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Norak Biosciences Delivers on an Agreement with Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals

Norak Combined Its Transfluor(R) Technology and High Content Screening Systems
            to Discover Active Compounds for Sumitomo Orphan GPCR

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Norak Biosciences, Inc. announced today the completion of a screening collaboration agreement with Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. to utilize its Transfluor(R) technology for G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) drug discovery.  Under the terms of the agreement Norak developed Transfluor(R) cell lines expressing an orphan GPCR target of interest to Sumitomo and then screened this cell line on its high content imaging systems against a Sumitomo compound library.  Financial details of the agreement are not disclosed.

"We are very pleased with the results from this screening collaboration with Sumitomo. This is our first Japanese screening collaboration and the first time we have screened a partner's orphan GPCR target at Norak," commented Dr. Roger D. Blevins, Norak president and CEO.  "We have now delivered high content data and images to Sumitomo on active compounds from their library."

Blevins added, "Norak will continue exploring the business opportunities worldwide by providing our universal GPCR cell-based, high content assay to partners along with Norak's world class GPCR biology and high throughput screening expertise."

For near-term growth and revenue, Norak is offering access to its technologies to the drug discovery industry via licensing and screening collaborations.  For long-term growth and value, Norak has internal GPCR drug development programs based on novel GPCR targets and compounds.

Norak's Transfluor(R) technology is a patented, universal GPCR drug discovery technology designed to be the most direct and accurate method for screening potential drug candidates against GPCR targets, whether known or orphan. Transfluor(R) was licensed in 1999 by Norak from technology developed at Duke University Medical Center and represents the combined research into GPCR signaling pathways over several decades by Norak's scientific founders, Drs. Marc Caron, Robert Lefkowitz, and Larry Barak.

About Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals: 

Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., which was established through the merger of the pharmaceutical divisions of Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. and Inabata & Co. in 1984, possesses integrated functions in research, development, manufacturing, and sales of pharmaceuticals.

Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals now occupies a firm position in the Japanese drug market and is marketing many well known drugs including Sumiferon, Japan's first selling interferon-alpha product, Amlodin, a therapeutic agent for hypertension and angina pectoris, and Meropen, the world's first carbapenem antibiotic without stabilizing agent.

For more information, visit Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals' Web site at .

 About Norak:

Norak Biosciences, Inc., headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, is a private venture-capital backed biotechnology company.  Norak is utilizing its proprietary Transfluor(R) technology to become a world leader in the discovery and development of drugs that regulate G protein-coupled receptors. 

The company's business development in Japan is actively supported by Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners.  Mitsui is a Norak investor and is represented on Norak's Board of Directors.

For more information about Norak Biosciences, Inc., please visit the Company's website at .


     Terry E. Willard
     Executive Vice President 
     Norak Biosciences, Inc. 
     7030 Kit Creek Road
     Morrisville, NC 27560  
     Phone: 919-248-8000 ext. 8804
     Fax: 919-248-8033


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