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 News Release - May 25, 2006

Icagen Names Senior Vice President Clinical and Regulatory Affairs

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--May 25, 2006--Icagen, Inc. (NASDAQ: ICGN ) today announced the appointment, effective upon the commencement of his employment, of Seth Hetherington, M.D. to the position of Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Hetherington is an experienced drug development executive, with over twenty-five years of experience in clinical drug development and academic medicine. Most recently, Dr. Hetherington served as Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer at Inhibitex, Inc.

"Dr. Hetherington brings to Icagen an outstanding background in all phases of clinical drug development from Phase I clinical trials through product registration. His breadth of both clinical and regulatory experience provides him with an ideal background to lead our clinical development efforts," stated P. Kay Wagoner, Ph.D., President and CEO of Icagen. "We welcome Dr. Hetherington to our senior management team and look forward to his contribution as we advance our ion channel drug candidates through clinical development."

Dr. Hetherington commented, "It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to lead Icagen's clinical and regulatory group at this critical time in the Company's history. ICA-17043 for the treatment of sickle cell disease represents a truly exciting medical opportunity, and I am delighted to have the privilege of working on this important program together with others at the Company, as well as with our partner, McNeil Pediatrics. I look forward to working with the other members of the Icagen senior management team as we continue to advance this promising program, as well as the broad array of earlier stage preclinical and research programs focused on novel ion channel based therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases."

Dr. Hetherington's career in clinical drug development and academic medicine spans a period of over twenty-five years. From 2002 to May 2006, Dr. Hetherington served as Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer at Inhibitex, a biotechnology company. From 1995 to 2002, Dr. Hetherington served in positions of increasing responsibility in clinical drug development at GlaxoSmithKline and Glaxo Wellcome. During this period, Dr. Hetherington made significant contributions to several clinical development programs, including work on the currently marketed pharmaceuticals Ziagen, Trizivir and Agenerase. During this period Dr. Hetherington also served as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Prior to joining Glaxo Wellcome, Dr. Hetherington held appointments at several leading academic medical centers, including the University of Tennessee, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and Albany Medical College. Dr Hetherington earned his B.S. at Yale University and his M.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He completed his postgraduate training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina and the University of Minnesota, respectively. Dr. Hetherington has published extensively in the medical and scientific literature, and is board certified in both pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases.

About Icagen

Icagen, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel orally-administered small molecule drugs that modulate ion channel targets. Utilizing its proprietary know-how and integrated scientific and drug development capabilities, Icagen has identified multiple drug candidates that modulate ion channels. The Company's four most advanced programs are:
  • ICA-17043 for sickle cell disease, for which the Company is conducting a pivotal Phase III clinical trial;
  • lead compounds for epilepsy and Neuropathic Pain, for which the Company is conducting preclinical studies;
  • a compound for atrial fibrillation, for which the Company's collaborator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is conducting preclinical studies;
  • lead compounds for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, for which the Company's collaborator Astellas Pharma Inc. is conducting preclinical studies, and lead compounds for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which were derived from the collaboration and for which the Company is conducting preclinical studies; and
  • Icagen is also conducting ongoing drug discovery programs focused on new therapeutics for pain disorders, inflammatory disorders and glaucoma.
Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations described in these forward-looking statements are set forth under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risk factors include risks as to whether the Company's products will advance in the clinical trials process, the timing of such clinical trials, whether the results obtained in preliminary studies will be indicative of results obtained in clinical trials, whether the clinical trial results will warrant continued product development, whether and when, if at all, the Company's products, including ICA-17043, will receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent regulatory agencies, and for which indications, and if such products receive approval, whether they will be successfully marketed; the Company's history of net losses and how long the Company will be able to operate on its existing capital resources; and the Company's dependence on third parties, including manufacturers, suppliers and collaborators. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.


Source: Icagen

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