December 19, 2002

For Immediate Release

Boehringer Ingelheim in multi-year collaboration with Sagres Discovery to identify novel targets for monoclonal antibody therapy in oncology

Ingelheim, Germany/ Davis, California, - Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH and Sagres Discovery have agreed on a research collaboration to identify novel oncology drug targets using Sagres’proprietary genomics and bioinformatics technologies.

Under the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will receive from Sagres exclusive rights to certain targets to develop and market antibody and small molecule products worldwide. Sagres will retain rights to certain targets and will receive from Boehringer Ingelheim a significant up-front payment, committed research funding, milestone payments, and royalty payments generated from product sales. Financial terms were not disclosed.

During the research collaboration, Sagres will apply innovative mouse tumour biology and in vivo screening technology coupled with powerful bioinformatics to identify novel targets with a high degree of validation for functional relevance. Boehringer Ingelheim will then develop monoclonal antibodies and non-antibody products against selected targets primarily in the area of oncology and will be responsible for developing, manufacturing and marketing products.

Wolfgang J. Rettig, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Boehringer Ingelheim‘s dedicated drug discovery center for innovative cancer medicines in Vienna, Austria, said: "We are eager to move beyond the initial, data-gathering phase of genomics in drug discovery. Our partners at Sagres provide smart solutions for functional cancer genomics, and we see a nice fit with Boehringer Ingelheim's leading position in biopharmaceutics."

David Ferrick, Ph.D., CEO of Sagres Discovery, noted: "We are pleased to execute this agreement with a pharmaceutical corporation as knowledgeable in drug discovery and development as Boehringer Ingelheim. To collaborate with such a partner is strong validation of our comprehensive forward genetics approach to discovering genes causative for cancer."

Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies, headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, is one of the 20 leading pharmaceutical corporations in the world. In 2001, it posted revenues of EUR 6.7 billion. Boehringer Ingelheim, which has some 140 affiliated companies in 42 countries worldwide, focuses on human pharmaceuticals and animal health. The human pharmaceuticals business, which accounts for 95% of sales, is comprised of prescription medicines, consumer health care products, chemicals and biopharmaceuticals for industrial customers. Research and development, production, and distribution facilities are located around the globe. In 2001, Boehringer Ingelheim’s R&D spending was more than EUR 1 billion which is almost a fifth of net sales in Prescription Medicines. For more information on Boehringer Ingelheim, please see the international website: www.Boehringer-ingelheim.com

Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH
Kerstin Felix
Corporate Division Communications
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH
55216 Ingelheim
Phone: +49/6132/ 77 9040
Fax: +49/6132/ 77 66 01
e-mail: kerstin.felix@ing.boehringer-ingelheim.com

Sagres Discovery
Sagres is a discovery stage company dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of cancer. Sagres Discovery’s technology platform combines the biology of cancer formation in mouse models with the robustness of high-throughput genomic technologies to enable discovery and clinical validation of human cancer genes at unprecedented speed. The Company is assembling the Oncogenome™, one of the most comprehensive sets of oncology targets in the world. Of equal importance, the technology allows for the discrimination between genes that cause disease and those that affect or respond to disease processes. In addition to its own internal drug discovery program, the Company is building its initial product pipeline by selectively using strategic partnerships and collaborations. Sagres is located in Davis, California.

 

This press release is made as a matter of record, and is not intended, nor should be interpreted, as a recommendation or solicitation to invest in any company or in any Axiom entity.