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Idun Presents New Data on Stroke Applications of Apoptosis.

 - Martin Dickman, Ph.D., Presents Data on Apoptosis
 And Applications in Plant Disease -


- Scientists Present on Apoptosis and Applications in CNS Disease, Plant Disease and Diagnostics at Second Day of 'Apoptosis: Commercial Opportunities'

Conference, Hosted by Idun Pharmaceuticals -

SAN DIEGO, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- In a presentation entitled "Prospects for Caspase Inhibitor Therapy in Acute Stroke," Thomas Deckwerth, Ph.D., Idun Pharmaceuticals, discussed preclinical data that showed caspase inhibitors may protect the brain from the damaging effects of stroke. Dr. Deckwerth presented new data yesterday at the "Apoptosis: Commercial Opportunities" conference in San Diego that showed that IDN-6734 significantly reduced infarct size in a preclinical rat model of stroke after both intracerebroventricular and intravenous administration. Infarcts, or brain lesions, are responsible for the loss of function that occurs as a result of stroke.

In another application of its technology, Idun is collaborating with Martin Dickman, Ph.D., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, to investigate the use of regulatory genes to control cell death in plants. In a presentation entitled, "Apoptosis and Plant Disease/Stress Responses: Challenges and Opportunities," Dr. Dickman discussed data that showed Idun's technology protected plants against fungal, viral and bacterial diseases as well as abiotic threats such as drought, cold, heat and salinity. These data have broad implications for a new generation of transgenic plants with pan-resistance to diseases and environmental threats to economically important crops.

"We are very excited about the promising additional applications for our apoptosis technology," said Steve Mento, Ph.D., President and CEO of Idun. "This year we will conduct Phase 2 trials of IDN-6556 in individuals with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and patients with alcoholic liver disease and we plan to start Phase 1 trials of our second drug candidate, IDN-6734, for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. This conference has highlighted the extensive therapeutic and non-therapeutic applications of apoptosis and it is clear that significant drugs that modulate apoptosis are becoming a reality. We look forward to expanding our efforts in inflammatory diseases and testing our compounds in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcerative colitis."

H. Robert Horvitz, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented the second keynote address entitled, "The Genetic Control of Apoptosis in C. elegans." Research in Dr. Horvitz's lab has been responsible for the elucidation of the genetic pathway of apoptosis using the roundworm C. elegans as a model system. Dr. Horvitz addressed the underlying biology and genetic control of apoptosis.

Wednesday is the last day of the conference and will include presentations focusing on apoptosis in infectious disease and the molecular and structural biology of the apoptosis pathway. Speakers will include: Andreas Stasser, Ph.D., The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research; Douglas Green, Ph.D., La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology; Eric LaCasse, Ph.D., Aegera Oncology Inc.; and Ben Tseng, Ph.D., Maxim Pharmaceuticals. Poster presenters will include: Sharon P.M. Crouch, Ph.D., LumiTech Ltd., a subsidiary of Cambrex Corporation; Andrew Niles, M.S., Promega Corporation; and Domagoj Vucic, Ph.D., Genentech, Inc.

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, plays a role in more than 70% of all human diseases including the top three killers in the U.S.: heart disease, stroke and cancer. The conference will blend knowledge of the molecular biology of the apoptosis pathway with its commercial applications for diagnosis and treatment of disease. The conference will focus on leveraging apoptosis to develop treatments for disease and will include presentations on the latest in apoptosis research, how apoptosis is related to important diseases and approaches to the clinic. Corporate sponsors of this first annual conference include Cambrex, BD Pharmingen, Aegera Oncology, Seed Law Group, Promega, GeminX Biotechnologies, and Decision Resources.

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 http://www.idun.com/ .

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.

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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, kwitz@mentusonline.com, for Idun Pharmaceuticals

Website: http://www.idun.com/
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Date:May 1, 2002
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