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    HOMEX - Melbourne


    Australian biotechnology company Autogen Limited (ASX: AGT) is
    pleased to announce the signing of two new commercialisation and
    licensing deals with its European pharmaceutical partner Merck-Sante
    for genes associated with obesity and diabetes.

    The deals mean that two of Autogen's genes, AGT 203 for diabetes and
    AGT 121 for obesity, are proving so promising that Merck-Sante is
    fast-tracking their development.

    Merck-Sante will continue with further characterisation of both genes
    using both Autogen's eXpress Technology Platform and its own
    resources and technologies in Europe.

    Merck-Sante's commitment to the genes as drug targets for obesity and
    diabetes moves Autogen steps closer to significant earnings. The
    deals confirm that Autogen will receive 5-7% royalty on sales if
    these genes lead to therapeutics to be sold in the multi-billion
    dollar diabetes and obesity markets.

    The signing of the commercialisation and licensing deals follows
    Merck-Sante's recent milestone payment of Euro762,245 (A$1,390,378) to
    Autogen in recognition of the AGT203 discovery.

    The new deals enhance Autogens international reputation as a strong
    biotech partner for pharmaceutical companies, according to Autogen's
    Business Development Director Dr James Campbell.

    "Autogen now has four commercialisation and licensing agreements with
    Merck-Sante - two each for obesity (Beacon and AGT 121) and diabetes
    (Tanis and AGT 203). These 'most likely' drug candidates are
    underpinned by a significant portfolio of intellectual property, with
    49 diabetes and obesity-related genes in different stages of patent

    Professor Greg Collier, CEO of Autogen added that "Merck-Sante's
    decision to exercise its option to license further discoveries from
    Autogen's expanding intellectual property portfolio confirms the high
    quality of leads that our discovery and validation laboratories are
    providing to our pharmaceutical partners."

    It is further good news for the company which has dramatically
    improved its performance and bottom line in the past 8 months. "We
    have a new management team that is firmly committed to delivering on
    specific targets, and creating sustainable shareholder value,"
    Professor Collier said.
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