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RIBOZYME PHARMACEUTICALS AND DOWELANCO ENTER INTO AN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COLLABORATION

 BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RPI), a biotechnology company commercializing its patented, Nobel Prize-winning ribozyme technology, and DowElanco, a leading agricultural company with fully integrated R&D, field testing, marketing, and sales capabilities worldwide, announced today that they have entered into a research and development collaboration agreement.
 The collaboration will focus on the discovery and development of agricultural products based on ribozyme technology. Under the terms of the agreement, RPI and DowElanco will develop and apply the ribozyme technology initially to corn applications. During the initial study, DowElanco will provide research funding plus plant genetic engineering and field testing expertise in proprietary germplasm; RPI will design and test ribozymes in cell culture and protoplast systems.
 This strategic partnership is RPI's second collaborative agreement with a major strategic partner and is consistent with the company's strategy to collaborate selectively with partners for some applications and develop products internally in other areas. In April 1993, RPI completed its first collaboration with Parke Davis to develop the ribozyme technology in human health for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The DowElanco agreement allows RPI to continue its internal efforts on human therapeutic targets as well as to initiate development of agricultural applications with a major company committed to agricultural biotechnology. "We are very pleased to initiate this collaboration with such a distinguished agricultural partner, which will allow significant acceleration in developing the agricultural potential of ribozymes," said Ralph Christoffersen, chief executive officer and president of RPI.
 "Our venture with RPI is well aligned with DowElanco's strategy of identifying future commercial opportunities in plant agriculture which rely on unique proprietary technology," said Alan R. Gould, director of Biotechnology and Plant Genetics for DowElanco. "RPI's broad commercial vision for ribozymes and the company's obvious commitment to and expertise in cutting-edge research makes them a natural partner for us."
 Ribozymes are RNA molecules which modify a cell's gene expression by enzymatically cutting RNA strands at specific nucleotide sequences. The technology, for which RPI holds several broad patents, has equally broad commercial application potential in human therapeutic, diagnostic, agricultural, and veterinary fields. Products currently in development at RPI include ribozymes targeted at viral diseases (AIDS), osteoarthritis, and restenosis.
 DowElanco is a joint venture between the Dow Chemical Company and Eli Lilly and Company, with revenues of $1.6 billion from plant agriculture and specialty pest control.
 RPI was formed in 1992 with technology licensed from U.S. Biochemical Corp. and with the participation of four venture capital firms -- Morgenthaler Ventures, Venrock Associates, CW Group, and Advent International, providing an initial $6.0 million round of financing. The company subsequently completed a $12.0 million second-round financing in December 1992, led by J.H. Whitney, that included all original participants, as well as Oak Investments, Grace Horn Ventures, JAFCO, and other private investors.
 -0- 10/4/93
 /CONTACT: Ralph Christoffersen, CEO, president, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, 303-449-6500; or Gary Hamlin, manager, corporate public affairs, DowElanco, 317-871-8200/


CO: Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc.; DowElanco ST: Colorado, Indiana IN: MTC SU:

MF-LS -- LA006 -- 8237 10/04/93 10:03 EDT
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Date:Oct 4, 1993
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