SOURCE: Upstream Biosciences, Inc.

December 17, 2007 08:00 ET

Upstream Biosciences to Collaborate With Makerere University for In Vivo Testing of Its Novel Agents to Treat African Sleeping Sickness

Uganda's Prestigious "Harvard of Africa" Will Conduct the First Tests in Animals of Upstream's Novel Agents for Trypanosomiasis

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwire - December 17, 2007) - Upstream Biosciences Inc. (OTCBB: UPBS) today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda with whom we plan to begin in vivo efficacy and toxicity testing of our novel compounds for the treatment of trypanosomiasis, or African sleeping sickness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 60 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of contracting this devastating condition spread by the tsetse fly. Sleeping sickness also afflicts cattle and other livestock and has been a major obstacle to livestock cultivation throughout the region.

"Trypanosomiasis has an enormous negative impact on the health of our people both as a result of human infection as well as the economic and nutritional costs from the disease's role in limiting the success of cattle raising throughout the region," said Dr. John David Kabasa, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Makerere University. "We are pleased to be working with Upstream to test whether these promising new compounds may have utility in both the human and animal forms of this dreaded disease."

Upstream's drug candidates for trypanosomiasis have demonstrated encouraging potential in vitro and may have application in both human and animal forms of the disease. The objectives of these preclinical studies include initial assessments of both safety and efficacy parameters. Researchers will determine the tolerability of various doses of the compounds in infected and uninfected mice and will then test the most promising compounds in infected animals to assess their efficacy in eliminating trypanosomiasis parasites. The studies are expected to be completed in early 2008.

"My team and I look forward to conducting these studies that are an important step in advancing these drug candidates towards clinical trials," said Dr. Enock Matovu, the project's lead researcher in the Department of Parasitology and Microbiology at Makerere University. "Trypanosomiasis takes a great toll in this region, and we are encouraged at the prospect of participating in the development of potentially valuable new therapies to treat the condition."

Upstream has been actively working with African officials to build collaborations for the development of its drug candidates for African sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis. In recent months, the company participated in the International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control conference in Angola, it signed a letter of intent with the Ministry of Health of Uganda to collaborate on the development of its anti-parasitic drugs for both veterinary and human applications, and it announced that Mr. Bellenson was appointed to the Ugandan government's Presidential Investors' Roundtable to provide advice on economic development and foreign investment.

"Having recently completed our acquisition of these promising compounds that purport to treat African sleeping sickness, we are delighted to be collaborating with researchers at Makerere University to rapidly advance them into the preclinical studies that we expect will enable us to select our lead development candidates and lay the groundwork for conducting clinical trials in large animals and humans," said Joel L. Bellenson, Chief Executive Officer of Upstream. "We look forward to moving quickly with our partners at Makerere University to successfully complete these studies so that we can progress to the next stage of product development."

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 WHO, 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 Makerere University

Makerere University located in Kampala, Uganda is one of sub-Saharan Africa's oldest most prestigious institutions of higher learning. It is among the largest universities in East and Central Africa, with a student population of over 30,000 undergraduate and 3,000 postgraduate students. Makerere consists of 22 faculties, institutes and schools and is an active center of research. Makerere was originally established as the University of East Africa in 1963, and became an independent national university of the Republic of Uganda in 1970.

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

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 unveil promising new approaches to treating sleeping sickness and to continue to demonstrate promising in vitro activity against sleeping sickness and other parasitic diseases; (ii) the Company may collaborate with a variety of organizations to rapidly advance the drug program in both animals and humans; (iii) the Company and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda will begin in vivo efficacy and toxicity testing of the Company's novel compounds for the treastment of trypanosomiasis, or African sleeping sickness; (iv) the Company's drug candidates may have application in both human and animal forms of the disease; (v) researchers will determine the tolerability of various doses of the compounds in infected and uninfected mice and will then test the most promising compounds in infected animals to assess their efficacy in eliminating trypanosomiasis parasites; and (vi) through our collaboration with the researchers at Makerere University we expect to rapidly advance our compounds into preclinical studies that we expect will enable us to select our lead development candidates and lay the groundwork for conducting clinical trials in large animals and humans. 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; (ix) the inability to effectively market and commercialize the Company's technologies, including the establishment of viable relationships with third parties; and (x) the conference not proceeding as planned for any reason. 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

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