Press Releases

AMERICAN BIOGENETIC SCIENCES' NEW PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS IN 2000 AND BUSINESS OUTLOOK FOR 2001

Copiague, New York, February 5, 2001 – American Biogenetic Sciences, Inc's (ABS)(NASDAQ:MABA), President, COO and CFO, Josef C. Schoell, today reported on the company's progress in 2000 and said he expects 2001 to be characterized by further scientific and commercial advancements. Mr. Schoell has been with ABS since 1992, serving in corporate development and chief financial officer capacities.

"Our focus in 2001 is on transactional opportunities, such as licensing agreements and partnering collaborations, that will result in short and long term revenue to ABS," Mr. Schoell said. "I am particularly pleased that Joseph Danis, formerly of Pfizer, has joined ABS as Business Development and Licensing Consultant and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Danis brings to ABS years of licensing expertise and valuable contacts throughout the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Our team will now concentrate on concluding synergistic partnerships to bring ABS' promising product candidates to the marketplace."

Alfred J. Roach, ABS' Founder, Chairman and CEO, commenting on the company's commissioned report by biotech industry analysts, Paisley and Habermas, Inc., said, "With Josef Schoell's leadership and our continued scientific advancements as confirmed by the Paisley and Habermas report, we look forward, with confidence, to our next phase of growth in 2001. This technology assessment report puts the company's research efforts in context with the marketplace and will work to attract partners for licensing our research and technology. (The Paisley and Habermas report is available on ABS' Website ).

"In the year 2000, ABS increased its investment in neuroscience research," Mr. Schoell said. "We also sought partnerships and investors to support and commercialize our significant scientific discoveries. ABS" further development of a fibrin-based cancer targeting and/or delivery program could develop into an extremely important advancement in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We expect to use this technology to find ways to improve the treatment of several types of solid tumors, such as breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers," Mr. Schoell continued.

Mr. Schoell outlined ABS' research and development activities currently underway:

License Agreement with Abbott for ABS-103
ABS-103 is ABS' pharmaceutical candidate for the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar depression and the prevention of migraine headaches. In January 2000, ABS signed an exclusive license agreement with Abbott Laboratories for ABS-103, which will bring Abbott's clinical expertise to the commercial development of ABS-103. Under the agreement, ABS will receive milestone payments as the compound progresses through development and regulatory approval, as well as royalties on potential sales of the drug.

Accelerating the Development of ABS-205 for Alzheimer's and Other Cognitive Disorders
ABS-205, an orally active small molecule drug that crosses the blood brain barrier and promotes nerve cell growth, is ABS' leading compound under development. The neurotrophic activity and memory enhancing effects of ABS-205 in pre-clinical studies suggest that this compound is useful as a treatment for memory loss and neurodegeneration associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease. Collaborating scientists within the ABS Global Scientific Network® have now reached an important milestone by developing an efficient production and purification system to produce two versions of ABS-205, designated ABS-205R and ABS-205S. Sufficient quantities are now available for vital studies such as human liver toxicity, comparative cognition and dosage studies.

Antigen-Free Technology Progress
ABS' enabling technology – the antigen-free (AF) mouse colony - is an extremely efficient system for the development of highly specific monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) for unique diagnostics and potentially, of therapeutic agents with substantial commercial prospects. One such Mab, designated MH1, is used in ABS' diagnostic Thrombus Precursor Protein (TpP) test which provides predictive and diagnostic information on patients with either imminent or active thrombosis. The TpP diagnostic may help determine if a patient is either suffering, or at extreme risk of developing a blood clot which can lead to a heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (clots in the legs) or pulmonary embolism (clots in the lung). In addition, TpP may have clinical utility in identifying pregnant women who are at risk for developing preeclampsia, a circulatory condition that affects approximately ten percent of pregnant women in the United States.

MH1 is also being investigated by ABS as a targeting agent to deliver therapeutic treatments directly to malignant or benign tumors that are rich in fibrin, such as breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers.

Another Mab produced through ABS' AF technology is 45J, an antibody that binds selectively to fibrinogen and is used in the ABS FiF test. This test provides a direct measurement of the fibrinogen levels present in the bloodstream as an indicator for cardiovascular risk.

AHA Journal Reports on ABS' FiF Test
The October 2000 issue of Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association, reported that fibrinogen levels as measured by the FiF test are more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease than are results of the standard fibrinogen assessment known as the Clauss test. The FiF study was performed on samples taken from the well-known Framingham study.

Contract Extended with Trevigen on ABS' Antigen-Free Technology In May 2000, ABS extended its collaboration with the Maryland-based biotechnology company, Trevigen, to combine ABS' AF technology with Trevigen's expertise in DNA damage and repair. The Trevigen contract has so far resulted in the development of an antibody that is part of an assay currently being marketed to biomedical researchers involved in research on apoptosis (programmed cell death). Under this collaboration, ABS will continue to receive revenue from the manufacture of the antibody as well as royalties.

ABS' own in-house research, as well as research conducted by its Global Scientific Network in the United States, Europe, Israel, Russia and China, will continue to supply the company's developmental pipeline with new potential products to license to pharmaceutical companies.

About ABS
American Biogenetic Sciences, Inc., based in Copiague, N.Y., researches and develops diagnostic tests for cardio-pulmonary conditions and infectious diseases, as well as new treatments for neurological disorders including epilepsy, migraine, mania and Alzheimer's disease. ABS also seeks out new technologies and conducts research and development through its Global Scientific Network in the United States, Europe, Israel, Russia and China.

Statements in this release that are not strictly historical are "forward looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and should be considered as subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. For further details and a discussion of these risks and uncertainties, see the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings including its annual report on Form 10-K.

 


American Biogenetic Sciences, Inc. ©1999