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Cengent Therapeutics Signs Genes-To-Leads Drug Discovery Contract with Dynamis Therapeutics.

SAN DIEGO -- Cengent Therapeutics, a structure-guided drug discovery company, announced today the signing of a Genes-To-Leads(R) drug discovery contract with Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc., a Pennsylvania based biotechnology company. Under the agreement, Cengent will apply its proprietary platform lead identification technology, Genes To Leads(R), to screen for drug candidates against diabetic related kidney and heart disease, blindness and neuropathy. The proprietary drug target of Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc. is an enzyme that causes the formation of 3-deoxyglucosone. 3-deoxyglucosone is an adversely reactive molecule that causes the formation of free radicals and AGEs, Diabetics suffering from blindness and kidney disease have elevated levels regardless of glucose levels or caloric intake. The agreement includes up-front and milestone payments.

Genes To Leads(R) is a lead generation service that greatly accelerates and optimizes drug discovery. Using a protein drug target, Genes To Leads(R) selects closely related structural proteins (anti-targets) for analysis using complementary structure-based and sequence-based methods. The technology also identifies differential dynamic pharmacophores for the protein target and anti-targets by analyzing the flexibility and rigidity of putative binding sites in the target and anti-targets. In addition Cengent scientists also incorporate additional filtering criteria to ensure the delivery of drug-like molecules customized for each project and each customer. Finally, a query is extracted that is used to search commercial and proprietary corporate compound databases. This process provides maximum flexibility to the customer in terms of scope of compound search as well as "hit" requirements. This analysis of targets and anti-targets enables the incorporation of selectivity into the initial lead molecules, significantly improving the subsequent successful lead optimization of candidate.

The Genes To Leads(R) technology has been successfully applied to 15 targets on a contract basis for a growing number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and as the basis for Cengent's own highly successful in-house programs for orally active PTP-1B inhibitors (for treatment of type II diabetes and obesity) and anthrax lethal factor inhibitors. Cengent has ongoing service agreements with Novartis, another top 10 Pharma company, as well as the biotechnology companies, AngioGenex, and AGY, Inc.

"In 2004, we have now established 5 collaborations based on the company's Genes To Lead in silico lead generation platform," said Dr. Gordon Foulkes, Cengent's President. "The platform is being seen as an extremely powerful tool both by major pharmaceutical companies for targets where either conventional HTS approaches are difficult or have proven unsuccessful in generating novel structures, and for biotechnology companies who simply want to avoid the high costs of setting up a HTS infrastructure."

Dr. Kal Ramnarayan, Chief Scientific Officer, said, "This is an exciting project to apply our technology to and we are really looking forward to adding a great start up such as Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc. to our collaborators and hope to significantly expand upon all of these relationships in 2005."

Dr. Annette Tobia, CEO of Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc., said, "I am confident that this project will result in a drug that prevents diabetic complications -- retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. We are confident that in the near future Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc. will prove that inhibition of our proprietary target, the enzyme that causes the production of 3-deoxyglucosone, is significant in preventing disease and improving the quality of life and longevity. After reviewing a number of alternatives, we decided that Cengent could provide us a pathway to a lead compound in the shortest time and at the least cost."

About Cengent Therapeutics

Cengent Therapeutics is a structure-based drug discovery company with in-house pre-clinical programs in obesity/diabetes, and anthrax. The company provides a comprehensive suite of structural services and capabilities for accelerating and optimizing the drug discovery process for its pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners and clients. The company's service and product offerings include: Genes To Leads(R) to accelerate lead discovery and target validation; Structure Determination Services including X-ray crystallography and augmented homology modeling; and StructureBank(R), a database for the large-scale comparative analysis of protein targets and anti-targets. The company is also seeking a major partnership for its PTP-1B program. For additional information, please visit our website at www.cengent.com.

About Dynamis Therapeutics

Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held technology-based company focused on developing cosmetic and therapeutic products to treat the effects of aging by lowering the levels of 3-deoxyglucosone, an adversely reactive molecule found in skin and kidney. Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc. expects to launch an anti aging cosmetic face cream in 2005 and enter into a strategic alliance with a major pharmaceutical company in 2006 for the development of a drug to treat the accelerated aging diseases associated with diabetes and elevated 3DG levels, such as heart and kidney disease, neuropathy and blindness. Dynamis Therapeutics, Inc. is also working on controlling Scleroderma, a disease that it believes is also associated with aberrant regulation of 3DG. Additional information about Dynamis can be found at www.dynamis-therapeutics.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 15, 2004
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