SOURCE: BioBlocks, Inc.

November 11, 2008 08:10 ET

BioBlocks and MannKind Continue Drug Discovery Partnership, Find Close Collaboration Key to Meeting Milestones

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - November 11, 2008) - BioBlocks, Inc. (BioBlocks), a leading drug discovery chemistry outsourcing partner, and MannKind Corporation (MannKind), a pharmaceutical company focused on treating oncology and diabetes, announced today that they will continue their successful lead optimization collaboration. The two companies have worked together since January 2007, meeting milestones through the synergism of BioBlocks' expertise in medicinal chemistry and lead optimization with Mannkind's pioneering insight into novel therapeutic modalities. Key to the success is the two companies' focus on integrating project management towards a results-based collaboration, rather than relying on fee-for-service outsourcing. Further details and financial terms were not disclosed.

Qingping Zeng, Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry and Lead Discovery of MannKind Corporation, said, "Our lead discovery and optimization collaboration with BioBlocks has helped us reach important milestones in our first project with them, leading to increased momentum and visibility for the initiative. We have found BioBlocks' results-oriented medicinal chemistry approach to be a very valuable asset to our drug discovery programs, and we are pleased to continue our collaboration with them."

BioBlocks and MannKind have been working together synergistically to meet ambitious project goals for nearly two years, and have succeeded by aligning the strengths of each company towards reaching defined metrics. MannKind's expertise and progress with challenging drug targets allowed the team to explore novel mechanisms of action for a first-in-class therapeutic for an important disease indication. BioBlocks' experience managing complex medicinal chemistry projects led the group to a series of potent, selective, and efficacious lead compounds over a period of 18 months. The project moved quickly due to BioBlocks' capital efficient resources, utilizing their state-of-the-art facility in Budapest, Hungary to maximize medicinal chemistry FTE resources, including sophisticated chemistries, chemical series development, and cheminformatics. MannKind and BioBlocks together form an integrated, international team representing a new paradigm for faster, more efficient drug discovery.

Peter Pallai, Ph.D., CEO of BioBlocks, commented, "We are very happy to continue our successful collaboration with MannKind. Their pioneering work with challenging drug targets complements our medicinal chemistry expertise well, and the work has been very meaningful to our scientists, because we were able to help them meet important project deadlines."

About BioBlocks, Inc.

BioBlocks, Inc. was founded in San Diego in 2002 to provide chemistry services and specialty building blocks to the drug discovery community. Over the past six years, the company has been transformed into a leading provider of medicinal chemistry services. BioBlocks also offers more than 1700 chemistry building blocks for drug discovery, including quinolines, benzylpiperidines, and Beta-amino acids. For more information, visit http://www.bioblocks.com.

About MannKind Corporation

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic products for patients with diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Its pipeline includes AFRESA™, which has completed Phase 3 clinical trials, and MKC253, which is currently in phase 1 clinical trials. Both of these investigational products are being evaluated for their safety and efficacy in the treatment of diabetes. For more information on MannKind Corporation and its technology, visit http://www.mannkindcorp.com.

For more information, contact Peter Pallai, CEO of BioBlocks, by phone at (858) 558-5900, or by email at ppallai@bioblocks.com.

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