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1 <p><b>PLIVA announces acquisition of MIXIS GENETICS Ltd.</b></p>
2 <p>Zagreb, 15th April 1999</p>
3 <p>PLIVA, the largest pharmaceuticals company in Central and Eastern Europe announces
4 that it has acquired 100% ownership of the company MIXIS GENETICS Ltd. ("MIXIS")
5 for US$ 3.3 million. By this transaction PLIVA becomes the owner of several
6 patents covering break-through technologies in the field of biodiversity.</p>
7 <p>As the access to proprietary compounds is a key factor for success in the life-sciences
8 industry, modern pharmaceuticals companies are undertaking major efforts to
9 broaden their compound pool or libraries. For small molecules this is done by
10 chemical synthesis, e.g. combinatorial chemistry, or else by parallel synthesis
11 supplementing classical medicinal synthesis efforts.</p>
12 <p> Existing living organisms, e.g. microbes and plants, produce a broad variety
13 of compounds already used in medicine. Therefore, biodiversity programs are
14 currently of major interest as potential generators of new compounds or "scaffolds".
15 Such scaffolds may serve as new core molecule or NCE-s (new chemical entities),
16 to be chemically modified and further developed for the pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals
17 or food markets. Geneticists have recently tried to extend this concept to genes
18 and genomes (combinatorial biology) resulting in modifications of the cellular
19 biosynthetic machinery. However, this elegant concept showed its limitations,
20 because it turned out to be difficult to mix genes and genomes from different
21 organisms, due to genetic barriers between biological species.</p>
22 <p>Using the proprietary patented technology of MIXIS, developed by Prof. Miroslav
23 Radman, one of the founders of MIXIS, and his co-workers, these limitations
24 have been largely resolved because the genetic barriers can be disrupted. Under
25 such conditions one can generate quasi inexhaustible new biodiversity through
26 genetic mosaicism of genes and genomes that would not occur in nature. The process
27 creating mosaic biodiversity is called inter-species recombination. Briefly,
28 MIXIS technology overcomes the normal genetic restriction in each living organism
29 that prevents the introduction of foreign or heterologous genes. Therefore,
30 it is possible to strongly enhance the spectrum of diversity once these restrictions
31 are specifically neutralised.</p>
32 <p>Mr. Zeljko Covic, PLIVA's CEO emphasises that: "Combined with PLIVA's current
33 efforts in the field of biotechnology and streptomyces research, the use of
34 MIXIS proprietary technology will significantly broaden PLIVA's biodiversity
35 program. Together with PLIVA's strong experience in medicinal chemistry, it
36 will ensure PLIVA's capabilities to generate a unique, proprietary compound
37 library. In addition to this, PLIVA is currently evaluating the full potential
38 of this patented technology in various life-science applications."</p>
39 <p>Currently, PLIVA is establishing an entirely new line of biodiversity research,
40 combining all processes necessary to run on a high throughput level generation
41 of new scaffolds and compounds, fermentation and compound identification in
42 combination with versatile high throughput screening platform applicable for
43 various therapeutic areas. </p>

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