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Molsoft to Evaluate Novel Scaffolds for PDF Inhibitor Program

South San Francisco and La Jolla, CA (October 21, 2002)

Molsoft LLC, a La Jolla based company providing new, breakthrough technologies in computational chemistry and biology, and GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company headquartered in South San Francisco, announced that they have signed a collaborative agreement to evaluate inhibitors of peptide deformylase (PDF), an essential bacterial metalloenzyme and novel antibiotic target.

GeneSoft is developing PDF inhibitors under a broad-based antimicrobial metalloenzyme research and development collaboration with UK-based British Biotech, a leader in the field of metalloenzyme inhibition.

Under its agreement with GeneSoft, Molsoft will use its proprietary ICM flexible docking technology to evaluate novel chemistries for PDF inhibition. Molsoft ICM allows accurate prediction of docking geometries and in silico selection of drug candidates from millions of compounds. Molsoft will deliver the results of the docking procedure to GeneSoft.

"This collaboration represents an ideal opportunity to apply state-of-the-art docking technology to an exciting target (PDF) where structural information is available," said Heinz Moser, Chief Technical Officer and Vice-President of Chemistry at GeneSoft. "Evaluating novel scaffolds in silico prior to making a synthetic commitment will greatly improve our efficiency in optimizing PDF inhibitors. We believe that this enzyme is an excellent target for Molsoft's technology."

"We are very excited about this project and look forward to advancing GeneSoft's research and development objectives through a lasting, collaborative relationship," said Maxim Totrov, Ph.D., Principal Scientist and Scientific Co-founder at Molsoft. "Based on our previous successes using Molsoft's advanced technology for flexible receptor docking, we expect GeneSoft and British Biotech will gain invaluable insight into the factors that help improve the affinities of the metal binding groups, thus facilitating their antibacterial therapeutic initiative."

About Molsoft LLC

Molsoft LLC is a leading provider of software products and contract research services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Founded in 1994 by Prof. Ruben Abagyan, Molsoft offers expertise, knowledge and technology to client organizations for computational structural genomics, large scale 3D modeling, characterization of newly discovered proteins, characterization and prioritization of targets for drug discovery, prediction of binding pockets, validation of pocket models via flexible receptor-ligand docking, structure-based drug design, virtual ligand screening for rational drug design, structure-focused combinatorial library design and structure-based vaccine design.

Molsoft is located in La Jolla, California. www.molsoft.com

About GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals Inc.

GeneSoft, founded in 1998, is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and marketing novel anti-infective products. Genesoft believes that the recent emergence of drug-resistant infectious organisms calls for the design of new therapies with novel mechanisms of action. GeneSoft currently has a portfolio of lead compounds in clinical and pre-clinical development. GeneSoft's first oral antibiotic, Factive, is in late stage clinical development. BB-83698, a novel-mode-of-action antibiotic for the treatment of drug resistant infections being developed with British Biotech, entered Phase I trials in October 2002. Several other drug candidates are expected to enter clinical trials in the next 24 months. GeneSoft is located in South San Francisco, California. www.genesoft.com

About British Biotech

British Biotech is a research and development stage pharmaceuticals company aiming to develop and commercialize specialist drugs for serious illnesses, including cancer, acute thrombotic diseases, inflammatory disease and bacterial infections. It currently has four products in patient trials, including the PDF inhibitor BB-83698 (the first-ever clinical evaluation of a PDF inhibitor), supplemented by focused, collaborative drug discovery research programs.

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