Millennium and Bayer industrializing drug discovery process through ongoing successful research alliance

October 23, 2000

More Than 70 disease-relevant validated drug targets moving in to or beyond screening in first two years of collaboration

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and LEVERKUSEN, Germany, October 24, 2000 --Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLNM) and Bayer AG today announced that they are currently moving more than 70 disease-relevant validated drug targets into high-throughput screening or lead identification in the first two years of their five-year research alliance. The alliance achieved these exceptional advances through joint efforts. The two companies collaborated to streamline the drug discovery process with Millennium industrializing the rapid identification, characterization and validation of target proteins and Bayer conducting large-scale high-throughput screening. This innovative approach to target discovery allows for the categorization of genes with disease relevance and is a key step in the process to enhance the productivity of drug discovery.

The alliance is centered on genomics research that identifies the composition and function of thousands of genes which carry instructions to make proteins the body needs to function. By integrating large-scale genetics, genomics, automation, informatics and drug discovery technologies, Millennium can rapidly search for disease-relevant targets that are promising for drug development. This resulting drug discovery platform, which effectively meets the needs of the research alliance with Bayer, serves all of Millennium's research programs, both internal and partnered, and contributes validated targets to the Company's own drug discovery pipeline.

With the aid of Bayer's high-throughput robotic screening technology, the selected targets are incorporated into test systems to search for compounds that show promise for drug development. This screening process can test more than 200,000 such compounds daily.

"The progress of the Millennium and Bayer alliance in its first two years has been extraordinary, particularly given the usual three-year timeframe for the processing of targets, chemistry and pharmacology necessary to yield a developmental drug candidate," said Professor Wolfgang Hartwig, executive vice president of pharmaceuticals research at Bayer. "As we celebrate our second anniversary with Millennium, we anticipate that in addition to our screening pipeline of more than 70 targets, we will have several preclinical compounds and potentially one chemical compound nearing IND status by year-end."

In May 2000, Millennium and Bayer expanded the initial objectives of the alliance, based on the success of their efforts. The two companies collectively accelerated their second year goal of identifying new validated drug targets from 50 to 100 by the end of 2000. To date, more than 70 validated drug targets have been identified since the alliance began in September 1998.
"Bayer and Millennium have created the world's leading platform for biologically annotating targets and moving them into drug discovery," said Mark Levin, chief executive officer of Millennium. "Our joint efforts exemplify the power of Millennium's genomics-based approach to drug discovery and development, Bayer's cutting-edge screening and chemistry capabilities and expertise, and the extraordinary success which can be created through 'over-the-top alliances.'

Alliance Background The primary goal of the alliance is for Millennium to supply 225 important new drug targets identified as relevant for cardiovascular disease, cancer, pain, hematology and viral infections. From those identified by the alliance, Bayer will select drug targets for its exclusive use and the remainder will be available to Millennium to use in its proprietary drug development efforts.

In return for a total investment of up to $465 million, including an equity investment in Millennium over a five-year period, Bayer receives access to key technologies in modern genome research and a flow of new genomics-based targets for drug development.

Drug targets are proteins expressed by human genes that can be used to discover and develop small molecule drugs. In the last 100 years of pharmaceutical research, some 500 drug targets based on human genes (of which there are approximately 100,000) have been identified worldwide for use in the development of medical therapies, leaving a considerable number of potential targets still to be discovered.

Bayer is an international, research-based group with major businesses in health care, agriculture, polymers and specialty chemicals. With some 120,000 employees worldwide, the group recorded a net income of 2 billion euros on sales of 27.3 billion euros in 1999. For the current year, 2.4 billion euros are budgeted for capital expenditures and 2.2 billion euros for research and development.

Millennium, a leading biopharmaceutical company, applies its comprehensive and integrated science and technology platform for the discovery and development of breakthrough therapeutic and predictive medicine products, with a goal of delivering personalized medicine. Through the industrialization of this gene-to-patient platform, Millennium also strives to accelerate the process of drug discovery and development. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Millennium and its affiliates currently employ more than 1,200 people.
-end-
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including Millennium's expectations of future industry conditions, strategic plans and forecasts of operational results. Various risks may cause Millennium's actual results to differ materially, including: uncertainties about its drug discovery and clinical development processes, uncertainties about obtaining patent protection for its discoveries and about the commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; Millennium's dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services based on its work; uncertainties about obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from its development efforts; and the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by Millennium with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Millennium disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Editor's note: This release is available on Millennium's website at: www.mlnm.com

Porter Novelli

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