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SYSTEMIX ENTERS JOINT VENTURE WITH SANDOZ FOR GENE THERAPY AGAINST HIV

 PALO ALTO, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- SyStemix, Inc. (NASDAQ: STMX) today announced it has signed an agreement with Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corp., a wholly owned affiliate of Sandoz Pharma, Ltd., to form a 50/50 joint venture whose primary mission will be to research and develop hematopoietic cell-based, somatic gene therapies against HIV infection. SyStemix and Sandoz will both license their initial technologies, within the field, to the joint venture. Terms of the agreement were not announced.
 "The merging of Sandoz expertise in gene transfer with SyStemix' knowledge of stem cell biology and HIV pathogenesis in vivo creates a uniquely synergistic combination of technologies," said Linda Sonntag, Ph.D., president and CEO of SyStemix, Inc. "SyStemix' proprietary technology will further enable the venture to identify disease suppressing genes as well as provide reliable, cost-effective and time- saving models for preclinical testing to expedite the discovery and development of genetic therapies for HIV infection."
 Hematopoietic stem cells, otherwise known as the "parent" cells of the body's blood and immune system, will serve as a vehicle for gene therapies. SyStemix and Sandoz hope to render the progeny of hematopoietic stem cells resistant to HIV by inserting HIV-resistance genes into the stem cell. Genetically-modified hematopoietic stem cells have the potential to self-renew and give rise to mature immune "offspring" cells which may reconstitute the blood and immune system and confer long-term protection from HIV.
 "I am hopeful that this joint effort between Sandoz and SyStemix will accelerate the development of an effective treatment for HIV," said Max Link, Ph.D., chairman of the board of Sandoz Pharma, Ltd. "Gene therapy will undoubtedly revolutionize medicine, and gene therapy against HIV is a totally novel approach to deal with a major medical need of our society."
 Sandoz Pharma, Ltd., headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is a leading research-based pharmaceutical company. Its products are used in the prevention of organ rejection after transplantation and in endocrinological, immunological, cardiovascular and central nervous system diseases. Sandoz Ltd. (ADR: SDOZY), the parent company of Sandoz Pharma Ltd., holds 60 percent of SyStemix common stock.
 SyStemix, Inc., based in Palo Alto, is primarily engaged in the development of cellular processes and products based on human hematopoietic stem cells and human hematopoietic progenitors.
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 /CONTACT: Linda Sonntag, Ph.D., of SyStemix, 415-813-6510; Dennis Grady of Sandoz Pharmaceutical, 201-503-7507; or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D., of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-979-9180, for SyStemix/
 (STMX)


CO: SyStemix, Inc.; Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU: JVN

AH-PS -- NY017 -- 5584 04/14/93 10:02 EDT
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Date:Apr 14, 1993
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