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Molecular Devices Acquires Transfluor® Imaging Technology From Xsira Pharmaceuticals

Sunnyvale, Calif., February 28, 2005 – Molecular Devices Corporation (Nasdaq: MDCC) today announced that it has acquired the complete portfolio of Transfluor® technology assets from Xsira Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated (formerly Norak Biosciences, Incorporated) for $11 million cash.  This transaction strengthens Molecular Devices’ leadership position as a provider of tools for both imaging and G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) assays, two of the most important and fastest-growing areas of drug discovery.

Transfluor® technology, comprising proprietary assays that operate on imaging platforms such as Molecular Devices’ Discovery-1 and ImageXpress® systems, offers a robust way to visualize key cellular events and to detect receptor activation.  Because of its nearly universal applicability to all types of GPCRs, the leading class of drug targets, Transfluor® technology has become a popular tool for drug discovery.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Michael Sjaastad, Molecular Devices’ Director of Marketing, Imaging, said, “Transfluor® technology is a perfect fit for Molecular Devices and further confirms our commitment to provide novel imaging solutions to the drug discovery market.  With a product portfolio that includes Transfluor® technology, our Fluorometric Imaging Plate Reader (FLIPR®), and reagents, Molecular Devices now offers best-in-class screening solutions for every major type of GPCR target.”

Xsira Pharmaceuticals, which commercialized Transfluor® technology based on research conducted at Duke University, will now focus on its own drug discovery program using a license to Transfluor® technology granted by Molecular Devices.  “We are excited to see Molecular Devices, a world-class bioanalytical tools company, step into the role of commercializing Transfluor® technology and managing its further evolution,“ said Roger Blevins, Pharm.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Xsira.  “Transfluor® technology has proven to be an enabling system for GPCR-based drug discovery at Xsira and many other pharmaceutical companies, and we are confident that Molecular Devices is the best company to ensure its continued success.”

Molecular Devices plans to begin licensing Transfluor® technology and related materials to customers in the second quarter of 2005.  Parties interested in Transfluor® technology should contact their Molecular Devices sales representative.

About Molecular Devices Corporation

Molecular Devices Corporation is a leading developer of high-performance, bioanalytical measurement systems that accelerate and improve drug discovery and other life sciences research.  Molecular Devices’ systems and consumables enable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to leverage advances in genomics and combinatorial chemistry by facilitating the high-throughput and cost-effective identification and evaluation of drug technologies that integrate its expertise in engineering, molecular and cell biology, and chemistry.  Molecular Devices enables its customers to improve research productivity and effectiveness, which ultimately accelerates the complex process of discovering and developing new drugs.  Molecular Devices’ website is at

About Xsira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Xsira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is a private biotechnology company.  Xsira is using various technologies including Transfluor® to become a world leader in the discovery and development of drugs that regulate GPCRs.  For more information about Xsira, please visit the company’s website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, including statements related to the commercial potential of the Transfluor® technology and Molecular Devices’ plans to begin licensing Transfluor® technology and related materials to customers. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks associated with technology acquisitions, such as the potential inability to realize the expected benefits of the transaction, potential difficulties in the assimilation of the acquired technology and the risk of diversion of management attention from other business concerns, and general business risks including, among others, risks detailed from time to time in Molecular Devices’ SEC reports, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2004.  Molecular Devices Corporation does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.


Press Release Contact:  Tim Harkness
  Molecular Devices Corporation
  (408) 747-3533

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