Epigenesis and Hybridon to Collaborate on Antisense for Respiratory Diseases

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Hybridon Inc.

    CRANBURY, N.J. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News
 Release/ -- EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc., and
 Hybridon (OTC Bulletin Board:   HYBN) announced today that the companies have
 entered into a collaborative alliance to develop and market up to five
 antisense drugs for respiratory diseases. This alliance will concentrate on
 developing drugs which will be delivered directly to the respiratory tract.
 Hybridon will receive an upfront cash payment of $500,000 along with a portion
 of future royalties and sublicense fees on any future compounds that use
 Hybridon's proprietary chemistries. EpiGenesis gains access to
 state-of-the-art antisense chemistry and a patent portfolio that will
 dramatically reduce the time required to further develop its proprietary
 RASONs (respirable antisense oligonucleotides) to treat a wide range of
 respiratory diseases.
     "Our expertise in DNA chemistry and EpiGenesis' expertise in respiratory
 diseases gives both companies, through this license, the opportunity to apply
 our proprietary technology to a new and exciting therapeutic approach," said
 Dr. Sudhir Agrawal, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Hybridon.
     "The agreement offers EpiGenesis a strengthened patent position and the
 benefit of access to significant clinical experience with oligonucleotide
 chemistry that should enable us to cut the time from test tube to clinical
 trial by more than 75 percent, for several compounds," explained Jonathan
 Nyce, Ph.D., CEO of EpiGenesis.  "This allows us to multiply the opportunities
 for RASONs, an entirely new class of respiratory drug that offers long-lasting
 symptom prevention, superior safety and enhanced efficacy when compared to
 current therapies on the market," added Dr. Nyce.
     "Our ground-breaking research and the experiences of others in the
 antisense field have demonstrated the advantages of advanced antisense
 chemistries," said R. Russell Martin, M.D., Hybridon's Senior Vice President
 of Drug Development.  "Clinical results suggest that these compounds have a
 broader margin of safety and improved pharmaceutical properties when compared
 to the initial generation of antisense agents."
 
     About the Companies
 
     EpiGenesis
     EpiGenesis is a drug discovery and development company focused on the
 rapid transformation of genomic data into novel medicines for the treatment of
 common, but poorly addressed respiratory diseases, including asthma, chronic
 obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and allergic rhinitis.  EpiGenesis'
 unique blend of core competencies are based on RASON technology -- used in
 target validation as well as for RASON and small molecule therapeutics to
 treat respiratory disease; and improved disease models that provide a more
 effective method for developing and evaluating respiratory therapeutics.
     EpiGenesis recently began clinical trials for its respirable antisense
 oligonucleotide (RASON), EPI-2010 for asthma, in the US and UK.  The company
 will shortly initiate discussions regarding the licensing of EPI-2010 in the
 United States and Europe.
     In addition to its work in antisense research, EpiGenesis is developing
 diagnostics that can predict the responsiveness of individual patients to a
 particular therapy, and in developing small molecule drugs for respiratory
 disease.  EPI-12323 is a small molecule non-glucocorticoid steroid for asthma,
 which is available for licensing.  EpiGenesis' discovery efforts are focused
 on developing more effective, efficient treatments for respiratory disease,
 with fewer side effects than currently available therapies.
    EpiGenesis' top management team is comprised of internationally renowned
 researchers, successful business executives, intellectual property experts,
 regulatory specialists and seasoned marketers from some of the country's
 leading pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostics companies.
 
     Hybridon
     Located in Cambridge, MA, Hybridon, Inc. is engaged in the discovery and
 development of novel genetic medicines based primarily on antisense technology
 for the treatment of diseases for which there are currently limited or no
 effective treatments. Antisense technology involves the use of synthetic
 segments of DNA to inhibit the production of disease-associated proteins by
 interacting at the genetic level with target strands of messenger RNA.
     Hybridon owns or has exclusively licensed patents covering antisense
 chemistries, therapeutic targets and methods of oligonucleotide
 administration. Hybridon's DNA chemistry program has identified 'cyclicons,' a
 novel antisense structure that simplifies the application of antisense to
 identify gene function.  Hybridon has also designed a portfolio of novel, CpG
 oligonucleotides which act as immunostimulatory agents, for use with vaccines
 or by themselves, to enhance the body's immune response.
     Hybridon's lead compound, the antisense oligonucleotide GEM(R)231, is
 currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors.
 Hybridon also has two spinouts, MethylGene, Inc. and OriGenix Technologies
 Inc., in which it holds minority ownership positions.  Hybridon has recently
 arranged for the sale of its shares in MethylGene.  For more detailed
 information about Hybridon, please visit the website at
 http://www.hybridon.com.
 
     The statements made in this press release contain certain forward-looking
 statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the
 risks that the results obtained in preclinical studies may not be indicative
 of results obtained in future studies or in clinical trials. It also includes
 the risk that Hybridon's antisense drugs may be ineffective or may not receive
 required regulatory approvals, or may not be profitable or that the company
 will be forced to cease operations due to the lack of sufficient funding. Such
 statements are only predictions and actual events or results may differ
 materially.  In addition to the matters described in this press release, risk
 factors as stated from time to time in Hybridon's SEC reports, including but
 not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K, may affect the results
 achieved by Hybridon.
 
     This and other EpiGenesis and Hybridon press releases can be found at
 http://www.epigene.com, http://www.hybridon.com and
 http://www.noonanrusso.com.
 
 
     Contact:
     Noonan/Russo Communications, Inc.            MJ Wyatt/Wyatt Communications
     Matthew Orsagh (Investors)                   212-829-5586
     212-696-4455 Ext 357
 
     R. Russell Martin, M.D./Sr. Vice President  James C. Mannion,
     Hybridon, Inc.                              Ph.D./President
     617-679-5500                                EpiGenesis
                                                 609-409-3033
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X74253234
 
 

SOURCE EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Hybridon Inc.
    CRANBURY, N.J. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News
 Release/ -- EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc., and
 Hybridon (OTC Bulletin Board:   HYBN) announced today that the companies have
 entered into a collaborative alliance to develop and market up to five
 antisense drugs for respiratory diseases. This alliance will concentrate on
 developing drugs which will be delivered directly to the respiratory tract.
 Hybridon will receive an upfront cash payment of $500,000 along with a portion
 of future royalties and sublicense fees on any future compounds that use
 Hybridon's proprietary chemistries. EpiGenesis gains access to
 state-of-the-art antisense chemistry and a patent portfolio that will
 dramatically reduce the time required to further develop its proprietary
 RASONs (respirable antisense oligonucleotides) to treat a wide range of
 respiratory diseases.
     "Our expertise in DNA chemistry and EpiGenesis' expertise in respiratory
 diseases gives both companies, through this license, the opportunity to apply
 our proprietary technology to a new and exciting therapeutic approach," said
 Dr. Sudhir Agrawal, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Hybridon.
     "The agreement offers EpiGenesis a strengthened patent position and the
 benefit of access to significant clinical experience with oligonucleotide
 chemistry that should enable us to cut the time from test tube to clinical
 trial by more than 75 percent, for several compounds," explained Jonathan
 Nyce, Ph.D., CEO of EpiGenesis.  "This allows us to multiply the opportunities
 for RASONs, an entirely new class of respiratory drug that offers long-lasting
 symptom prevention, superior safety and enhanced efficacy when compared to
 current therapies on the market," added Dr. Nyce.
     "Our ground-breaking research and the experiences of others in the
 antisense field have demonstrated the advantages of advanced antisense
 chemistries," said R. Russell Martin, M.D., Hybridon's Senior Vice President
 of Drug Development.  "Clinical results suggest that these compounds have a
 broader margin of safety and improved pharmaceutical properties when compared
 to the initial generation of antisense agents."
 
     About the Companies
 
     EpiGenesis
     EpiGenesis is a drug discovery and development company focused on the
 rapid transformation of genomic data into novel medicines for the treatment of
 common, but poorly addressed respiratory diseases, including asthma, chronic
 obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and allergic rhinitis.  EpiGenesis'
 unique blend of core competencies are based on RASON technology -- used in
 target validation as well as for RASON and small molecule therapeutics to
 treat respiratory disease; and improved disease models that provide a more
 effective method for developing and evaluating respiratory therapeutics.
     EpiGenesis recently began clinical trials for its respirable antisense
 oligonucleotide (RASON), EPI-2010 for asthma, in the US and UK.  The company
 will shortly initiate discussions regarding the licensing of EPI-2010 in the
 United States and Europe.
     In addition to its work in antisense research, EpiGenesis is developing
 diagnostics that can predict the responsiveness of individual patients to a
 particular therapy, and in developing small molecule drugs for respiratory
 disease.  EPI-12323 is a small molecule non-glucocorticoid steroid for asthma,
 which is available for licensing.  EpiGenesis' discovery efforts are focused
 on developing more effective, efficient treatments for respiratory disease,
 with fewer side effects than currently available therapies.
    EpiGenesis' top management team is comprised of internationally renowned
 researchers, successful business executives, intellectual property experts,
 regulatory specialists and seasoned marketers from some of the country's
 leading pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostics companies.
 
     Hybridon
     Located in Cambridge, MA, Hybridon, Inc. is engaged in the discovery and
 development of novel genetic medicines based primarily on antisense technology
 for the treatment of diseases for which there are currently limited or no
 effective treatments. Antisense technology involves the use of synthetic
 segments of DNA to inhibit the production of disease-associated proteins by
 interacting at the genetic level with target strands of messenger RNA.
     Hybridon owns or has exclusively licensed patents covering antisense
 chemistries, therapeutic targets and methods of oligonucleotide
 administration. Hybridon's DNA chemistry program has identified 'cyclicons,' a
 novel antisense structure that simplifies the application of antisense to
 identify gene function.  Hybridon has also designed a portfolio of novel, CpG
 oligonucleotides which act as immunostimulatory agents, for use with vaccines
 or by themselves, to enhance the body's immune response.
     Hybridon's lead compound, the antisense oligonucleotide GEM(R)231, is
 currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors.
 Hybridon also has two spinouts, MethylGene, Inc. and OriGenix Technologies
 Inc., in which it holds minority ownership positions.  Hybridon has recently
 arranged for the sale of its shares in MethylGene.  For more detailed
 information about Hybridon, please visit the website at
 http://www.hybridon.com.
 
     The statements made in this press release contain certain forward-looking
 statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the
 risks that the results obtained in preclinical studies may not be indicative
 of results obtained in future studies or in clinical trials. It also includes
 the risk that Hybridon's antisense drugs may be ineffective or may not receive
 required regulatory approvals, or may not be profitable or that the company
 will be forced to cease operations due to the lack of sufficient funding. Such
 statements are only predictions and actual events or results may differ
 materially.  In addition to the matters described in this press release, risk
 factors as stated from time to time in Hybridon's SEC reports, including but
 not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K, may affect the results
 achieved by Hybridon.
 
     This and other EpiGenesis and Hybridon press releases can be found at
 http://www.epigene.com, http://www.hybridon.com and
 http://www.noonanrusso.com.
 
 
     Contact:
     Noonan/Russo Communications, Inc.            MJ Wyatt/Wyatt Communications
     Matthew Orsagh (Investors)                   212-829-5586
     212-696-4455 Ext 357
 
     R. Russell Martin, M.D./Sr. Vice President  James C. Mannion,
     Hybridon, Inc.                              Ph.D./President
     617-679-5500                                EpiGenesis
                                                 609-409-3033
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X74253234
 
 SOURCE  EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Hybridon Inc.