Nanogen and Epoch Biosciences Announce the Record Date and Special Meeting Date for Vote on Merger

    SAN DIEGO, and BOTHELL, Wash., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nanogen,
 Inc. (Nasdaq:   NGEN), a developer of advanced diagnostic products, and Epoch
 Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:   EBIO), a provider of proprietary products that
 accelerate genomic analysis, today announced that each company will hold a
 special meeting of its stockholders on Wednesday, December 8, 2004, to
 consider and vote on certain matters in connection with the proposed merger of
 Epoch Biosciences with a subsidiary of Nanogen, pursuant to the Agreement and
 Plan of Merger and Reorganization, dated as of September 7, 2004, among
 Nanogen, Empire Acquisition Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nanogen, and
 Epoch Biosciences. Pursuant to the proposed merger, each share of Epoch common
 stock outstanding at the effective time of the merger will be converted into
 the right to receive a fraction of a share of Nanogen common stock and Epoch
 will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nanogen.  Nanogen and Epoch have each
 set the close of business on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 as the record date for
 the determination of stockholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the
 respective special meetings of stockholders.
     Nanogen and Epoch will send a definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus
 to stockholders of record of both companies.  The proxy statement/prospectus
 will contain important information about the proposed merger.  Stockholders
 are urged to read the joint proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes
 available.  The joint proxy statement/prospectus also will include the times
 and locations of the special meetings.
 
     Additional Information and Where to Find It
     In connection with the proposed merger of Nanogen and Epoch, Nanogen has
 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") a registration
 statement on Form S-4, which includes a prospectus of Nanogen and a joint
 proxy statement for each of Nanogen's and Epoch's special stockholder
 meetings.  Investors and security holders are advised to read the registration
 statement, prospectus and joint proxy statement because they contain important
 information about the proposed merger.  Investors and security holders may
 obtain a free copy of the registration statement, prospectus and joint proxy
 statement and other documents filed by Nanogen and Epoch with the SEC at the
 SEC's web site at http://www.sec.gov.  Free copies of the registration
 statement, prospectus and joint proxy statement and other documents filed by
 Nanogen with the SEC may also be obtained from Nanogen by directing a request
 to Nanogen, Attention: Larry Respess, Secretary, 858-410-4600.  Free copies of
 the joint proxy statement and other documents filed by Epoch with the SEC may
 also be obtained from Epoch by directing a request to Epoch, Attention: Bert
 Hogue, Chief Financial Officer, 425-482-5555.
     Nanogen and Epoch and the directors and executive officers of each may be
 deemed to be soliciting proxies from Nanogen's and Epoch's stockholders in
 favor of the proposed merger.  Information regarding the identity of these
 persons, and their interests in the solicitation, is set forth in a Schedule
 14A filed with the SEC, as well as the Form S-4, and available free of charge
 at the SEC website and public reference rooms, and from the corporate
 secretaries of Nanogen and Epoch.
 
     About Nanogen, Inc. (Pre-Merger)
     Nanogen develops advanced in vitro diagnostics to provide physicians and
 patients worldwide with sophisticated information to predict, diagnose and
 treat disease.  Research and clinical reference labs use the highly accurate
 and reliable NanoChip(R) Molecular Biology Workstation and NanoChip(R)
 Electronic Microarray to develop tests to detect genetic mutations associated
 with a variety of diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's and
 cardiovascular disease.  Nanogen's subsidiary SynX offers a line of
 point-of-care antibody-based diagnostic tests and is building expertise in
 cardiac related health conditions.  Nanogen's ten years of pioneering research
 involving nanotechnology may also have future applications in medical
 diagnostics, biowarfare and other industries.  For additional information
 please visit Nanogen's website at www.nanogen.com.
 
     About Epoch Biosciences, Inc. (Pre-Merger)
     Epoch Biosciences, Inc. develops and sells proprietary products with
 commercial applications in the genomics and molecular diagnostics fields.
 Epoch's technology has numerous applications including the detection of
 inherited diseases, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to identify
 individuals at risk for disease or adverse drug reactions, and gene expression
 measurement.  Epoch's chemical reagents enhance the performance of genetic
 analysis procedures, and are compatible with the majority of DNA analysis
 systems currently employed or under development for research and diagnostic
 use.  Epoch has an established presence in the research market through
 licenses to leading genomics companies, global distribution agreements and
 direct sales to end-users.  Epoch also participates in the genomic sectors and
 has entered the diagnostics market.  For additional information please visit
 Epoch's website at www.epochbio.com.
 
     Forward Looking Statement
     This document contains forward-looking statements that are made in
 reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
 Reform Act of 1995.  Additional information relating to the uncertainty
 affecting the businesses of Nanogen and Epoch is contained in the respective
 filings of Nanogen and Epoch with the SEC.  Neither Nanogen nor Epoch is under
 any obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or
 alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
 future events or otherwise.
 
 

SOURCE Nanogen, Inc.; Epoch Biosciences, Inc.

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