454 Life Sciences and Roche Enter Exclusive World-Wide Agreement for Ultra High-Throughput Genome Sequencing System -- Distribution agreement facilitates 454's ability to become financially

self-sufficient during 2005 --



    BRANFORD, Conn. and BASEL, Switzerland, May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
 454 Life Sciences, a majority-owned subsidiary of CuraGen Corporation
 (Nasdaq:   CRGN), and Roche today announced they have entered into an exclusive
 5-year world-wide agreement for the promotion, sale, and distribution of 454
 Life Sciences' nanotechnology-based Genome Sequencing Systems, including
 proprietary kits and reagents.  The technology used in the 454 Genome
 Sequencing System enables researchers to sequence up to 100 times faster than
 current commercial platforms.  454's proprietary technology represents the
 first radically new approach for sequencing to be commercialized since Gilbert
 and Sanger won the Noble prize for DNA sequencing in 1980.
     Under the terms of the 5-year, exclusive world-wide distribution
 agreement, 454 will receive a margin on products manufactured for Roche
 Diagnostics, and royalties on net sales of licensed products.  454 will
 receive up to $62 million dollars in license fees, milestones related to
 instrument releases, minimum royalties and research funding.  Roche
 Diagnostics receives the rights to negotiate distribution of 454 Life
 Sciences' products in the regulated diagnostic market and renewal of the
 distribution agreement contingent upon meeting minimum performance criteria.
     "Customer feedback and our own research show that one of the main
 limitations of today's approaches to sequencing lies in throughput.  This new
 technology will significantly increase the speed and decrease the cost of
 sequencing, and thereby has the potential to open up many new applications for
 sequencing to researchers all over the world," stated Heino von Prondzynski,
 CEO of Division Roche Diagnostics and Member of the Roche Executive Committee.
 "Roche Diagnostics can enter now a new and very attractive market that
 complements our strong position in research applications."
     Under the agreement, Roche Applied Science, a business area of Roche
 Diagnostics, will sell 454 Life Sciences' products through their extensive
 sales and marketing teams, distribute 454's products through Roche
 Diagnostics' established supply chain, and provide technical support to
 purchasers of the 454 Genome Sequencing System and the associated reagents.
 454 Life Sciences will continue to manufacture instrument systems and reagent
 kits, with the option to transfer the responsibility for reagent manufacturing
 to Roche Diagnostics given sufficient sales volume.  The agreement allows for
 Roche Diagnostics to sell 454's products to all markets, with the exception of
 regulated diagnostics, where Roche Diagnostics obtained an exclusive right to
 negotiate the extension of the exclusive distribution agreement into the
 regulated diagnostics market during the initial 5-year term.
     "Roche continues to be a pioneer in identifying revolutionary technologies
 and I am pleased that they will be an integral part of accelerating the full
 potential of 454 Life Sciences' sequencing technology for researchers world-
 wide," stated Christopher K. McLeod, President and Chief Executive Officer of
 454 Life Sciences.  "We are delighted to have the chance to use the strength
 of their organization to expand our commercialization efforts and bring 454's
 novel nanotechnology to a broader market, and assist us in achieving our goal
 of financial self-sufficiency.  We believe that 454 Life Sciences' technology
 will enhance the generation of genomic data and sequencing applications,
 enabling the discovery, development, and clinical testing of new vaccines and
 drugs, and allowing personalized medicine to become a reality."
     454 Life Sciences began commercialization of instrument systems and
 proprietary reagents during the first quarter of 2005, with the initial
 instrument system sale to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, led by Dr.
 Eric Lander.  The agreement with Roche Diagnostics will broaden the reach of
 454 Life Sciences products, and enable 454 Life Sciences to focus on research
 and development of next generation technology and applications for high
 throughput sequencing.
     454's system enables one individual to prepare and sequence an entire
 genome after performing a single sample preparation, irrespective of the size
 of the genome being studied.  The hallmark of 454's technology is the
 nanotechnology-based approach to sequencing which allows a single instrument
 to produce over 20 million nucleotide bases per four hour run, totaling more
 that 100 times the capacity of instruments using the current macro-scale
 technology.  454's technology is based on integrating proprietary picoliter-
 technologies (a picoliter is a billionth of a liter), patented light emitting
 sequencing chemistries, and state of the art informatics.  The patented Genome
 Sequencing System utilizes this technology and is a scalable, ultra-fast and
 cost-effective system with applications for whole genome sequencing and deep
 sequencing of genes of interest.
 
     About 454 Life Sciences
     454 Life Sciences is commercializing novel instrumentation and services
 for rapidly and comprehensively conducting high-throughput nucleotide
 sequencing, with specific application to sequencing of whole genomes and ultra
 deep sequencing of target genes.  The Company's instrument systems, based on
 proprietary nanoscale technologies, patented light emitting sequencing
 chemistry, and state of the art image processing and informatics, have 100
 times the throughput of existing sequencing machines.  454 is marketing its
 services and instruments to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, biodefense, and
 agriculture companies as well as to universities and government agencies.  454
 Life Sciences is a majority owned subsidiary of CuraGen Corporation (Nasdaq:  
 CRGN).  Additional information is available at http://www.454.com.
 
     About Roche and the Roche Diagnostics
     Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading
 research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and
 diagnostics.  As a supplier of innovative products and services for the early
 detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group
 contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and
 quality of life.  Roche is a world leader in diagnostics, the leading supplier
 of medicines for cancer and transplantation and a market leader in virology.
 In 2004 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totaled 21.7 billion Swiss
 francs, while the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 7.8 billion Swiss
 francs.  Roche employs roughly 65,000 people in 150 countries and has R&D
 agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority
 ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai.
     Roche's Diagnostics Division offers a uniquely broad product portfolio and
 supplies a wide array of innovative testing products and services to
 researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories world-wide.
     For further information, please visit our websites http://www.roche.com,
 http://www.roche-diagnostics.com and http://www.roche-applied-science.com.
 
     Safe Harbor
     This press release contains forward-looking statements, including
 statements that (i) 454 will receive up to $62 million dollars in license
 fees, milestones related to instrument releases, minimum royalties and
 research funding; (ii) 454 Life Sciences' new technology will dramatically
 increase the throughput of sequencing, and thereby has the potential to open
 up many new applications for sequencing to researchers all over the world,
 (iii) the benefits that will inure to 454 and its products as a result of its
 alliance with Roche; (iv) 454's ability to become financially self-sufficient;
 and (v) 454's expectation that its technology will enhance the generation of
 genomic data and sequencing applications, enabling the discovery, development,
 and clinical trial of new vaccines and drugs, and allowing personalized
 medicine to become a reality.  Such statements are based on management's
 current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties
 that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in
 the forward-looking statements.  454 and CuraGen caution investors that there
 can be no assurance that actual results or business conditions will not differ
 materially from those projected or suggested in such forward-looking
 statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, the
 following: 454's inability to satisfy the conditions under its agreements with
 Roche (some of which are outside 454's control) that will enable it to receive
 up to $62 million dollars in license fees, milestones related to instrument
 releases, minimum royalties and research funding; the early stage of
 development of 454's products and technologies, customer acceptance of 454's
 products and technologies; 454's ability to scale- up production of its
 products and technologies; disputes between Roche and 454 and between 454 and
 CuraGen; the success of competing products and technologies; technological
 uncertainty and product development risks; uncertainty of additional funding
 with respect to both CuraGen and 454; 454's and CuraGen's history of incurring
 losses and the uncertainty of achieving profitability; CuraGen's stage of
 development as a genomics-based pharmaceutical company; government regulation;
 patent infringement claims against 454's and CuraGen's products, processes and
 technologies; the ability to protect 454's and CuraGen's patents and
 proprietary rights; uncertainties relating to commercialization rights; and
 product liability exposure.  Please refer to CuraGen's Annual Report on Form
 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2004 for a complete description of
 these risks.  454 and CuraGen disclaim any intention or obligation to update
 or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
 information, future events, or otherwise, unless required by law.
 
     454 Life Sciences Contact:
      Peter Dacey
      Vice President, Finance
      info@454.com
      (877) 890-GNOM
 
 

SOURCE CuraGen Corporation and 454 Life Sciences

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