Methylgene Exercises Right to Opt-out of HDAC Neurodegenerative Collaboration with EnVivo

MONTREAL, Quebec and WATERTOWN, Massachusetts. February 6, 2008 - MethylGene Inc. (TSX:MYG) and EnVivo Pharmaceuticals today announced that MethylGene has exercised its right to opt-out of further funding in its collaboration with EnVivo signed in February 2005. EnVivo will continue to research and develop histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors for neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases under license from MethylGene. A lead compound has been identified during the collaboration and designated as a clinical candidate by EnVivo. MethylGene will receive royalties on net sales of any approved product as well as a share of any sublicense income from future partnerships EnVivo may enter into with other companies for neurodegenerative programs.

"The collaboration with EnVivo has been successful in leveraging our library of HDAC inhibitors beyond oncology. A lead candidate has been identified and we expect EnVivo will move this compound into clinical trials later this year. MethylGene has decided to exercise its right to opt out of the collaboration at the development stage for this non-core indication in order to strategically focus resources on our oncology development programs and other preclinical programs," said Donald F. Corcoran, President and Chief Executive Officer of MethylGene.  "We wish EnVivo well with the program and look forward to the opportunity to participate in the upside potential."

"The collaboration has been very productive and has provided us with a rich base from which we can move into several of the neurodegenerative diseases," added Kees Been, President and Chief Executive Officer of EnVivo. "We look forward to advancing the lead compound towards clinical trials later this year. This would be the first brain-penetrant orally-available HDAC inhibitor that is being pursued for use as a cognition enhancing agent in neurodegenerative diseases with a potential for disease modification."

About MethylGene

MethylGene Inc. (TSX: MYG) is a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for cancer. The Company's lead product, MGCD0103, is an oral isotype-selective HDAC inhibitor presently in multiple clinical trials for solid tumors and hematological malignancies, including Phase II monotherapy and Phase I and Phase II combination trials with Vidaza(R), Gemzar(R) and Taxotere(R). MGCD265 is an oral kinase inhibitor targeting the c-Met, Tie-2, Ron and VEGF receptor tyrosine kinases. In addition, MethylGene's preclinical programs include: MGCD290 an HDAC inhibitor in combination with azoles for fungal infections and a sirtuins program for cancer. MethylGene's development and commercialization partners include Pharmion Corporation, Taiho Pharmaceutical and EnVivo Pharmaceuticals. Please visit our website at http://www.methylgene.com.

About EnVivo Pharmaceuticals

EnVivo Pharmaceuticals (located in Watertown, MA) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing small molecule therapeutics for disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), currently focusing on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and cognition. The Company's lead program, a Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Agonist Program for cognition disorders in Alzheimer's disease and Schizophrenia, has completed Phase I clinical testing. The Company's preclinical programs include a Histone Deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) program for Huntington's disease, a Gamma Secretase Modulator program, and a PDE10 inhibitor program. For more information about EnVivo, please visit www.envivopharma.com.

Investor Relations Contacts:

MethylGene Inc.
Rhonda Chiger
Rx Communications Group, LLC
Phone: 917-322-2569
rchiger@rxir.com


Donald F. Corcoran
President & CEO
MethylGene Inc.
Phone: 514-337-3333 ext. 373
mctavishk@methylgene.com



EnVivo Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Kees Been
President & CEO
EnVivo Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Phone: 617-225-4250
kbeen@envivopharma.com

 

Certain statements contained in this news release, other than statements of fact that are independently verifiable at the date hereof, may constitute forward-looking statements. Such statements, based as they are on the current expectations of management of MethylGene, inherently involve numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, many of which are beyond MethylGene's control. These risks and uncertainties could cause future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such results, performance or achievements include, but are not limited to, the timing and effects of regulatory action; the continuation of collaborations; the impact of unilateral decisions and/or strategies of our collaborators; the results of clinical trials; the ability to demonstrate pharmacokinetic / bioequivalency; the timing of enrollment or completion of clinical trials; the success, efficacy or safety of MGCD0103, MGCD265 or MGCD290; the ability to scale up, formulate and manufacture sufficient GMP, clinical or commercialization quantities of MGCD0103, MGCD265 or MGCD290, and the relative success or the lack of success in developing and gaining regulatory approval and/or market acceptance for any compound or new product including MGCD0103, MGCD265 or MGCD290. Such risks include, but are not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions, economic conditions in the pharmaceutical industry, changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which MethylGene does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, expectations with respect to our intellectual property position and our ability to protect our intellectual property and operate our business without infringing upon the intellectual property rights of others, changes in the competitive landscape including changes in the standard of care for the various indications in which MethylGene is involved, and changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation, as well as other risks, which you are urged to read, as described in MethylGene's Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2006, under the heading 'risk factors', the final prospectus filed on February 23, 2007, and all other documents filed by the Company that can be found at www.sedar.com. Consequently, actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated results expressed in the forward-looking statements. The reader should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements included in this presentation. These statements speak only as an update on the date they are made and MethylGene is under no obligation to revise such statements as a result of any event, circumstance or otherwise except in accordance with law.


Posted: February 2008


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