SOURCE: Upstream Biosciences Inc.

January 09, 2008 08:00 ET

Upstream Biosciences to Collaborate With Moscow State University Chemists to Produce Drug Candidates for Tropical Parasitic Diseases

MSU's Prestigious Chemistry Department Has Agreed to Apply Its Combinatorial Chemistry Expertise to Synthesize Compounds for Upstream's Drug Discovery and Development Efforts

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - Upstream Biosciences Inc. (OTCBB: UPBS) today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with the Combinatorial Chemistry Center of the Chemistry Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in Moscow, Russia for the chemical synthesis of novel compounds that Upstream intends to test for efficacy and toxicity against tropical parasitic diseases, including malaria, leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis, or African sleeping sickness, as well as for cancer indications.

The Combinatorial Chemistry Center has agreed to apply its expertise to provide Upstream with drug candidates for in vivo testing against these tropical parasitic diseases. MSU has also agreed to incorporate the in vivo test results from Upstream's ongoing preclinical studies to synthesize additional compounds for Upstream's chemical libraries. Upstream's initial drug candidates for leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis have demonstrated encouraging potential in vitro, and are undergoing further preclinical testing.

"Lomonosov Moscow State University is one of Europe's leading educational and research institutions, and we are especially pleased to be working with combinatorial chemistry experts in its world class Chemistry Department to generate the compounds that we intend to assess as potential lead development candidates," said Joel L. Bellenson, Chief Executive Officer of Upstream. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to build on the relationship that Upstream scientific consultant Dr. Artem Cherkasov has established with MSU in order to advance our drug development programs. Once we identify our lead development candidates, we look forward to continuing to work with MSU chemists to produce the compounds and drug supply needed for further testing."

Under the terms of this one-year renewable agreement, Moscow State University has agreed to synthesize compounds to add to Upstream's library and supply Upstream with quantities of compounds sufficient for in vitro and in vivo mouse, livestock and non-human primate testing. Initial in vivo studies of Upstream's candidates against trypanosomiasis parasites are expected to be completed in early 2008.

"Tropical parasitic diseases remain a scourge in many parts of the world, so we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Cherkasov and the team at Upstream to generate the compounds that may allow the company to rapidly advance their drug development efforts," said Dr. Eugene V. Babaev, Head of the Combinatorial Chemistry Center at the Chemistry Department of Moscow State University, and a well-known specialist in heterocyclic chemistry, combinatorial chemistry and molecular design.

The new agreement with Moscow State University is Upstream's second with a leading global educational and research institution. In December 2007, Upstream announced a collaboration with Makerere University in Uganda for animal testing of its compounds designed to treat trypanosomiasis, or African sleeping sickness.

About Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis is a severe, geographically widespread parasitic disease caused by a protozoan flagellate and spread by the bite of infected sand flies. There are several different forms of leishmaniasis -- cutaneous and visceral. The cutaneous type causes skin sores, while the visceral type affects internal organs such as the spleen, liver and bone marrow. According to the Division of Parasitic Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leishmaniasis is increasing in incidence with an estimated two million cases per year, and an estimated 350 million people in 88 countries at risk. More than 90% of the world's cases of visceral leishmaniasis are in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sudan, and Brazil. Leishmaniasis is also found in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Visceral leishmaniasis can be lethal if untreated.

About African Sleeping Sickness (trypanosomiasis)

Sleeping sickness is a parasitic disease in people and animals caused by protozoa of the Trypanosomiasis genus and transmitted by the tsetse fly. According to the World Health Organization, trypanosomiasis is endemic in regions of sub-Saharan Africa covering 36 countries and putting 60 million people at risk of contracting the disease. There are approximately 11,000 new cases reported each year. Early symptoms include anemia, endocrine, cardiac and kidney disorders. The symptoms of the second neurological phase give the disease its name; besides confusion and reduced coordination, the sleep cycle is profoundly disturbed. Without treatment, the disease is fatal, with progressive mental deterioration leading to coma and death. Available treatments are toxic and require lengthy intravenous infusion and hospitalization. Trypanosomiasis also is a source of serious illness in cattle and other livestock and has been a major impediment to livestock cultivation in the region. A 2002 United Nations report estimated that trypanosomiasis costs the economies of sub-Saharan Africa about $4.5 billion annually from lost farm income and increased malnutrition.

About Lomonosov Moscow State University

Founded in 1755 by chemistry pioneer and namesake Mikhail Lomonosov, Lomonosov Moscow State University is one of Russia's oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning. It is the largest university in Russia, with a student population of over 40,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students. Moscow State University consists of 29 faculties and 15 research centers and has educated students and researchers in chemistry since its founding. The Department of Chemistry has 83 laboratories and includes 11 full members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 4 corresponding members and more than 200 professors holding Doctoral Degrees in Chemistry.

About Upstream Biosciences, Inc.

Founded in 2004, Upstream Biosciences is an emerging leader in the discovery and development of novel drugs for tropical parasitic diseases and in the development of genetic diagnostics for cancer susceptibility and drug response. Upstream's innovative approach to drug discovery and its proprietary data mining pipeline enable it to apply advanced computational approaches to generating novel drug candidates and to locating and analyzing the genetic variations important to disease progression and drug response. For more information visit www.upstreambio.com.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among others, the expectation and/or claim, as applicable, that: (i) the Company intends to test for efficacy and toxicity against tropical parasitic diseases in respect to novel compounds developed in collaboration with MSU; (ii) the Company's intention to assess compounds as potential lead development candidates; (iii) the intention to advance the Company's drug development through collaboration with MSU; (iv) the Company's intent to produce compounds and drug supply needed for further testing; (v) the expectation that initial in vivo studies of candidates against certain parasites are expected to be completed in early 2008; (vi) the Company may generate compounds that may allow the Company to rapidly advance its drug development efforts; (vii) the Company may continue to discover and develop novel drugs for tropical diseases and develop genetic diagnostics for cancer susceptibility and drug response; and (viii) the Company's business may enable it to apply advanced computational approaches to generating novel drug candidates and to locating and analyzing the genetic variations important to disease progression and drug response. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others: (i) the risk that the Company does not execute its business plan; (ii) the inability of the Company to keep pace with technological advancements in the field of genetic diagnostics and the treatment of tropical parasitic diseases; (iii) the Company's inability to adequately protect its intellectual property or the Company's inadvertent infringement of third party intellectual property; (iv) the Company not being able to retain key employees; (v) competitors providing better or cheaper products and technologies; (vi) markets for the Company's products not developing as expected; (vii) the Company's inability to finance its operations or growth; (viii) inability to obtain all necessary government and regulatory approvals; and (ix) the inability to effectively market and commercialize the Company's technologies, including the establishment of viable relationships with third parties. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance those beliefs, plans, expectations, or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consider all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosed in the Company's periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov.

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