15-Feb-2002 -

Pharmagene signs new contract with Astrazeneca

Royston, UK, 13 February 2002 - Pharmagene plc (LSE: PGN announced today that it has entered into an agreement with AstraZeneca UK Limited to help AstraZeneca identify drug targets as part of its drug discovery programmes. Financial details have not been disclosed. Pharmagene will utilise its target validation capabilities to provide data on the localisation of specific drug targets in both diseased and non-diseased human tissues. This approach can reduce the likelihood of failure at later stages of a drug's development by enabling a greater understanding of targets and their role in human disease. Dr Ian Kirk, Discovery Alliances Manager of AstraZeneca UK Limited, said: 'We are pleased to develop our relationship further with Pharmagene. From this new agreement, we are looking to gain additional important information about the distribution of our targets, which will enable us to determine their relevance to human disease. 'Dr Alastair Riddell, CEO of Pharmagene, commented: 'Signing up AstraZeneca for additional target validation work is a further endorsement of our technology. Studies such as this demonstrate the value and complementary nature of our product offerings in the target validation area, a critical bottleneck for the pharmaceutical industry. This is a good start for 2002 and is indicative of the new leads coming through across all areas of the business.'

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