ArQule and Nanodesign Enter Into Collaboration for Novel Drug

 Design Technology  
Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers  
BIOWIRE2K  
MONTREAL--(BW HealthWire)--Jan. 16, 2001--Arqule (TSE:SGI.) 
Nanodesign (TSE:SGI.)  
ArQule, Inc. and Nanodesign Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of 
SignalGene Inc., announced today that they have entered into a 
collaboration to develop and apply a novel compound design platform 
for drug discovery.  
This proprietary new technology platform will use information 
about the structure of a biological target from sources such as 
structural genomics and binding assays to generate novel chemical 
designs for combinatorial libraries of drug-like molecules. Financial 
terms of the agreement were not disclosed.  
In the collaboration, ArQule and Nanodesign will each contribute 
certain proprietary knowledge to co-develop new software that will 
enhance and link their respective technologies in the area of de novo 
molecular design. The new technology platform will automatically 
translate structural information about a biological target into 
thousands of drug-like chemical compounds that potentially bind to the 
target. Nanodesign will also provide ArQule with molecular design 
services as an optional part of ArQule's Parallel Track(TM) Drug 
Discovery Program. Both companies may use the new technology platform 
resulting from the collaboration in drug discovery projects for 
themselves and their collaborators.  
"This collaboration validates and reinforces our methods of de 
novo drug design. A combinatorial synthetic approach to our 
proprietary design process will allow a faster and more thorough 
exploration of chemical diversity. Through alliances with technology 
leaders of the calibre of ArQule, Nanodesign expects to lead the move 
towards a virtual medicinal chemistry approach to drug discovery," 
said Ian Anderson, President & CEO of Nanodesign.  
"We are very pleased that Nanodesign has been successful in 
establishing this relationship with ArQule. This alliance will give 
SignalGene access to an improved and expanded drug design capability 
around new targets developed in our genomics-based discovery 
programs," said Michael Dennis, President & CEO of SignalGene.  
"We are delighted to work with Nanodesign in the area of de novo 
compound design. We believe that de novo design is one of the key 
technologies for improving the efficiency of the drug discovery 
process," said Stephen Hill, President and Chief Executive Officer of 
ArQule.  
"Nanodesign is the second collaboration that ArQule has announced 
in our technology alliance initiative. Last year, we announced a 
collaboration with Nanoscale Combinatorial Synthesis, Inc. in the area 
of microscale combinatorial synthesis. ArQule will continue to seek 
out innovative technology companies like Nanodesign and Nanosyn to 
help us expand and enhance our PILOT(TM) Drug Discovery Platform," 
said Michael Rivard, Head of External Technology Alliances, Vice 
President, and General Counsel.  
ArQule collaborates with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology 
companies to synthesize and optimize small molecules that have the 
potential to enter clinical development and become medicines. ArQule's 
Parallel Track Drug Discovery Program integrates key technologies for 
high-throughput, automated synthesis of small molecules with 
technologies that enable more informed, intelligent decisions about 
what molecules to synthesize. Parallel use of these "what to make" and 
"how to make" technologies results in rapid, iterative cycles of lead 
generation, qualification, and optimization of clinical drug 
candidates. In addition, ArQule also offers access to their 
high-throughput, automated synthesis and lead optimization platforms 
through technology licensing agreements. ArQule is based in Woburn and 
Medford, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit 
www.arqule.com.  
Nanodesign is a computer-aided drug design company that aims to 
provide novel chemical structures that have activity at nanomolar 
concentrations as development candidates. This capability is 
ligand-based, needs only sparse data sets and little or no previous 
knowledge around any given therapeutic area. Nanodesign maximizes the 
value of hits derived from screening programs through designing novel 
chemical scaffolds that retain desired biological functionality. A 
thorough exploration of chemical diversity results in the rapid 
creation of pharmacological analogues.  
SignalGene is a company who is developing an integrated 
genomics-based approach to drug discovery. By combining cutting-edge 
technologies in pharmacogenomics, functional genomics and drug design 
with world-class scientific collaborations with university and 
hospital researchers, SignalGene is taking a leading role in the 
conversion of genomic information into novel diagnostic and 
therapeutic products for major human diseases. Current research 
programs target metabolic disorders (obesity), women's health (breast 
cancer and osteoporosis), inflammatory disorders (psoriasis) and 
neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer's disease). SignalGene 
generates short-term revenues, through its GLP-based pharmacogenomics 
services and technology-based discovery collaborations, while pursuing 
its internal research and development programs for partnering with 
major pharmaceutical companies. The shares of SignalGene are listed on 
the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SGI.  
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined 
in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including 
statements about technological development efforts and expectations, 
ArQule, Nanodesign, and SignalGene technologies and their respective 
strategies. The actual results may differ materially from those 
projected in the forward-looking statements due to numerous risks and 
uncertainties that exist in each company's operations, development 
efforts and the business environment, including without limitation: 
the ability to deliver their products to corporate collaborators; the 
progress of product research and development activities; the ability 
to enter into future collaborations with pharmaceutical and 
biotechnology companies; and the risks and uncertainties as more fully 
described in ArQule's Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed with 
the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 20, 2000, as 
amended. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the 
judgement of ArQule, Nanodesign and SignalGene as of the date of this 
release. ArQule, Nanodesign and SignalGene disclaim any intent or 
obligation to update any forward-looking statement except to the 
extent required by law.  
SIGNALGENE: LEADER FOR THE MEDICINE OF TOMORROW