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Cyprotex PLC announces contract win with Astex Technology and opening of US facility

Cyprotex PLC ("Cyprotex" or "the Company"), an operator in the predictive data market for drug discovery using advanced lead optimisation techniques, today announces that it has won a significant rolling contract with Cambridge-based Astex Technology Limited ("Astex") to supply services for the testing of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs in the human body ("ADME"). The contract has been awarded after a successful trial programme.

Astex is a structure-based drug discovery company pioneering the use of high throughput X-ray crystallography for the rapid identification of novel drug candidates. Astex has an integrated drug discovery platform that includes HTX�, AutoSolve� and Pyramid� technologies covering aspects of structure-based research, including protein production, crystallization, structure determination, bioinformatics and computational and medicinal chemistry.

Under the terms of the contract, Cyprotex will provide Astex with a range of specialist and tailored services including both in-vitro and in-silico ADME testing of compounds developed by Astex.

Cyprotex also announces today that it has opened a US subsidiary, Cyprotex North America Inc., whose offices and laboratories are expected to be based in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, USA. This new facility is headed up by Souzan Yanni, who previously worked with GlaxoSmithkline, Merck & Co, Eli Lilly & Co. and Magellan Inc., pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. The establishment of Cyprotex North America Inc. is an important development in the Company's overall strategy.

Commenting on the Astex contract win, John Nicholson, Chief Operating Officer of Cyprotex PLC, said: "This contract win with Astex marks an early and significant development in Cyprotex's corporate development."

Souzan Yanni, Director of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DPMK) of Cyprotex North America Inc., said: "The opening of our US office provides Cyprotex with the opportunity of developing its predictive screening markets here in the Research Triangle Park. Over the coming months, we will look to benefit from the vast potential client base here in the in the biotechnology, combinatorial chemistry and pharmaceutical sectors."

- Ends -

Enquiries:

John Nicholson, Chief Operating Officer

Cyprotex PLC
Tel: +44 (0) 1625 505 100

j.nicholson@cyprotex.com
www.cyprotex.com

Issued by:
Henry Harrison-Topham/ Heather Salmond

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7444 4141

Bankside Consultants Limited

henry.ht@bankside.com

Notes to editors:

Cyprotex PLC - www.cyprotex.com

Cyprotex plc joined the Alternative Investment Market on Friday 15 February 2002.

The Group's predictive software simulates the distribution of a drug to the organs of the body using estimates of the ADME properties of the drug generated by the screening systems. Using detailed mathematical models of human physiology and knowledge management processes, the software is also capable of estimating the ADME properties given only the chemical structure of the candidate drug. These

estimates are derived using models generated and continuously refined from the testing database.

From Q2 Cyprotex will be able to screen many thousands of compounds per annum by high-throughput screening (HTS) at an advantageous cost than the internal screening of major pharmaceutical companies. Further predictive software integration work is underway to make Cyprotex software applications available directly to its customers online.

The combination of the ADMET and DDI software packages on a single fully-integrated platform will enable Cyprotex to provide a comprehensive predictive screening service to its clients. The predictive confidence level of the software will continually improve through the feedback loop of the database and software and eventually reduce the need for physical screening.

Astex Technology Limited - www.astex-technology.com
Astex Technology is a structure-based drug discovery company pioneering the use of high throughput X-ray crystallography for the rapid identification of novel drug candidates. The company's unique structural screening approach utilizes protein crystal structures to detect the binding of drug fragments, which are then optimised into potent lead compounds. Facilitating this approach is the company's integrated drug discovery platform of HTX� technologies, which covers all aspects of structure-based research, including protein production, crystallization, structure determination, bioinformatics and computational and medicinal chemistry. Astex is focusing its drug discovery approaches on proprietary and public domain protein targets from families and/or pathways. This includes validated kinases, phosphatases and proteases implicated in human disease. Astex has two research agreements with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development focused on lead discovery and optimisation, and a structural biology research agreement with AstraZeneca AB focused on solving novel cytochrome P450 crystal structures.

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