Myriad genetics and University of Utah publish pioneering HIV research in the scientific journal Cell

October 04, 2001

Scientists identify promising new targets for HIV drug intervention

Salt Lake City, October 4, 2001 -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN) and the University of Utah today announced the publication of the results of pioneering research into molecular mechanisms essential for the lifecycle of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, (HIV) the virus known to cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

The scientific paper entitled, "Tsg101 and the vacuolar protein sorting pathway are essential for HIV-1 budding" and published in the latest volume of Cell describes groundbreaking research, done in collaboration between Myriad Genetics and the Department of Biochemistry and Center for Biomolecular Interaction Analysis at the University of Utah School of Medicine. This work was aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the life cycle of the HIV virus and the identification of new therapeutic targets for the next generation of antiviral treatments.

"This publication demonstrates the value of Myriad Genetics' core technologies for the identification of biochemical pathways essential to human disease and the discovery of novel potential drug targets," said Peter Meldrum, President and CEO of Myriad Genetics. "Myriad's high throughput protein interaction technology played an important role in this study."

"In order to produce infectious virus, HIV uses the human cell machinery," said Adrian Hobden, Ph.D., President of Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "Understanding the appropriation of cellular machinery by the HIV virus should provide us with the means to disrupt the HIV lifecycle through therapeutic intervention."

The life cycle of HIV infection consists of 6 major events: attachment, reverse transcription, integration/transcription, translation viral assembly, budding and maturation. In order to achieve the dispersal of viral particles the virus uses the cell's own machinery to bud from infected cell membrane. The collaboration showed that the Tsg101 protein is essential for HIV1 budding. Moreover by removing the activity of the Tsg101 protein it was possible to stop the life cycle of the virus at a very late stage.

As a result of this collaboration, Myriad Genetics has identified a number of potential HIV drug targets. These targets have been screened and lead compounds have been developed with potential as anti-HIV drugs.
About the HIV virus
Like other viruses, HIV multiplies by entering human cells and utilizing the metabolic and replicative machinery of human cells. But HIV is unique because it kills T cells, a type of white blood cell, that are the very cells that are meant to fight infection. HIV systematically destroys these cells, dismantling the immune system. Eventually, the body is left defenseless against a host of deadly opportunistic infections and cancers. According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, today there are 36.1 million people estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 34.7 million are adults. 16.4 million are women, and 1.4 million are children under 15. An estimated 21.8 million people have died from AIDS since the epidemic began. 17.5 million were adults, including 9 million women. 4.3 million were children under 15. During 2000, AIDS caused the deaths of an estimated 3 million people, including 1.3 million women and 500,000 children under 15. Women are becoming increasingly affected by HIV. Approximately 47%, or 16.4 million, of the 34.7 million adults living with HIV or AIDS worldwide are women. The overwhelming majority of people with HIV - approximately 95% of the global total - now live in the developing world.

Myriad Genetics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutic products derived from its proprietary genomic and proteomic technologies. The Company has established two wholly owned subsidiaries. Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. develops and intends to market therapeutic compounds, and Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc. develops and markets proprietary predictive medicine and personalized medicine products. Myriad has established strategic alliances with Bayer, Eli Lilly, Hitachi, Novartis, Oracle, Pharmacia, Roche, Schering AG, Schering-Plough and Syngenta.

The discussion in this news release includes forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Such statements are based on management's current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth or implied by forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to uncertainties as to the extent of future government regulation of Myriad Genetics' or Myriad Proteomics' business, uncertainties as to whether Myriad Genetics or Myriad Proteomics and its collaborators will be successful in developing, and obtaining regulatory approval for, and commercial acceptance of, therapeutics; the risk that markets will not exist for therapeutic compounds that Myriad Genetics or Myriad Proteomics develops or if such markets exist, that Myriad Genetics or Myriad Proteomics will not be able to sell compounds, which it develops, at acceptable prices. All information in this press release is as of October 4, 2001, and Myriad undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

Noonan/Russo Communications

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