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Cenix BioScience follows up successful RNAi-based target discovery screens with target validation study for AstraZeneca

Dresden, Germany, March 19, 2009 - Cenix BioScience GmbH, a leading RNA interference (RNAi)-focused contract research organization, today announced that it has initiated a second research project under its existing framework research agreement with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

The new project will focus on detailed cell-based studies to further advance the validation of novel oncology target candidates successfully identified by Cenix in screens completed recently for AstraZeneca. Both the original screens and the new validation work are driven by the core Cenix expertise in combining high throughput RNAi-based gene silencing with high content phenotypic analyses. Cenix will adapt and implement multi-parametric microscopy-based analyses of RNAi-induced loss-of-function phenotypes using the Cellenger image analysis platform from Munich-based Definiens, to generate detailed insights into the cellular functions and therapeutic development potential of tested genes.

“We view the success of these first quite ambitious screens now completed for our colleagues at AstraZeneca as a clear testament to the strong scientific, technical and strategic synergies jointly achieved between our two teams,” said Dr. Christophe Echeverri, CEO/CSO of Cenix. “We welcome the chance to continue assisting AstraZeneca in the crucially important process of target validation to further advance their oncology pipeline.”

Such RNAi datasets, now widely favored throughout the industry, offer a highly predictive and cost-effective basis for discovering and prioritizing targets for therapeutic drug development in a wide range of disease fields.

About Cenix BioScience
Now in its 10th year, Cenix BioScience is a leading contract research organization specialized in combining advanced applications of RNAi with high content phenotypic analyses to enhance and accelerate the discovery and pre-clinical development of novel therapeutics. Cenix has built-up a solid track record, successfully advancing therapeutic programs for numerous major industry and academic partners by addressing the specific needs of each through fully-customized, cutting-edge research offerings covering a wide range of disease fields. The well-established core capabilities in high throughput RNAi and multi-parametric microscopy assays have yielded optimized protocols in a broad and ever-growing collection of cultured cell models, and are now complemented by microRNA-focused experimentation and in vivo applications of synthetic siRNAs. As such, Cenix is a mature and fully-proven industrial research partner, applying the highest of scientific best practices and offering a breadth and depth of expertise second to none world wide. Please contact Cenix or visit the company’s web site for more information.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US$ 31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

Birte Sönnichsen, COO
Cenix BioScience GmbH
Tel: +49 (0) 351 4173-0



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