Sontra Medical and Echo Therapeutics Announce Merger



    
    Combined Company Boasts Complementary Suite of Transdermal Drug Delivery
    Technologies and Strategic Relationship with Cato Research
    

    FRANKLIN, Mass., and DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 17 /CNW/ -- Sontra Medical
Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board:   SONT.OB), a leader in transdermal technology,
and Echo Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held specialty transdermal
therapeutics company, jointly announced today that they have merged to form a
single, publicly held company to operate under the name Echo Therapeutics,
Inc.  Pursuant to the parties' definitive merger agreement, Sontra acquired
all of the outstanding shares of Echo common stock in exchange for an
aggregate of 6,250,000 shares of Sontra common stock. The stockholders of
Sontra and former stockholders of Echo hold approximately 65 percent (65%) and
35 percent (35%) of the combined company's outstanding common stock,
respectively.  The newly combined company will have corporate offices in
Philadelphia and research and development facilities in Franklin, MA and
Durham, NC.  Patrick T. Mooney, M.D. and Shawn K. Singh, J.D., both formerly
of Echo, will serve as Chief Executive Officer and Interim President of the
combined company, respectively.  Harry G. Mitchell, CPA, of Sontra, will
continue to serve as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of
the combined company.  Burnham Hill Partners, a division of Pali Capital,
Inc., served as financial advisor to Sontra in connection with the merger and
in connection with a separate $1.325 million bridge note financing to a
limited group of strategic institutional and accredited investors.
    "This merger is a timely combination of two late-stage and powerful
transdermal drug penetration technologies," said Patrick Mooney, M.D., Echo's
Chief Executive Officer. "Together, we are now ideally positioned to leverage
and monetize both technologies through a continuing stream of strategic drug
development and marketing partnerships.  Our long-term strategic relationship
with Cato Research, a highly-respected global contract research organization,
will enable the combined company to maximize the output of its two core
technology platforms and minimize the clinical development and regulatory
risks."
    "We entered into this merger based on the strategic rationale that a
second and complementary platform technology would expand our opportunities
for long-term growth," said Michael Wigley, Sontra's Chairman. "The merger
with Echo validates and supports Sontra's strategy over the last nine months
which has been focused on stabilizing our financial condition, capitalizing
the company for future growth, and continuing development and
commercialization programs that are strategically relevant to our long term
plan."
    
    Highlights of the Transaction
    
    The merger created a leading, platform-enabled transdermal therapeutics
and diagnostics company focused on multiple large markets for improved
formulations of specialty pharmaceuticals and new applications of next
generation transdermal diagnostics. The combined company is marked by the
following key attributes and capabilities:
    -- Two transdermal drug penetration technologies, with emphasis on

    
       development and commercialization improved formulations of well-
       established, FDA-approved products in concert with a 505(b)(2)
       regulatory strategy
    -- Diverse, late-stage pipeline, with one FDA-approved product, a second
       product candidate covered by a pending NDA filed with the FDA and seven
       (7) pipeline candidate programs in development covering eight (8)
       different indications
    -- Experienced management team and Board of Directors with public company
       expertise and critical competencies necessary to capitalize on the
       value inherent in each technology platform
    -- Long-term strategic development and regulatory partnership with Cato
       Research, an established global contract research organization, to
       maximize development efficiencies and reduce clinical development and
       regulatory risks
    -- Expertise from Cato Research will strengthen and expand the reach of
       ongoing late-stage clinical development programs in continuous
       transdermal glucose monitoring (CTGM) for the diabetes home use and
       hospital intensive and critical care settings
    About Sontra Medical Corporation
    
    Sontra Medical Corporation owns technology in ultrasound and skin
permeation methods used in transdermal science for therapeutic and diagnostic
applications, and are developing a non-invasive CTGM for use in the large
diabetes home use and hospital intensive and critical care markets. Sontra's
CTGM device leverages its FDA-approved SonoPrep(R) ultrasound-mediated skin
permeation system.
    
    About Echo Therapeutics, Patrick T. Mooney, MD and Shawn K. Singh, JD
    
    Echo Therapeutics is a platform-enabled specialty transdermal
therapeutics company developing a broad portfolio of advanced topical
formulations of well established, FDA-approved products using its proprietary
Azone dermal penetration technology.  Echo has submitted a new drug
application (NDA) to the FDA for the approval of its lead product, Durhalieve,
for treatment of corticosteroid responsive dermatoses.
    Dr. Mooney will serve as Chief Executive Officer and director of the
combined company. He joined Echo in September 2006 as President, Chief
Executive Officer and director. Prior to joining Echo, Dr. Mooney was
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Aphton Corporation (Nasdaq:  
APHT), where he also served as Chief Medical Officer. Prior to Aphton Dr.
Mooney served as Vice President, Senior Biotechnology Analyst for Thomas
Weisel Partners, LLC, a full service merchant banking firm.  Dr. Mooney
received his medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas
Jefferson University and trained in surgery at Thomas Jefferson University
Hospital.
    Mr. Singh will serve as interim, part-time President and director of the
combined company. He joined Echo in 2004 and served as President and director
prior to his appointment as Chairman of the Board in 2006. He has been working
with life science companies for nearly 20 years. In addition to his role with
Echo, Mr. Singh serves as a Principal of Cato BioVentures, the venture capital
affiliate of Cato Research, a contract research organization of which he
serves as Chief Business Officer, and interim Chief Operating Officer and
director of VistaGen Therapeutics. Prior to joining Echo, Mr. Singh served as
Chief Business Officer of SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:   SCLN), President
of Artemis Neuroscience and Corporate Finance Associate in the Silicon Valley
offices of Morrison & Foerster. Mr. Singh also serves as part-time Chief
Executive Officer of Hemodynamic Therapeutics, a majority-owned subsidiary of
Cato BioVentures.
    
    About Cato Research Ltd.
    
    Founded in 1988 by Dr. Allen Cato and Lynda Sutton and headquartered near
Research Triangle Park, NC, Cato Research is a privately held, full-service
contract research and development organization providing strategic and
tactical support for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical
device, and medical diagnostic industries. With a staff of more than 300 and
offices located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel and South Africa,
Cato Research's services range from design and management of preclinical and
clinical studies to submission of regulatory documents required for marketing
approval.
    
    About Burnham Hill Partners
    
    Burnham Hill Partners, based in New York City, was formed in August 2003
and is a division of Pali Capital Inc., a NASD registered broker dealer.  The
professionals at Burnham Hill Partners have extensive experience providing
comprehensive financing and financial advisory services to publicly traded
companies with market capitalizations up to $250 million.  Burnham Hill
Partners' sector expertise includes telecommunications, electronics equipment
and services, network security and software as well as medical devices and
life sciences.
    SonoPrep is a registered trademark of Sontra Medical Corporation. All
other company, product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective owners.
    Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe
historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is
defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any forward-
looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations, but are
subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause
actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include,
but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to the Company's
ability to sell additional shares of common stock and warrants to purchase
common stock at additional closings, the Company's ability to develop, market
and sell products based on its technology, including a continuous transdermal
glucose monitor for the diabetes and hospital ICU market; the expected
benefits and efficacy of the SonoPrep device in connection with diagnostics,
glucose monitoring and transdermal science; the availability of substantial
additional funding for the Company to continue its operations and to conduct
research and development, clinical studies and future product
commercialization; and, the Company's business, research, product development,
regulatory approval, marketing and distribution plans and strategies. These
and other factors are identified and described in more detail in our filings
with the SEC, including, without limitation, our respective annual reports on
Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2006, our respective quarterly
reports on Form 10-QSB, and our current reports on Form 8-K. We do not
undertake to update these forward-looking statements made by us.

    
    Investor Relations Contacts:
    Patrick T. Mooney, M.D., CEO
    508-530-0329
    pmooney@echotx.com
    




For further information:

For further information: Investor Relations, Patrick T. Mooney, M.D.,
CEO,  +1-508-530-0329, pmooney@echotx.com Web Site: http://www.sontra.com

Organization Profile

SONTRA MEDICAL CORPORATION

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ECHO THERAPEUTICS, INC.

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