and animal skin. Their paper on this research, "Transdermal Drug Delivery by Electroporation," was chosen by the Controlled Release Society as the "outstanding pharmaceutical paper" at the 1992 annual meeting. Work at M.I.T. has also resulted in a patent award, licensed exclusively to Cygnus, for the application of electroporation to tissues.
 Cygnus is the leader in the development of advanced transdermal drug delivery systems. The company's first product, Nicotrol(TM), a nicotine patch, is being marketed in the United States and Canada by Parke-Davis, a division of the Warner Lambert Co. In Europe and the rest of the world, the product is marketed under the trade name Nicorette(TM) by Kabi Pharmacia AB.
 Cygnus has a number of other drug delivery products in various stages of development. Among them, an estradiol patch for the treatment of symptoms of menopause and the prevention of osteoporosis, and a fentanyl patch for moderate to severe postoperative pain management, are in advanced clinical trials.
 -0- 12/16/92
 /CONTACT: Shirley Clayton of Cygnus, 415-599-3552/
 (CYGN)


CO: Cygnus Therapeutic Systems ST: California IN: MTC SU: PER

SG-TM -- SJ004 -- 7774 12/16/92 13:46 EST
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Date:Dec 16, 1992
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