SOURCE: Cytomyx Holdings PLC

March 30, 2005 07:02 ET

Cytomyx acquires the biorepository business of US-based Ardais Corporation

Cambridge, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 30, 2005 --immediate release 30 March 2005

                          CYTOMYX HOLDINGS PLC 
                     ("Cytomyx" or "the Company")

Cytomyx acquires the biorepository business of US-based Ardais Corporation

Cytomyx Holdings plc (AIM: CYX.L), a leading provider of drug discovery products and services, is pleased to announce that it has acquired the biorepository business of US-based Ardais Corporation ("Ardais"), of Lexington, Massachusetts, for an initial purchase price of $3.0 million. The acquisition is complementary to Cytomyx' existing US biorepository business and brings significant strategic, operational and financial benefits to the Company.

As part of the transaction, Cytomyx has entered into a strategic collaboration with Ardais, a software systems and services company, under which Cytomyx will gain access to the Ardais System, a web-searchable biospecimen management system.

Highlights of the acquisition

* Cytomyx has acquired the biorepository business and assets of
  Ardais Corporation through the purchase of the entire issued Ordinary
  share Capital of a newly incorporated subsidiary of Ardais known as
  Biorepository Business LLC ("Biorepository Business") for an initial
  purchase price of $3,000,000, satisfied in cash.
* The Biorepository Business, which is highly regarded within the
  pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, includes a high quality
  and diverse collection of human tissue samples with linked clinical
  information. The repository includes more than 130,000 tissue
  samples, primarily from cancer patients. In addition the
  Biorepository Business offers tissue microarray and molecular
  derivative products and immunohistochemistry services, expanding the
  Company's position in the global Pharmaceutical Research Services
* The Biorepository Business had unaudited revenues of $3.739 million
  in 2004, up from $3.553 million in 2003.
* The Biorepository Business operates from a modern laboratory
  facility in Lexington, Massachusetts. Lexington is close to Boston,
  where many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies base their R&D
* To fund the acquisition the Company has entered into a three year
  secured convertible loan agreement with Laurus Master Fund, Ltd
  ("Laurus"), pursuant to which Laurus has made available $3,300,000,
  which is convertible in whole or in part into Cytomyx shares at any
  time up until 28 March 2008, subject to certain restrictions, at the
  lower price of 17 pence per share or 125 per cent of the then market
  value. As part of the financing arrangements, Cytomyx has also
  conditionally agreed to grant an option to Laurus exercisable over
  4,630,170 shares at an exercise price of 24 pence per share.

Benefits to Cytomyx 
* The acquisition of the Biorepository Business significantly
  strengthens Cytomyx' position in the translational medicine services
  market sector, in which pharmaceutical researchers use human
  biomaterials to validate new drug targets and to provide a deeper
  understanding of the effectiveness of drugs in clinical trials.  
* Acquisition synergies will include the Company relocating its
  current facility in Albany, New York, along with key personnel, to
  the Lexington facility, a location that brings the Company close to a
  pool of suitably qualified potential employees.
* As part of the transaction, the Company will gain access to the
  Ardais System, a web-searchable biospecimen management system. This
  is expected to be of significant commercial benefit to the Company's
  current and future operations.  

Mike Kerins, Chief Executive of Cytomyx, commented: "We are very pleased to acquire Ardais' biorepository assets because of the quality and scale of its human tissue biospecimens, its complementary base of pharmaceutical clients, and because of the strategic and operational benefits to Cytomyx. This acquisition is an ideal fit with our existing US biorepository business and builds our strategic position in the high value translational medicine market."

Donald B. Hawthorne, President and CEO of Ardais Corporation, said: "The Ardais System in combination with Cytomyx' unique product and services offerings create a powerful translational medicine resource. We are proud to have Cytomyx as a partner and as a commercial customer of the Ardais System, which is now helping a number of research enterprises to manage their own repositories with proven protocols, software applications and data standards."

For further information, please contact:

          Cytomyx Holdings plc             +44 (0) 1223 508191 
          Mike Kerins, Chief Executive                         

          Buchanan Communications         +44 (0) 20 7466 5000 
          Mark Court/Mary-Jane Johnson                         

          The Wall Street Group                +1 212 888 4848 
          Ron Stabiner                                         

Notes for editors

About Cytomyx Holdings plc

Cytomyx Holdings plc is a rapidly growing life science company based in Cambridge, UK. The Company's primary focus is on developing novel technologies that assist pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in their efforts to develop new treatments more effectively. This it does by providing solutions that provide early insights into the likely efficacy and safety profile of new drugs in development. The Company has two main areas of expertise: the use of human clinical samples in understanding the linkage between gene expression and disease and the development of cell-based assays that are used to predict potential toxicity in new drugs. Cytomyx is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (CYX.L). For more information visit

About Ardais Corporation

Ardais Corporation addresses all of the challenges of biospecimen collection, management, and distribution, allowing researchers to focus solely on the research discoveries and clinical developments that will advance translational medicine. As a pioneer in best practices for this field, Ardais has developed the Ardais System, a comprehensive solution that enables academic and commercial scientists and clinicians to standardize their biospecimen collections and efficiently manage their biorepositories, thereby enhancing and accelerating research and clinical development.

The Ardais System, encompassing biological, informatics and engineering expertise, is a suite of software applications, operating procedures, proprietary supplies, and data standards that integrate clients' biorepository operations at one or multiple geographic sites. For more information, visit:

About translational medicine

Translational medicine is the term for the transfer of laboratory results into new ways of diagnosing and treating patients. One approach of translational medicine is to use human tissue and associated clinical data to link genes and proteins to relevant human diseases. Translational medicine is the essential loop from lab bench to bedside, where theories emerging from pre-clinical studies are tested on disease-affected human subjects, and from bedside to lab bench, where information obtained from preliminary human studies can be used to refine our understanding of the biological principles underpinning human disease and enable the discovery of disease specific biomarkers. This strategy is underpinning drug development programmes world-wide, therefore allowing pharmaceutical companies to develop more efficient medicines for human diseases.

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            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange