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Natick, Massachusetts; Sept. 26, 2001 - Sequitur, Inc. and Discovery Genomics, Inc. announced a pact aimed at screening antisense compounds to elucidate gene function in the zebra fish model organism. The multi-year agreement will combine Sequitur's antisense compounds and high throughput gene expression analysis with Discovery Genomic's expertise in zebra fish functional genomics. Sequitur will retain rights to discoveries of gene function in the areas of bone, hematopoiesis and obesity, while Discovery Genomics will retain rights to the discoveries of gene functions relating to the balance of vertebrate diseases (e.g. angiogenesis) studied with the zebrafish model system. Both parties may also provide services to evaluate target genes selected by third parties.

The zebra fish antisense system allows rapid and relatively inexpensive knockdown of a gene, with evaluation of phenotype in the fish embryo in a matter of weeks. Over 90% of the zebrafish genes have human homologs. Examples include genes for insulin, hemoglobin, VEGF, myostatin, thyroid hormone receptors, leptin and erythropoietin.

Tod Woolf, Sequitur's President, noted, "We are pleased to be working with Discovery Genomics and its core group of scientists including Dr. Perry Hackett, its Chief Science Officer and Stephen Ekker, a founder and scientific advisor. Rapid gene based knockouts have been the holy grail of developmental biology. The zebra fish system that they have pioneered fulfills this quest. We are also excited to begin a collaboration in which we retain some rights to the gene function and target validation discoveries as a complement to our services business."

John Haaland, Discovery Genomics' President and CEO, noted "Sequitur's strong intellectual properties position and leadership role in antisense technology was a key factor in forming this collaboration".

Sequitur's antisense functional genomics technology accelerates drug discovery by helping to identify the triggers of disease. Antisense oligomers are employed to determine gene function and validate small molecule drug targets by specifically inhibiting gene expression. Sequitur's Antisense Functional Genomics Program offers highly potent and specific second generation antisense compounds, target site selection, collaborative research and cell transfection optimization. Sequitur's clients include Incyte, Amgen, Pharmacia, GlaxoSmithkline, Genome Therapeutics, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth Ayerst, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Procter & Gamble, Rigel and others.

Safe Harbor Statement: Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are "forward looking" statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The actual results may differ from those projected in the forward-looking statement due to risks and uncertainties that exist in operations and business environment.


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