Oxford Glycosciences PLC
20 June 2001
For further information, please contact:
For Oxford GlycoSciences Plc For NeoGenesis
Michael Kranda, Chief Executive Officer Allen Michaels
Prof. Raj Parekh, Chief Scientific Officer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 208000 Dr. Satish Jindal
President & Chief Scientific Officer
UK: Financial Dynamics Tel: +1 (617) 868 1500
David Yates / Melanie Toyne Sewell
Tel: +44 (0) 207 831 3113 Schwartz Communications, Inc.
Nigel Smith - Tel: +1 (781) 684 6500
USA: Feinstein Kean
Michael Lawson - Tel: +1 (617) 761-6765
OGS and NeoGenesis Announce High-Throughput,
'Target-to-Drug Lead' Collaboration
Oxford, UK/Cambridge, Mass - 20 June 2001 - Oxford GlycoSciences Plc ('OGS')
(LSE: OGS, NASDAQ: OGSI) today entered into a collaboration with NeoGenesis
Inc., a privately held biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
This alliance is expected to accelerate OGS' discovery and development of
small molecule drugs against protein targets derived from its high-throughput
proteomics platform. NeoGenesis' chemical genomics technology platform is a
logical complement to the thousands of disease-associated proteins identified
by OGS, and both companies expect the deal to increase drug candidate output
and shorten the time to clinic.
Central to NeoGenesis' chemical genomics drug discovery platform is the
company's core technology, the Automated Ligand Identification System ('ALIS').
ALIS is a scalable system for rapidly screening large numbers of
disease-associated targets. Coupled with NeoGenesis' neoMorph compound '
library', consisting of more than 10 million diverse 'drug-like' compounds,
ALIS identifies small molecule ligands of high affinity and high selectivity
against the full range of protein classes to accelerate drug discovery.
Under the terms of the agreement, OGS will provide a large number of potential
protein targets it has identified. In turn, NeoGenesis will apply its
high-throughput integrated technologies for chemistry, screening and
computational biology to search for lead compounds. OGS will also provide
NeoGenesis with research funding, milestone payments and royalties on drug
candidates and resultant products. Finally, OGS will commercialise all drug
candidates and products, and is acquiring an equity stake in NeoGenesis.
Detailed financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
'Conventional drug discovery technologies are underpowered to leverage the
scale and nature of targets emerging from proteomics research,' said Dr. Raj
Parekh, Chief Scientific Officer of OGS. 'Our collaboration with NeoGenesis
will give us the means to discover rapidly lead compounds against a large
number of protein targets, so reducing time to clinical development. A key
requirement to fulfill the genome-to-drug paradigm is to obtain clinical leads
rapidly against genomics and proteomics targets and use these leads both to
validate the target and to serve as drug candidates in themselves.'
'OGS is a recognised leader in proteomics-based drug research,' said Satish
Jindal, Ph.D., president and CSO of NeoGenesis. 'By combining OGS'
high-throughput protein discovery with NeoGenesis' high-throughput lead
discovery technologies the collaboration has the potential to yield many
important new drugs. The OGS partnership is a significant addition to our
drug discovery and development programme, and also it has the potential to
provide NeoGenesis with milestone payments and royalties from profits
generated by future products.'
'OGS is identifying a large portfolio of disease associated proteins,' said
Michael Kranda, Chief Executive Officer of OGS. 'To capitalise on the
potential that this represents, we've enlisted the large chemical libraries
and high-speed screening technology of NeoGenesis, which is a great match for
OGS' high-throughput proteomics platform. Together, I believe our two
companies can set a new standard for fast and cost-effective drug discovery.
This collaboration, together with the monoclonal antibody-based relationship
with Medarex, confirms OGS' commitment to discovering and developing drugs
from the protein targets identified by our proteomics platform.'
There will an analysts conference call on Wednesday 20 June at 11am (UK time).
For further details, please contact Claire Rowell on 0207 269 7285.
OGS has developed a proprietary technology for the comprehensive study of
proteins, integrating proteomics with genomics to create an innovative drug
discovery platform. OGS's proteomics collaborations with major pharmaceutical
and biotechnology companies include Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Medarex, Pioneer
Hi Bred/Du Pont and Pfizer. OGS has technology development collaborations with
Applera, Cambridge Antibody Technology, Packard BioScience and the Institute
for Systems Biology. Most recently, OGS has formed a £30 million joint
venture with Marconi plc, called Confirmant.
OGS has drug research discovery programmes in cancer, infectious disease and
glycolipid storage disorders. OGS' most advanced drug candidate, VevescaTM, is
currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of Gaucher disease.
VevescaTM has received 'fast track' designation from the FDA and has been
granted orphan drug status by both the FDA and the European Commission for the
treatment of Gaucher disease. OGS expects to file a new drug application for
the oral treatment of Gaucher disease in mid-2001. VevescaTM is an
investigational drug and has not received approval for marketing in any
NeoGenesis is a leader in developing drug discovery technologies that enable
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to identify more and better drug
leads and drug targets from the genome in far less time than conventional
technologies. NeoGenesis' chemical genomics technology addresses critical and
complex barriers in genomics drug discovery by facilitating an efficient and
highly scalable method for discovery of new drugs from thousands of proteins
that genomics and proteomics technologies are yielding. NeoGenesis is
creatively solving the 'chokepoint' problem of the incompatibility of current,
slow drug discovery processes with the diversity and volume of the proteome.
Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., NeoGenesis has quickly
developed partnerships and collaborative research agreements with leading
biopharmaceutical companies, including; Merck, Schering Plough, Biogen and
Microcide. NeoGenesis is privately held and has raised more than $40 million
in funding from venture, institutional and private investors. Current
investors include; OrbiMed Advisors LLC of New York, Ft. Washington Private
Equity Investors, Essex Street Associates and Valentine Partners.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, such as the success of
the collaboration between OGS and NeoGenesis, including the acceleration of
OGS' discovery and development of drugs, an increase in drug candidates,
shrinking the time to clinic, commercialising drug candidates and products,
yielding many important new drugs and setting a new standard for fast and cost
effective drug development, filing an NDA for VevescaTM and the success of
VevescaTM as a treatment of Gaucher disease. Factors that could cause actual
results to vary significantly from those expressed or implied by these and
other forward-looking statements include the success of OGS' and NeoGenesis'
competitors' products and technologies, the success of OGS' and NeoGenesis'
research and development strategies, the validity of OGS' and NeoGenesis'
technologies and intellectual property positions and strategies, the
successful and timely completion of clinical studies and uncertainties related
to the regulatory process.