Xenon Enters Cardiovascular Disease Collaboration With Merck & Co., Inc.

    VANCOUVER, Canada, June 11 /CNW/ -- Xenon today announced a strategic
alliance with Merck & Co., Inc., through an affiliate, to discover and develop
novel small molecule candidates for the potential treatment of cardiovascular

    "We are very excited to be collaborating with Merck to define new
therapeutics in the area of cardiovascular diseases," said Simon Pimstone,
President and CEO of Xenon. "With this deal, Xenon is continuing its strategy
of risk mitigation by select partnering, while retaining ownership of other

    In collaboration with Merck, Xenon will perform validation studies using
its clinical genetics platform, as well as drug discovery and select
preclinical development of small molecule compounds for those targets selected
by a joint steering committee.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Merck has the option to exclusively
license targets and compounds from Xenon for development and
commercialization.  In return, Xenon receives research funding and is eligible
for option exercise fees, research, development and regulatory milestone
payments of up to US$94.5million for the first target and up to US$89.5
million for each subsequent target selected for drug discovery.  In addition,
Merck will pay Xenon undisclosed royalties on sales of products resulting from
the collaboration.  Xenon retains the right to develop and commercialize
certain compounds for which Merck does not exercise its option.

    Michael Hayden, CSO of Xenon added, "We recognize that Merck is a leading
pharmaceutical company with significant presence in and commitment to the
cardiovascular space and they are an ideal strategic partner for Xenon.  This
new alliance, which represents our fifth partnership with a major
pharmaceutical company, once again highlights Xenon's R&D capabilities and
validates our drug discovery platform."

    About Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Xenon)
    Xenon is a privately owned, clinical genetics-based drug discovery and
development company engaged in developing small molecule therapies based on
the genetic causes of select metabolic, neurological and cardiovascular
diseases. For more information, visit the Company's website at

    This release contains forward-looking statements that are not based on
historical fact. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties
and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to
be materially different from those expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance
on such forward-looking statements.


For further information:

For further information: Dr. Robin Sherrington, Senior Director,
Strategic Alliances of Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., +1-604-484-3363,
ddunn@xenon-pharma.com Web Site: http://www.xenon-pharma.com

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Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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