Researchers provided access to SAGE cancer-related genetic database via LabOnWeb.com

Framingham 20 January 2000Genzyme Molecular Oncology and Compugen Ltd. have entered into a collaboration that will expand global access to Genzyme's proprietary SAGE database. The collaboration will increase revenue opportunities for both companies while enabling customers to increase research productivity and more rapidly clarify the role of genes in disease. Genzyme Molecular Oncology's patented SAGE technology enables users to identify genes as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for potential drug development.

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Under the terms of two separate agreements, Genzyme Molecular Oncology and Compugen will share revenue related to the use of SAGE data. Under the first agreement, the two companies will share revenue generated by customer use of SAGE data on Compugen's research web site. Genzyme Molecular Oncology will provide over 2 million transcripts from its database to Compugen for use on this site. These transcripts are believed to represent more than half of the genes in the human genome.

LabOnWeb.com constitutes a life-sciences research site that allows academic and commercial scientists to perform advanced analysis on their own data in combination with available genomic and expression data. The site integrates Compugen's proprietary databases, the SAGE database and public data with access to computational biology programmes. Under the terms of the second agreement, the SAGE database has to be integrated into Compugen's LEADS platform. Genzyme Molecular Oncology will receive royalties from the future sales of the LEADS platform by Compugen.

LEADS forms a computational biology platform that analyses genomic and expressed sequence data to enable rapid discovery of genes, splice variants and gene function. LEADS customers have in-house access to this platform, gaining the capability to analyse their own databases in conjunction with Compugen's proprietary data and public data. The availability of the SAGE database will provide additional novel data to these customers, particularly in the area of cancer.

"Our collaboration with Compugen further validates the importance of our proprietary SAGE data in the quest to develop drugs which target genes involved in disease. SAGE picks up where the Human Genome Project leaves off by providing insight into the role of genes in disease", stated Gail Maderis, president, Genzyme Molecular Oncology. "SAGE continues to be a valuable tool for generating data and revenue for our own cancer drug development efforts."

Martin Gerstel, chairman of Compugen said: "Our LabOnWeb.com site has been enthusiastically received by the life science research community, and we are seeing significant continuing gains in usage since activating the site in mid-December. We believe that the addition of the SAGE technology, which includes one of the largest proprietary databases of cancer and other disease-related gene expression data, will be a very valuable addition to our Internet offerings."

SAGE forms an integral part of Genzyme Molecular Oncology's therapeutic discovery efforts with a particular emphasis on the identification of novel tumour antigens and anti-angiogenic factors. It can be used in a wide variety of applications such as identifying disease-related genes, analysing the effects of drugs on tissues, and providing insight into disease pathways. In December 1999, Genzyme Molecular Oncology announced that the company had provided researchers at the Johns Hopkins University with an extensive database of new SAGE information regarding the patterns of expressed genes in human cancer and normal tissues.

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University analysed 3.5 million transcripts from Genzyme Molecular Oncology's proprietary database and from public data which included information from normal and cancer tissue. Of the transcripts identified by SAGE, 46 percent represent new genes not present in existing databases. SAGE was invented by a group of researchers led by Kenneth Kinzler, Ph.D. of the Johns Hopkins University and Bert Vogelstein, M.D. of the Johns Hopkins University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The technology is exclusively licensed to Genzyme Molecular Oncology.

In December 1999, Compugen launched LabOnWeb.com, the first web-based research engine which provides life-science researchers with access to this company's unique algorithms and proprietary data, as well as public data. LabOnWeb has already proved to be an invaluable tool for scientists all over the world, and is being developed rapidly to accommodate a growing number of research tools and databases for a wide scope of applications.

Compugen life science research company is a leader in converging advanced computational technologies with molecular biology to model and understand the molecular mechanisms of life. Its powerful computational and biological capabilities are based on a multi-disciplinary research team consisting of mathematicians, computer scientists, and molecular biologists.

Genzyme Molecular Oncology is developing a whole new generation of cancer products which focus on cancer vaccines and angiogenesis inhibitors. It is shaping these new therapies through the integration of its gene discovery, gene therapy, small-molecule drug discovery, and protein therapeutic efforts. As a division of Genzyme Corporation, Genzyme Molecular Oncology has its own common stock intended to reflect its economic value as well as to track its performance.


Leslie Versweyveld

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