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Idun Pharmaceuticals Granted 100th Patent in Apoptosis; Idun Extends Worldwide Dominant Position in Key Technology.

SAN DIEGO -- Idun Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced it has received its 100th patent related to apoptosis from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Idun's U.S. patent number 6,376,226 entitled "Recombinant, active caspases and uses thereof", covers rev-caspases used for screening and identifying caspase inhibitors and enhancers. Caspases are a critical component of the apoptosis pathway and controlling them is the basis of a wide range of drug development opportunities.

"This is truly a significant milestone for Idun," commented Steve Mento, Ph.D., President and CEO of Idun. "Idun now controls more technology in the field of apoptosis than any other company. The company's patent portfolio allows it to develop pharmaceuticals anywhere across the entire human apoptotic pathway. Not many companies, let alone a small biotech company, have amassed such an extensive portfolio on a cornerstone technology. We congratulate our scientists, our Scientific Advisory Board and our consultants and collaborators on this distinguishing achievement."

The human apoptotic pathway is associated with a significant number of serious human diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, sepsis and chronic neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, ALS and Parkinson's. Idun's drugs are designed to modulate cell death by targeting proteins that either inhibit or stimulate apoptosis. Idun's drug development programs include liver disease, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, cancer and stroke. The company plans to initiate Phase 2 clinical trials for its lead compound for liver disease, IDN-6556, in 2002 and plans to begin Phase 1 trials early next year for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. The results of a successful Phase 1 trial using Idun's caspase inhibitor IDN-6556 will be presented May 19th at the Digestive Disease Week 2002 conference in San Francisco.

Idun's U.S. patent 6,200,969, entitled "Inhibition of apoptosis using interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE)/CED-3 family inhibitors," blocks all competitors from developing drugs that directly inhibit caspase activity. The company is using this patent to generate strategic corporate partnerships and licensing revenues.

While Idun's mission is to develop small molecule drugs, its intellectual property portfolio spans a cell preservation biology platform that is far more extensive than human therapeutics. Pharmaceutical companies are exploring the use of Idun's technology to increase the manufacturing output of drugs from bioreactors. Cosmetic companies are testing Idun's compounds for anti-aging properties. Diagnostic companies are evaluating if Idun's compounds can increase the diagnostic accuracy of their tests. Idun's technology has even been shown to protect plants against fungal and viral pathogens and adverse environmental conditions such as drought, heat, cold and salt.

Idun Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company located in San Diego, CA. It creates innovative human therapeutics with a primary focus on controlling apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Idun believes that controlling the cell death process will have utility in treating cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, ischemic disorders and cardiovascular disease. The company has a commercialization strategy encompassing: strategic collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies; internal, independent development of selected small molecule therapeutics; and out-licensing of diagnostics, gene therapies, and bioproduction technologies. Idun has a broad patent portfolio covering the fundamental and core technologies involved in the regulation of cell death and has established partnerships with Abbott Laboratories in cancer, with Elan Corporation, plc in stroke, and Becton Dickinson and Company in research reagents. For more information, please visit .

Some of the statements in this press release are forward-looking statements and do not guarantee future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ substantially from the results that the forward-looking statements suggest for various reasons. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this press release.


Contact: Steven J. Mento, Ph.D., President and CEO of Idun Pharmaceuticals, +1-858-623-1330; or Kathy Witz Sweeney of Mentus, +1-858-455-5500, ext. 140,, for Idun Pharmaceuticals

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Comment:Idun Pharmaceuticals Granted 100th Patent in Apoptosis; Idun Extends Worldwide Dominant Position in Key Technology.
Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 14, 2002
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