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VASTox plc (SUMM)

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Monday 31 January, 2005

VASTox plc

Deal with MNLpharma

VASTox plc
31 January 2005

For immediate release                                            31 January 2005

                                  VASTox plc
                          ('VASTox' or 'the Company')

                VASTox Screen Validates MNL's Compound Activity

Oxford, UK: 31 January 2005 - VASTox plc (AIM: VOX), the Oxford-based drug
discovery and services business focused on chemical genomics, today is pleased
to announce a chemical genomics screening deal with MNLpharma (formerly
Molecularnature).  The collaboration provided valuable in vivo data on MNL's
proprietary immunomodulators and establishes VASTox's screening technology as a
powerful tool for gaining insight into disease pathways and additional

A number of MNL's proprietary naturally occurring, small molecules with already
defined disease targets were put through VASTox screens in a 'blinded' fashion.
VASTox's screens picked out the correct targets and provided valuable in vivo
data on the compounds.

Dr Steven Lee, CEO of VASTox, commented: 'The services part of our business is
valuable as it both complements our drug discovery business by providing
revenues and validates our chemical genomics approach.  Our platform showed an
exceptionally high level of biological activity in MNL's compounds compared with
others we have reviewed. We were impressed by the variety of targets and
pathways for which MNL have active compounds. We look forward to working with
MNL to further characterise the compounds and confirm the mechanisms.'

Hadyn Parry, CEO of MNLpharma, commented: 'VASTox technology has further
enhanced our knowledge surrounding a portfolio of compounds by providing
independent exemplification of the activity and commercial potential. This
technology provides a valuable alternative to the traditional in vitro / in vivo
drug development model.'

Contact details:
 VASTox                                                            01865 316917
 Steven Lee, Chief Executive Officer

 Buchanan Communications                                           020 7466 5000
 Tim Anderson / Mark Court / Mary-Jane Johnson

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Notes for Editors:

About VASTox

VASTox is a chemical genomics technology company that both provides services to
the pharmaceutical industry, and discovers and develops proprietary novel drugs.
  The company's technology platform aims to use high volume, high content
screening using zebrafish and fruitflies to provide a high level of
predictability of the efficacy and toxicity of potential drug compounds in
humans which has the potential to dramatically decrease the time and cost of
drug discovery and development. VASTox was formed in January 2003, from the
University of Oxford, by some of the UK's foremost scientists who have taken a
highly creative approach to the problems involved in drug discovery and who have
a proven record in delivering technological excellence.  The company listed on
the London Stock Exchange AIM in October 2004.

About MNLpharma

MNLpharma (formerly Molecularnature) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on
the discovery and development of naturally occurring immunomodulators for the
treatment of disease. The Company's in-house programmes are targeted at the
treatment of cancer, infectious diseases and other immune disorders. For more
information, visit

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange