Lexicon Genetics Announces Major Scale-Up of Gene Knockout Program

In Vivo Functional Analysis of 5,000 Genes Over Five Years to Discover New

Disease Targets



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Lexicon Genetics Incorporated

    THE WOODLANDS, Texas, April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 Lexicon Genetics Incorporated (Nasdaq: LEXG) is announcing at its
 investor/analyst conference today a major scale-up of its gene knockout and in
 vivo functional analysis programs to determine the function of 5,000 genes
 over five years for the discovery of new disease targets.  Lexicon is focusing
 its large-scale gene function discovery process on those proteins encoded by
 pharmaceutically valuable gene families.  These include genes that encode
 medically important proteins such as receptors, ion channels, key enzymes, and
 secreted proteins.
     "Lexicon is amassing the world's largest gene knockout infrastructure, and
 today we are revealing the magnitude of our capabilities," said Arthur T.
 Sands, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Lexicon.  "It is
 believed that the human genome encodes as many as 5,000 novel drug targets.
 By contrast, the entire pharmaceutical industry today operates on fewer than
 500 targets.  With the completion of our genome discovery pharmaceutical
 center at the end of 2001, we are scaling up our gene knockout process to
 determine the in vivo functions of 5,000 of the most promising genes for
 pharmaceutical discovery over five years."
     Lexicon's five-year program is supported by the world's largest gene
 knockout infrastructure:
      --  Lexicon's patented gene targeting technology rapidly generates
          knockout mice with alterations in selected genes.  The Company
          believes that its experience and scale of production using gene
          targeting technology will continue to provide substantial advantages
          in efficiency and speed relative to others trying to discover the
          functions of genes.  Gene targeting is expected to account for
          approximately one-half of the 5,000 genes in Lexicon's five-year
          program.
 
      --  Lexicon's OmniBank(R) library now contains more than 130,000 frozen
          mouse embryonic stem cell (ES) clones identified by DNA sequence in
          a relational database.  Any one of these clones could unlock a
          future drug discovery, and the tremendous statistical power that
          comes from OmniBank's dataset fuels Lexicon's rapid target
          validation and provides the Company with a continuous drug discovery
          pipeline.  Lexicon expects that OmniBank, which currently contains
          clones for an estimated 40 percent of all genes in the mammalian
          genome, will account for the remaining half of the 5,000 genes in
          its five-year program.
 
      --  Lexicon has its own proprietary human and mouse gene sequences,
          discovered using the Company's gene trapping technology.  Lexicon
          has filed patent applications covering more than 50,000 human gene
          sequences and more than 35,000 knockout mouse clones and
          corresponding mouse gene sequences.
 
      --  Lexicon's gene knockout infrastructure is fortified by its
          intellectual property estate.  Lexicon owns four U.S. patents
          covering its gene trapping technology and has certain exclusive
          rights under five U.S. patents covering its gene targeting
          technology.
 
      --  Lexicon's genome pharmaceutical discovery center has been
          specifically designed to accelerate large-scale gene function
          discovery.  By the end of this year, Lexicon will have tripled the
          size of its physical plant to approximately 300,000 square feet.
          This expansion has strategic implications for Lexicon's business
          success, because it will increase the rate at which the Company
          discovers which genes in the human genome have high value for drug
          discovery.
 
      --  Lexicon has built an elite team of specialists in cancer,
          cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, neurological disease,
          diabetes and obesity to accelerate the rate of discovery from
          biology to drugs.
 
      --  Lexicon's cash position of approximately $202 million at the close
          of 2000 gives the company momentum to execute its five-year business
          strategy, regardless of financial market conditions.
 
     "As the leader in industrializing gene knockout technology, Lexicon has
 set a new standard for in vivo target validation and therapeutic protein
 discovery," Dr Sands said.  "We believe our large-scale gene knockout program
 will make Lexicon the first to discover the medical applications of the
 largest number of new pharmaceutical targets for drug discovery in the post-
 genome era."
     Lexicon Genetics Incorporated is a drug discovery company of the post-
 genome era, using gene knockout technology to define the functions of genes
 for the discovery of pharmaceutical products.  Lexicon is using this
 technology to fuel drug discovery programs in cancer, cardiovascular disease,
 immune disorders, neurological disease, diabetes and obesity.  Lexicon has
 established drug discovery alliances and functional genomics collaborations
 with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research institutes
 and academic institutions throughout the world to commercialize its technology
 and further develop its discoveries.  Additional information about the Company
 is available through Lexicon's corporate website, www.lexicon-genetics.com.
 
     This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including
 statements about Lexicon's growth and future operating results, discovery and
 development of products, strategic alliances, and intellectual property, as
 well as other matters that are not historical facts or information.  These
 forward-looking statements are based on management's current assumptions and
 expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors,
 specifically including those relating to Lexicon's ability to achieve its
 operational objectives, obtain patent protection for its discoveries and
 establish strategic alliances, that may cause Lexicon's actual results to be
 materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such
 forward-looking statements.  Information identifying such important factors is
 contained under "Factors Affecting Forward-Looking Statements" and "Business -
 Risk Factors" in Lexicon's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended
 December 31, 2000, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 Lexicon undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking
 statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
 otherwise.
 
 

SOURCE Lexicon Genetics Incorporated
    THE WOODLANDS, Texas, April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 Lexicon Genetics Incorporated (Nasdaq: LEXG) is announcing at its
 investor/analyst conference today a major scale-up of its gene knockout and in
 vivo functional analysis programs to determine the function of 5,000 genes
 over five years for the discovery of new disease targets.  Lexicon is focusing
 its large-scale gene function discovery process on those proteins encoded by
 pharmaceutically valuable gene families.  These include genes that encode
 medically important proteins such as receptors, ion channels, key enzymes, and
 secreted proteins.
     "Lexicon is amassing the world's largest gene knockout infrastructure, and
 today we are revealing the magnitude of our capabilities," said Arthur T.
 Sands, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Lexicon.  "It is
 believed that the human genome encodes as many as 5,000 novel drug targets.
 By contrast, the entire pharmaceutical industry today operates on fewer than
 500 targets.  With the completion of our genome discovery pharmaceutical
 center at the end of 2001, we are scaling up our gene knockout process to
 determine the in vivo functions of 5,000 of the most promising genes for
 pharmaceutical discovery over five years."
     Lexicon's five-year program is supported by the world's largest gene
 knockout infrastructure:
      --  Lexicon's patented gene targeting technology rapidly generates
          knockout mice with alterations in selected genes.  The Company
          believes that its experience and scale of production using gene
          targeting technology will continue to provide substantial advantages
          in efficiency and speed relative to others trying to discover the
          functions of genes.  Gene targeting is expected to account for
          approximately one-half of the 5,000 genes in Lexicon's five-year
          program.
 
      --  Lexicon's OmniBank(R) library now contains more than 130,000 frozen
          mouse embryonic stem cell (ES) clones identified by DNA sequence in
          a relational database.  Any one of these clones could unlock a
          future drug discovery, and the tremendous statistical power that
          comes from OmniBank's dataset fuels Lexicon's rapid target
          validation and provides the Company with a continuous drug discovery
          pipeline.  Lexicon expects that OmniBank, which currently contains
          clones for an estimated 40 percent of all genes in the mammalian
          genome, will account for the remaining half of the 5,000 genes in
          its five-year program.
 
      --  Lexicon has its own proprietary human and mouse gene sequences,
          discovered using the Company's gene trapping technology.  Lexicon
          has filed patent applications covering more than 50,000 human gene
          sequences and more than 35,000 knockout mouse clones and
          corresponding mouse gene sequences.
 
      --  Lexicon's gene knockout infrastructure is fortified by its
          intellectual property estate.  Lexicon owns four U.S. patents
          covering its gene trapping technology and has certain exclusive
          rights under five U.S. patents covering its gene targeting
          technology.
 
      --  Lexicon's genome pharmaceutical discovery center has been
          specifically designed to accelerate large-scale gene function
          discovery.  By the end of this year, Lexicon will have tripled the
          size of its physical plant to approximately 300,000 square feet.
          This expansion has strategic implications for Lexicon's business
          success, because it will increase the rate at which the Company
          discovers which genes in the human genome have high value for drug
          discovery.
 
      --  Lexicon has built an elite team of specialists in cancer,
          cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, neurological disease,
          diabetes and obesity to accelerate the rate of discovery from
          biology to drugs.
 
      --  Lexicon's cash position of approximately $202 million at the close
          of 2000 gives the company momentum to execute its five-year business
          strategy, regardless of financial market conditions.
 
     "As the leader in industrializing gene knockout technology, Lexicon has
 set a new standard for in vivo target validation and therapeutic protein
 discovery," Dr Sands said.  "We believe our large-scale gene knockout program
 will make Lexicon the first to discover the medical applications of the
 largest number of new pharmaceutical targets for drug discovery in the post-
 genome era."
     Lexicon Genetics Incorporated is a drug discovery company of the post-
 genome era, using gene knockout technology to define the functions of genes
 for the discovery of pharmaceutical products.  Lexicon is using this
 technology to fuel drug discovery programs in cancer, cardiovascular disease,
 immune disorders, neurological disease, diabetes and obesity.  Lexicon has
 established drug discovery alliances and functional genomics collaborations
 with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research institutes
 and academic institutions throughout the world to commercialize its technology
 and further develop its discoveries.  Additional information about the Company
 is available through Lexicon's corporate website, www.lexicon-genetics.com.
 
     This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including
 statements about Lexicon's growth and future operating results, discovery and
 development of products, strategic alliances, and intellectual property, as
 well as other matters that are not historical facts or information.  These
 forward-looking statements are based on management's current assumptions and
 expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors,
 specifically including those relating to Lexicon's ability to achieve its
 operational objectives, obtain patent protection for its discoveries and
 establish strategic alliances, that may cause Lexicon's actual results to be
 materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such
 forward-looking statements.  Information identifying such important factors is
 contained under "Factors Affecting Forward-Looking Statements" and "Business -
 Risk Factors" in Lexicon's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended
 December 31, 2000, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
 Lexicon undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking
 statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
 otherwise.
 
 SOURCE  Lexicon Genetics Incorporated