Chromos and Pain Thearapeutics sign cell line engineering agreement

    BURNABY, BC, March 20 /CNW/ - Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. ("Chromos";
TSX: CHR) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Pain
Therapeutics, Inc. ("Pain Therapeutics"; NASDAQ:  PTIE) of South San Francisco,
California to develop a cell line using Chromos' ACE System.
    Under the agreement, Chromos will engineer cell lines specific for the
expression of a proprietary monoclonal antibody for Pain Therapeutics using
the ACE System. Pain Therapeutics has the right to use the cell lines for
scale up and manufacture of the proprietary monoclonal antibody, following the
cell line engineering phase of the agreement. The financial details of the
agreement were not disclosed.
    Chromos' ACE System is a versatile and potent biological engineering
system based on proprietary artificial chromosome technology that facilitates
the rapid engineering of stable high expressing production cell lines for the
clinical and commercial manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. Recent data
generated by one of Chromos' partners has shown that cell lines engineered by
Chromos using the ACE System are capable of achieving monoclonal antibody
yields of greater than 4 g/L in a non-optimized bioreactor system, a four-fold
improvement over the partner's original cell line. Chromos has also used an
ACE System-derived cell line to manufacture its lead product, CHR-1103.
    The versatility of the ACE System also enables the rapid generation of
research grade material to support preclinical research programs along with
the ability to incorporate multiple genes into a production cell line. The
ability to systematically and reproducibly introduce additional genes to a
production cell line can be used to ensure correct post-translational
modification of the product and/or improve the cell line's performance in a
bioreactor. Overall, the speed, performance and versatility of the ACE System
can provide time and cost savings in the production of biopharmaceuticals.
    The ACE System is Chromos' leading revenue generator. The technology is
licensed non-exclusively to third parties including Pfizer Inc., Centocor,
Cambridge Antibody Technology and Pain Therapeutics, Inc.

    About Chromos

    Chromos is a biopharmaceutical company with two drug development programs
focused on inflammatory diseases and thrombotic disorders. The Company's lead
product, CHR-1103, is a humanized monoclonal antibody being developed as an
acute treatment for relapses associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Chromos
generates revenue from its proprietary ACE System technology to engineer
production quality cell lines to manufacture biopharmaceutical products
including monoclonal antibodies. For more information visit our website at

    Risks and Uncertainties

    Certain of the statements contained in this press release are
forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of Chromos (the "Company"), or industry results,
to be materially different from any future results, performance or
achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
    To the extent possible, management implements strategies to reduce or
mitigate the risks and uncertainties associated with the Company's operations.
Operating risks include (i) the continued availability of capital to finance
the Company's activities; (ii) the Company's limited cash position, (iii) the
ability to successfully obtain proof of the effectiveness of the Company's
technology (iv) the ability to complete and maintain corporate alliances
relating to the development and commercialization of the Company's technology;
(v) the ability to obtain and enforce patent and other intellectual property
protection for the Company's technology; (vi) market acceptance of the
Company's technology; (vii) the competitive environment and impact of
technological change; (viii) the Company's ability to attract and retain
employees to carry out its business plans; (ix) the timely development and
commercialization of any technology or products that are contingent on the
completion and maintenance of corporate alliances with third parties; (*) the
demand for repayment of the outstanding Notes by the Noteholders and (xi)
regulatory approval for the conversion of the outstanding Notes. Further
details on Chromos' operating risks can be found in the Company's Quarterly
and Annual Reports to Shareholders.

For further information:

For further information: Jeff Charpentier, Vice President, Finance and
CFO, Tel: (604) 415-7132,, Website:

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