Astex Technology Appoints Jon S. Saxe to Board of Directors

CAMBRIDGE, UK, Nov. 20, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Astex Technology, the UK structure-based drug discovery company, today announced the appointment of Jon Saxe to the Board.

Mr. Saxe was President of Protein Design Labs, Inc., until May 1999, prior to which he served as President and CEO of Synergen, Inc., from 1989 to 1993. Mr. Saxe worked for nearly 30 years at Hoffmann-LaRoche in a number of senior roles including VP, Licensing & Corporate Development and Head, Patent Law. Mr. Saxe currently serves as a non-executive on a number of boards of leading US and Canadian biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including Incyte Genomics, Inc., Protein Design Labs, Inc., First Horizon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and ID Biomedical Corporation.

Mr. Saxe received his B.S.Ch.E. from Carnegie-Mellon University, a J.D. from George Washington University School of Law and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law.

Stephen Bunting, Chairman of Astex's Board of Directors, said, "We are delighted to welcome Jon to the Board of Astex. His long-standing management experience within both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry together with his US network will be a very positive addition to the team."

"I am delighted to be joining the Board of Astex, one of the most exciting drug discovery companies to emerge in the last three years," said Jon Saxe. "The combination of Astex's novel structure based drug discovery technology, highly experienced management team, promising business model and early validation of that business model through their deals with Astra Zeneca and Janssen Pharmaceutica makes them a clear leader in the field and I look forward to contributing to their future success."

Astex Technology is a structure-based drug discovery company pioneering the use of high throughput X-ray crystallography (HTX(TM)) technology for the rapid identification of novel drug candidates. HTX(TM) is part of an integrated drug discovery platform that includes cutting-edge technologies covering all aspects of structure-based research, including protein production, crystallization, structure determination, bioinformatics and computational and medicinal chemistry. Astex is using this drug discovery platform to identify novel lead compounds for proprietary and public domain targets and has established strategic collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies.

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