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Orion and Aurigene to Collaborate on First in Class Drugs for Cancer Treatment


BANGALORE, India and ESPOO, Finland, April 25th 2007– Aurigene Discovery Technologies, Ltd (Aurigene), a Bangalore-based discovery services company, and Orion Corporation (Orion), the largest pharmaceutical company in Finland, announced today that the two companies have entered into a collaboration agreement to discover small molecule inhibitors for a novel oncology target. Aurigene proposed the target and initiated work on the program. Orion will now provide research funding and close scientific feedback and oversight on the program. Orion will have ownership of the compounds developed under the collaboration with exclusive worldwide rights. Under the terms of the agreement, Aurigene will receive research funding for further target validation, lead generation and optimization according to a pre-defined research plan, and shall be entitled to payments upon the achievement of certain pre-determined milestones. Orion will have responsibility for all subsequent drug development and commercialization activities and will pay Aurigene additional clinical development milestones. Commenting on the agreement, Mr. CSN Murthy, CEO of Aurigene, said: We are excited to have the opportunity to leverage Orions wide experience along with Aurigenes strengths in Structural Biology for this collaboration. Dr. Murali Ramachandra, Vice President of Preclinical Biology of Aurigene said: Our goal with this program is to achieve/develop a completely new therapeutic approach to treat cancer. We are very enthusiastic about working on such an interesting target with Orion. Dr. Pekka Kallio, who is heading the nonclinical research in urology and oncology in Orion, commented: We enthusiastically look forward to working with Aurigene to discover novel drug candidates for the treatment of cancer. There are a lot of unmet medical needs in current cancer therapies, and we hope that the selected target proteins redeem expectations.Our collaboration with Aurigene is a new example of an advanced, more efficient business model in our R&D. We are continuously looking for capable partners for discovery collaboration. We are very satisfied with the facilities, technology and the scientific know-how that Aurigene has on the target protein family. These ideally complement our own activities in this discovery area, which is why we are looking forward to a productive relationship, said Dr. Antti Haapalinna, Director of Nonclinical R&D in Orion.


About Orion:

Orion Corporation (OMX: ORNAV, ORNBV) is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the northern Europe. Orion develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and diagnostic tests for global markets. Pharmaceuticals generate about 95{4373c5eac72f2e338e1c62e7ffa56ad670cebfc5c328ff71c01bff73ebc0a1df} of the Groups net sales, of which proprietary patented pharmaceutical innovations contribute a considerable part. The core therapy areas in Orions product and research strategy are central nervous system disorders, cardiology and critical care, urological and hormonal therapies (including hormonal cancers). Stalevo and Comtess , treatments originated by Orion for Parkinsons Disease, are the largest products by sales in Orions portfolio.


About Aurigene:

Established in Bangalore, India, in 2002, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd. is a drug discovery biotech with a proven track record of successful partnerships with big and medium-sized pharma and biotech companies globally. Aurigene has 10 drug discovery collaborations and a pipeline of 16 discovery programs at various stages, from Hit Generation to late-stage Pre-Clinical Optimization, and has filed 16 patents across 6 programs. With proprietary Structural Biology and Fragment-based Drug Design technology platforms, and experienced scientific leadership, Aurigene is a fully integrated Drug Discovery company focused on Oncology, Inflammation and Metabolic Disorders.