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Array BioPharma and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Establish Drug Discovery Agreement; Collaboration to Focus on Discovering Novel Drugs Targeting Phosphatases

BOULDER, Colo., and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced the establishment of a collaboration to discover and develop small molecule drugs directed at two specific targets in the phosphatase protein family.

"This collaboration with Array enables Vertex to further expand its chemogenomics approach targeting phosphatases, a gene family believed to contain numerous specific targets that are suitable for small molecule drug design," said Joshua Boger, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vertex. "We look forward to working together with the scientific team at Array to rapidly discover drug candidates for clinical development."

Under the terms of this agreement, Vertex will provide Array with an upfront fee and research funding over three years. Array will be responsible for initial drug discovery, including lead generation and lead optimization. Vertex may conduct its own research in the area and will be responsible for all aspects of clinical development and commercialization. For products it discovers, Array will be entitled to receive clinical milestone payments. If these products are commercialized, Array will also be entitled to additional milestone payments. These milestones would be paid on an annual basis for a defined term and are tied to predetermined sales levels.

"We are delighted to partner with Vertex, a highly respected biotechnology company that also shares our vision of accelerating the drug discovery process," said Robert E. Conway, Chief Executive Officer of Array BioPharma. "This agreement is representative of our strategy to leverage our expertise across a broad range of therapeutic areas and build greater long term value into our drug discovery alliances."

About Phosphatases

Phosphatases are enzymes that represent key control points in biological pathways. Phosphatases typically function to remove a phosphate group from an active protein, reducing the activity of that protein and de-activating a biological pathway. Inhibiting specific phosphatases may help to enhance the activity of therapeutically beneficial proteins and pathways. There are approximately 100 known phosphatases. Many different phosphatases have been associated with cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory disease, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and neurological disease, and are widely considered to be ideal targets for intervention with small molecule drugs. The structural similarities of protein targets in the phosphatase gene family provide an opportunity to leverage medicinal chemistry across multiple targets in parallel, accelerating small molecule drug design. Both independently and with collaborative partners, Array has ongoing research efforts focused on the phosphatase gene family. Vertex, in addition to the two protein phosphatase programs being pursued with Array, has exploratory research efforts underway targeting additional phosphatases.

About Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a global biotechnology company. Vertex seeks to discover, develop and commercialize major pharmaceutical products independently and with partners. Chemogenomics, Vertex's proprietary, systematic, genomics-based platform, is designed to accelerate the discovery of new drugs and to expand intellectual property coverage of drug candidate compounds and classes of related compounds. This approach, which targets gene families, has formed the basis for several commercial collaborations that retain rights to downstream revenue for Vertex. Vertex's first approved product is Agenerase(R) (amprenavir), an HIV protease inhibitor, which Vertex co-promotes with GlaxoSmithKline. Vertex has 12 drug candidates in development to treat viral diseases, inflammation, cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders. Agenerase(R) is a trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.

About Array BioPharma

Array BioPharma is a drug discovery company creating new drugs through the integration of chemistry, structural biology and chemoinformatics. Array collaborates with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to identify novel small molecule drugs and leverages its discovery platform to develop its own pipeline of proprietary drug candidates. The Array scientific team has a proven track record of success in identifying promising drug candidates.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the expected benefits to be realized by Vertex from its agreement with Array, including that the agreement will allow Vertex to further expand its chemogenomics approach targeting phosphatases and that it may enable Vertex to rapidly discover drug candidates for clinical development. While Vertex's management makes its best efforts to be accurate in making forward-looking statements, such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, that the agreement may be terminated by either party, that Vertex may be unable to further identify, develop and achieve commercial success for new products and technologies, that Vertex may be unable to rapidly identify promising drug candidates, that Vertex may be unable to successfully finance, market, and secure regulatory approval for its drug candidates, that Vertex is dependant upon pharmaceutical and biotechnology collaborations and the levels and timing of payments under Vertex's collaborative agreements, that Vertex may be unable to obtain new corporate collaborations, maintain existing collaborations and acquire new technologies on satisfactory terms, if at all, that Vertex may be unable to adequately protect its proprietary technologies against patent-infringement claims, and risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the U.S. and internationally. Vertex disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Array BioPharma Safe Harbor Statement
Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve
significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and
described more fully in reports filed by Array with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, including our final prospectus as filed on November 16,
2000. Because these statements reflect our current expectations concerning
future events, our actual results could differ materially from those
anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of many factors.
These factors include, but are not limited to, our ability to achieve and
maintain profitability, the extent to which the pharmaceutical and
biotechnology industries are willing to collaborate with third parties on
their drug discovery activities, the ability of our collaborators and of Array
to meet drug discovery objectives tied to milestones and royalties, and our
ability to attract and retain experienced scientists and management. We are
providing this information as of September 5, 2001. We undertake no duty to
update any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of events or
circumstances after the date of such statements or of anticipated or
unanticipated events that alter any assumptions underlying such statements.

Vertex's press releases are available at www.vrtx.com.

Array BioPharma's press releases are available at www.arraybiopharma.com.

For further information, please contact Lynne Brum, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Market Development, +1-617-444-6614, Michael Partridge, Associate Director, Corporate Communications, +1-617-444-6108, or Michele Karpf Belansky, Manager, Product Communications, +1-617-444-6259, all of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; or Tricia Haugeto, Manager, Communications of Array BioPharma, +1-303-386-1193, thaugeto@arraybiopharma.com.

SOURCE Array BioPharma Inc.

CONTACT: Lynne Brum, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Market Development, +1-617-444-6614, Michael Partridge, Associate Director, Corporate Communications, +1-617-444-6108, or Michele Karpf Belansky, Manager, Product Communications, +1-617-444-6259, all of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; or Tricia Haugeto, Manager, Communications of Array BioPharma, +1-303-386-1193, thaugeto@arraybiopharma.com/