Viral Therapeutics, Inc., Expands Operations In Pharmacogenetics By Purchasing DzGenes

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The purchase of DzGenes by Viral Therapeutics, Inc. (VTI) combines DzGenes pharmacogenetics capabilities and IP portfolio with VTI's gene expression, protein identification, recombinant protein development and commercialization expertise.

Ithaca, NY and St. Louis, MO, 6 February 2003 – Viral Therapeutics, Inc. of Ithaca, NY and DzGenes, L.L.C. of St. Louis, MO. announced today that they have completed an asset purchase agreement. The transaction is expected to significantly expand Viral Therapeutic’s ability to perform disease gene association and genetic marker validation studies. Viral Therapeutics believes this action potentially provides a pipeline of validated genes for downstream development of diagnostic and therapeutic products.

“This transaction unites Viral Therapeutics’ leading expertise in proteins and DzGenes’ vast collection of diverse populations and clinical data. We believe this will significantly expand our capabilities in BioPharma development and increase the services we can offer clients through our BioTech Services. For example, one of the key assets we purchased were patent submissions linking 96 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with end stage renal disease. We would like to work with a client to determine which of these SNPs are functional and validate new diagnostic and therapeutic targets. The protocols developed by DzGenes and its human DNA sample collection should permit Viral Therapeutics and its clients to find, identify, and characterize disease associations. These capabilities will be important to companies conducting clinical trials that need to understand the genetic differences between positive and negative responders. Clinical trials are often stopped when toxicity and efficacy problems surface, but many of these could proceed if the adverse responders could be identified as a unique group(s). Drug companies may also be able to more effectively allocate scarce research dollars by using haplotype analyses of patients to do a substantially better job of estimating future market size even while still very early in a drug’s development. (The term haplotype refers to the combination of DNA alterations, including single nucleotide polymorphisms “SNPs”, that occur together on a chromosome. Common haplotypes exist because, in most genes, physically proximal SNPs tend to be inherited together.)

“The acquisitions of Gemini Genomics, Axys Pharmaceutical, Sequana Therapeutics, Variagenics and now DzGenes is testimony to the fact that companies with clinical samples and a focus on linking diseases to genes have created valuable intellectual property portfolios and have established the means for generating even more breakthrough discoveries” says Terry Kungel, DzGenes’ Chief Executive Officer. “One of the most compelling reasons for doing the transaction with Viral Therapeutics was the fact that we recognized that while the preliminary disease association between a SNP, or a haploytype, and a disease is very important, it is also insufficient. Viral Therapeutics can potentially help every company that linked diseases to genetic polymorphisms do the required work in protein analyses needed to validate their findings.”

About Viral Therapeutics, Inc.

Viral Therapeutics has an early drug pipeline in infectious disease. The Company has a strong expertise in recombinant protein expression, development and scale up with nearly 8 years of experience and over 55 clients who purchase diagnostic proteins and contract development capabilities. VTI has a focus on early stage biopharmaceutical development with proprietary technologies and a portfolio of over 100 licensed patents.

Information about Viral Therapeutics, Inc. is available at, or by contacting Dr. Lee A. Henderson, Chief Executive Officer, 607-266-0860,

About DzGenes, L.L.C.

DzGenes was committed to becoming a leading and innovative force in helping pharmaceutical companies and health care providers improve drug efficacy and clinical outcomes by addressing genetic variations among patients. The Company utilized unique approaches in creating 9 diagnostic patent submissions and it developed proprietary know-how managing its own 10,000+ outbred sample collection.

Information about DzGenes, L.L.C. is available at, or by contacting Terry Kungel, 314-308-1780,

Forward Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release which are not historical in nature, are intended to be, and are hereby identified as “forward looking statements” for purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements may be identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “may,” “estimate,” “goals,” and “potential,” among others. Such statements are based on our management’s current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and performance could differ materially from those projected in the forward looking statements as a result of many factors, including, without limitation, the risk that we may not successfully integrate the DzGenes business following our recent purchase of assets transaction, uncertainties relating to drug discovery, clinical development processes and the development and commercialization of our diagnostics technology; changes in relationships with strategic partners and dependence upon strategic partners for the performance of critical activities under collaborative agreements; the impact of competitive products and technological changes; uncertainties relating to patent protection and regulatory approval; and uncertainties relating to our ability to obtain substantial additional funds required for progress in drug discovery and development. We disclaim any intent or obligation to update these forward looking statements.

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Lee A. Henderson, Ph.D.