SOURCE: Upstream Biosciences Inc.

April 28, 2008 08:00 ET

Upstream Biosciences Reports Its Novel Anti-Malarial Agents Demonstrate Promising Safety in Animal Testing

Upstream Showcases Its Advanced Computational Approach to Drug Discovery for Tropical Parasitic Diseases at the Inaugural Meeting of the Pan-African Bioinformatics Network

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwire - April 28, 2008) - Upstream Biosciences Inc. (OTCBB: UPBS) today reported that the company's novel drug candidates to treat malaria have demonstrated good safety in their first toxicity tests in animals. Researchers reported that Upstream's anti-malarial candidates were well tolerated, with no signs of serious toxicity at likely therapeutic dosages suggested by initial in vitro efficacy experiments. Upstream reported in February that these initial efficacy tests suggested anti-malarial activity in the nanomolar range. Activity in this range in a new class of anti-malarial drugs has the potential to represent an important advance in the treatment of resistant disease.

The new data represents the third set of positive toxicity results in animals obtained by researchers at Makerere University in Uganda for Upstream's drug candidates for malaria, trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis, diseases caused by related parasites. The candidates were discovered using advanced computational methods, and the good safety profile and encouraging in vitro anti-parasitic activity seen to date with this novel structural class add to the growing body of early data validating the potential of Upstream's computational approach to drug discovery.

"These first positive toxicity results in animals for our anti-malarial candidates mark an important step in our program to develop safe and effective drugs to fight this pervasive condition," said Joel L. Bellenson, Chief Executive Officer of Upstream. "We look forward to advancing these compounds, which may have the potential to contribute to the health and economic vitality of the large area of sub-Saharan Africa adversely affected by malaria, into further safety and efficacy testing in the coming months."

Mr. Bellenson was in Abuja, Nigeria this week participating in the foundational meeting of the Pan-African Bioinformatics Network, a workshop bringing together scientists, industry leaders, policy makers and donor agency representatives under the sponsorship of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). The network is setting objectives and coordinating research approaches to harness the power of translational bioinformatics for the development of effective new drugs and diagnostics for diseases affecting Africa.

Dr. Oyekanmi Nash, Coordinator of the National Biotechnology Centers of Excellence, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and Coordinator of the launch of the Pan-African Bioinformatics Network, noted, "Increasing resistance to existing drugs is a major issue in efforts to combat malaria, so safe and effective new therapies are urgently needed. A number of anti-malarial drug candidates already in development have proven to have toxicity issues, so these positive initial in vivo toxicity results from the Upstream compounds are encouraging, and we believe they support advancing these candidates to the next stage of testing."

Mr. Bellenson concluded, "We welcomed the opportunity to participate in this historic meeting establishing the Pan African Bioinformatics Network and to share ideas with this talented and diverse group of African bioinformatics experts who are committed to harnessing new biological tools to combat these too-often-neglected diseases."

About Malaria

Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes in more than 100 countries worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 500 million people become severely ill with malaria each year, many of them children. Malaria attacks the blood and internal organs of infected people and is a leading cause of disability and death in affected countries. An estimated one million people die each year of malaria, with 90% of cases occurring in Africa, where a child dies every 30 seconds of the disease, according to World Vision. Early diagnosis and treatment can shorten the duration of the disease and prevent death or the development of debilitating complications. However, the malaria-causing parasite's resistance to current medicines continues to undermine malaria control efforts. Malaria disproportionately affects the poor who cannot afford treatment or who have limited access to health care. Malaria infections are estimated to cost the economies of sub-Saharan Africa at least $12 billion annually from the direct costs of malaria prevention and treatment as well as indirect economic costs associated with the disease.

About Makerere University

Makerere University located in Kampala, Uganda is one of sub-Saharan Africa's oldest and 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. While some faculties including Medicine were founded as early as 1924, Makerere was established as the University of East Africa in 1963, and became an independent national university of the Republic of Uganda in 1970. For more information visit: www.mak.ac.ug

About Upstream Biosciences Inc.

Founded in 2004, Upstream Biosciences is a pioneer in the discovery and development of novel compounds 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 toxicity results support advancing the candidates to the next stage of testing; (ii) the Company's results represent an important advance in the treatment of resistant disease; (iii) the results mark an important step in the Company's program to develop safe and effective drugs to fight malaria; (iv) the Company's compounds may have the potential to significantly contribute to the health and economic vitality of the regions discussed herein; (v) the Company's compounds may aid in the development of genetic diagnostics for cancer susceptibility and drug response; and (vi) the Company's business may allow it to apply computational approaches to generate novel drug candidates and to locate and analyze 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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