Karo Bio Receives Award for Prostate Cancer Research

HUDDINGE, Sweden, March 12, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Karo Bio USA, Inc. has received a three year award from the Department of the Army* for drug discovery in prostate cancer. The project applies the Company's novel technological approaches to better define the relationship of androgen receptor (AR) function to prostate cancer in order to discover more effective drugs.

Prostate cancer is the most common male malignancy in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males. A variety of treatments to inactivate AR have been found to successfully delay or reverse early stages of prostate cancer, but only for the short term, and in some cases with unwanted side effects. Therefore, a great clinical need exists for new drugs that delay cancer development in the long term, and without unwanted side effects. Karo Bio's technologies can discriminate between and make use of structural changes in the androgen receptor when complexed with hormones or other agents to develop such drugs.

Karo Bio can identify a library of molecular probes that specifically interact with AR under a series of biologically relevant states. These probes, otherwise known as BioKey(r) probes, are used in proprietary screening approaches (utilizing Molecular Braille(r) and Cellular Braille(tm) technology profiling) that will allow for the rapid and convenient identification of novel chemical compounds for treatment of prostate cancer. These compounds will have tissue selectivity (i.e., targeting prostate tissue without adversely affecting other tissues that express AR.)

"The results of this study may make a significant impact on the principles that direct the androgen receptor/prostate cancer research field. This study will clarify mechanisms of androgen and anti-androgen action by discerning differences and similarities in the receptor conformation that drive biological activity" said Dr. Dana M. Fowlkes, Karo Bio's Chief Scientific Officer. Current methods to identify and characterize effective prostate cancer therapeutics (e.g. ligand binding and cell-based reporter assays) will be impacted by the improved speed and sensitivity of this novel approach. The advantages will be important to Karo Bio's drug discovery program as well as to regulatory agencies involved in the fields of prostate cancer therapy and prevention.

   * The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820
   Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and
   administering acquisition office (Award Number DAMD17-02-1-0079). 
   The content of this information does not necessarily reflect the 
   position or the policy of the Government, and no official 
   endorsement should be inferred.

Background Karo Bio has operations in Sweden and the United States. The Company employs 135 people.

Karo Bio has been listed on the Stockholm stock exchange (Reuters: KARO.ST) since 1998 and maintains a leading position in the field of drug discovery focused on nuclear receptors. Nuclear receptors are validated drug targets for a number of clinical indications and the Company uses proprietary technologies for the development of novel and improved therapies for major markets. Karo Bio has 400 patent cases including 128 granted patents.

Karo Bio has drug discovery programs in several therapeutic areas including men and women's health care, metabolic disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dermatology and ophthalmology.

Karo Bio collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies for development of products and marketing. In these partnerships Karo Bio receives upfront payments, R&D funding, milestone payments as well as royalties on net sales when products reach the market.

Karo Bio has strategic pharmaceutical drug discovery partnerships with Abbott Laboratories, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co.

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