Axon Biochemicals Announces Patent and Know-How Rights Agreement Related to Novel CNS Compounds with AstraZeneca

[Groningen, NL. Feb 12, 2007] Axon Biochemicals announced today an exclusive agreement with AstraZeneca in the area of novel CNS-active compounds. The agreement grants AstraZeneca access to Axon's patent and know-how rights related to a novel series of potential antipsychotic agents. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"As a small medicinal chemistry company, Axon has devoted itself successfully to the research and development of novel drug candidates in the CNS field. We are delighted that our research, led by our co-founder Professor Håkan Wikström, has drawn the interest of AstraZeneca, a research-based company with a track record for delivery in this area. With the strong input of further research and development by AstraZeneca, we are hopeful that we can successfully progress more novel therapeutics that may someday benefit patients," said Dr. Yi Liao, Managing Director of Axon.

“Schizophrenia remains an area of great unmet medical need,” said Frank Yocca, Ph.D., Vice President for CNS Discovery at AstraZeneca in Wilmington, Delaware. “We believe Axon's new chemical series of potential antipsychotic drugs complements our early-stage portfolio and we are optimistic about developing exciting projects in this area. This agreement further illustrates AstraZeneca's continued strategic interest and commitment in creating a robust and cutting-edge Neuroscience pipeline through a combination of external and internal investments.”

About Axon

Axon is a medicinal chemistry company, incorporated in the Netherlands in 1999. Axon conducts research in developing novel drug candidates in the CNS field and has invested for self-owned intellectual properties such as patents at national phase. Together with EU, government institutions, and pharmaceutical companies, Axon is now actively involved in several drug discovery programs from pre-clinic to Phase I. Axon is also an independent contract research organization providing high quality services in medicinal chemistry research. The company is specifically involved in rapid synthesis of drug standards and in contract research on drug design and synthesis. The company, with its experienced medicinal chemists in front-line drug research, offers the power of outsourcing research to the pharmaceutical companies in the world.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $26.47 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4 Good Index.