Ecopia BioSciences Inc.
TSX : EIA

Ecopia BioSciences Inc.

December 12, 2006 14:38 ET

Ecopia Reaches Three Important Patent Milestones

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 12, 2006) - Ecopia BioSciences Inc. (TSX:EIA) is pleased to announce that it has achieved three important milestones strengthening its patent estate. One Canadian patent and two Notices of Allowance, one in the United States and one in Canada, have recently issued for ECO-4601, Ecopia's lead anticancer drug candidate.

"These three events mark important milestones in the realization of the strategy for the patent estate Ecopia has built around ECO-4601, for which a Phase I clinical trial is ongoing" commented Dr. Pierre Falardeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ecopia. "This patent estate will support the development of ECO-4601 both for fast-track oncology opportunities in the treatment of glioma and pancreatic tumors as well as future broader oncology indications. Furthermore, these patents will protect the use of compounds showing strong therapeutic potential and developed through our analog program" added Dr. Falardeau.

The Notice of Allowance recently received from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for US Patent application No. 10/951,436, directed to Farnesyl Dibenzodiazepinones and Methods of Treating Cancer Using Same, will provide the Company with exclusive rights in the United States relating to the use of its lead anticancer drug candidate in the treatment of brain cancer.

Canadian Patent No. 2,511,750, covering Dibenzodiazepinone Analogues, Processes for Their Production and Their Use as Pharmaceutical and issued by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office ("CIPO"), grants Ecopia composition of matter claims to a broad genus of compounds around ECO-4601's chemical scaffold. Finally, Notice of Allowance to Ecopia's application No 2,466,340, titled Farnesyl Dibenzodiazepinone, Processes for Its Production and Its Use as a Pharmaceutical, was also issued by the CIPO. This application claims composition of matter of ECO-4601, means of producing the drug and the use as a pharmaceutical composition thereof.

Foreign counterpart applications to these filings have been granted or are pending in multiple major jurisdictions.

About Ecopia

Ecopia is finding novel anticancer therapies from microorganisms, one of the most prolific sources of drugs. Our current focus is to move our lead compound, ECO-4601, through the different stages of its Phase I clinical trial. ECO-4601 is a novel small molecule that crosses the blood brain barrier and is effective in significantly inhibiting growth of primary brain tumor and other types of cancers in xenograft models. Just like well-known chemotherapies such as doxorubicin and mitomycin C, ECO-4601 comes from a microorganism that lives in common soil. However, unlike these drugs that were discovered many decades ago, ECO-4601, the fruit of a very unique drug discovery platform called the DECIPHER® technology, represents a new chemical class, from which many analogs are being synthesized.

The common shares of Ecopia are listed on the TSX (symbol: EIA).

Additional information about the Company can be obtained from Ecopia's website at www.ecopiabio.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statement regarding the granting to Ecopia of composition of matter claims to a broad genus of compounds around ECO-4601's chemical scaffold is based on the grant of Canadian Patent 2,511,750. The forward-looking statement about the expectation of grant of patents based on the two Notices of Allowance issued for US Patent Application No. 10/951,436 and Canadian patent application No 2,466,340, the expectation of obtaining exclusive rights in the United States relating to the use of the Company's lead anticancer drug candidate in the treatment of brain cancer and the expectation of obtaining composition of matter claims of ECO-4601 in Canada, means of producing the drug and the use as a pharmaceutical composition thereof, involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected here and depend on a number of factors including the availability of post-grant patent proceedings, differences in patent law and procedures in each country in which the Company is seeking protection, the ability of the Company to finance future operations and the impact of general economic conditions. Investors are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company appears in Ecopia's press release dated October 10, 2006 regarding operating highlights and financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2006, and the 2005 annual information form, both of which are available on www.sedar.com.

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