Healthcare Industry News:  hepatitis B virus 

Biopharmaceuticals

 News Release - October 26, 2006

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Announces Strategic Collaboration To Enhance Hepatitis C Pipeline

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 26 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IDIX ), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of human viral and other infectious diseases, today announced a two-year research collaboration agreement with Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Metabasis' HepDirect(TM) liver-targeted technology will be applied to proprietary Idenix compounds to develop second-generation nucleoside analog drug candidates for the treatment of hepatitis C.

"We are committed to expanding our pipeline with new anti-HCV drug candidates that could be complementary to valopicitabine, our lead drug candidate being developed for the treatment of hepatitis C, through an active internal discovery program as well as external collaborations," said Jean- Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Idenix. "This collaboration provides the opportunity to apply Metabasis' HepDirect technology to our nucleoside discovery program - a combination that will hopefully yield a second-generation nucleoside analog candidate for the treatment of hepatitis C."

Under the terms of the agreement, Idenix will provide $2.0 million in an upfront payment to Metabasis. If a lead is identified, Idenix will assume development responsibility and Metabasis will be eligible to receive payments upon achievement of predetermined preclinical and clinical development and regulatory milestones. For any resultant marketed products, Idenix will retain full commercial rights and pay Metabasis a royalty on net sales.

About Idenix

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of human viral and other infectious diseases. Idenix's current focus is on the treatment of infections caused by hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). For further information about Idenix, please refer to http://www.idenix.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will be," "to identify and develop," "hopefully," "will assume" or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding the potential identification and future development of a hepatitis C drug candidate. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantees that this collaboration will be successful or that any lead candidate will be discovered or thereafter successfully developed. Any lead candidate that is discovered will require further and significant pre-clinical development and clinical evaluation.

In particular, management's expectations could be affected by a lack of success in the identification of a lead candidate, results from required pre- clinical studies and clinical trials of a lead candidate, if any, which reaches such stage of evaluation, regulatory actions or delays, or government regulation generally; the company's ability to obtain additional funding required to conduct its research, development and commercialization activities; the ability of the company to attract and retain qualified personnel; government, industry, and general public pricing pressures; competition in general; and the company's ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patent and other intellectual property protection for a lead candidate discovered pursuant to the collaboration. These and other risks which may impact management's expectations are described in greater detail under the caption "Risk Factors" in the company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other filings that the company makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All forward-looking statements reflect the company's expectations only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as reflecting the company's views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release. Idenix anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause these views, expectations and beliefs to change. However, while Idenix may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

HepDirect(TM) is a trademark of Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc.



Source: Idenix Pharmaceuticals

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
Please address inquiries directly to the issuing company.



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