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Santaris Pharma consortium awarded €1.35m


Copenhagen, 4th July 2007 – Santaris Pharma announced today that the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (ATF) has awarded a grant of €1.35 million towards the development of the first ever drug targeted against a human microRNA. The drug candidate, SPC3649, is an antagonist of the liver-specific microRNA-122 and is being developed by Santaris in collaboration with the Centre for Biological Sequence Analyses at the Technical University of Denmark and the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen. This is the second award from the Danish ATF to the Santaris Pharma led consortium. In 2006 the ATF made a grant to Santaris and the University of Copenhagen of €1.3m, to support research in the rapidly evolving field of microRNA therapeutics.

MicroRNAs are a newly discovered class of tiny regulatory molecules which appear to control many biological processes within cells. There is growing evidence that microRNAs are also associated with the onset and progression of many diseases. Santaris Pharma’s new drug candidate, SPC3649, targets a particular liver-expressed microRNA called miR-122. Treatment of monkeys with the drug for only a few days results in a long-lasting reduction of blood cholesterol. In addition, the drug blocks Hepatitis C virus growth in human liver cells. Santaris Pharma is developing the compound as a potential new medicine for hyperlipidaemia and Hepatitis C infection.

Announcing the award, Sakari Kauppinen, Santaris Pharma’s Associate Director of MicroRNA Research, commented:

”The entire field of molecular biology and medicine has been thrown wide open in recent years by the discovery of microRNAs. Santaris Pharma’s LNA technology has unique advantages in developing potential breakthrough drugs acting on disease-associated microRNAs. We are delighted that the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation has recognised the scientific and commercial potential of our world leading position in this field. SPC3649 may well become the first microRNA antagonist drug to be tested in human clinical trials.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Randi Krogsgaard,
Director of Communications, Santaris Pharma
Tel +45 45179879 (direct) +45 4517 9820 (Company)
Mobile/Cell +45 20488384 E-mail: rmk@santaris.com

Dr. Sakari Kauppinen
Associate Director, MicroRNA Research, Santaris Pharma
Tel. +45 45 17 98 38 (direct) +45 4517 9820 (Company)
Mobile/Cell +45 20 47 79 94 E-mail: sk@santaris.com

For UK media relations, contact:

Adam Michael, a.michael@northbankcommunications.com,
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7268 3233 Mobile: +44 (0)7775 881813
Main tel: +44 (0)20 7268 3002 Fax: +44 (0)20 7268 3102

Forward Looking Statements

This written announcement contains forward-looking statements, identified by the use of forward-looking words such as 'believes,' 'expects,' 'may,' 'will,' 'should', 'potential,' 'anticipates,' 'plans' or 'intends' and similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, events or developments to be materially different from the future results, events or developments indicated in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to the timing, success and cost of clinical studies; the ability to obtain regulatory approval of products, market acceptance of and future demand for Santaris products and the impact of competitive products and pricing. These factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. No assurance can be given that the future results covered by the forward-looking statements will be achieved. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release and Santaris does not intend to update this information.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About SPC3649

SPC364


Publisher Contact Information:

Santaris Pharma A/S
Tel +45 45179879
rmk@santaris.com

Company profile of Santaris Pharma A/S (acquired by Roche)
Past press releases of Santaris Pharma A/S (acquired by Roche).

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