PRESS RELEASE - September 17, 2000


Molecular Engines Laboratories SA
Robert AMSON
Tel: 33 1 44 64 04 64 – Fax: 33 1 44 64 04 65

Lynx Therapeutics, Inc. Cohn & Wolfe Healthcare
Norrie J.W. Russell, Ph.D. Juliane Snowden, 212/598-2870 (Investors)
Edward C. Albini Julio Cantre, 212/598-3651 (Investors)
510/670-9300 Jacqueline Franchetti, 516/365-6026 (Media)


HAYWARD, CALIFORNIA, and PARIS, FRANCE – October 17, 2000 - Lynx Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: LYNX) and Molecular Engines Laboratories SA (MEL) announced today that the companies have agreed to a two-year research collaboration to identify differentially expressed genes associated with tumor reversion. The two companies believe elucidation of these differentially expressed genes using Lynx’s Megasort™ technology could lead to the development of research, diagnostic and therapeutic products or services in the cancer field.

Lynx will apply its Megasort™ technology to cancer cell lines provided by MEL to identify differentially expressed genes. MEL plans to incorporate the findings into its overall research in the areas of tumor reversion, tumor suppression, programmed cell death, cell growth arrest and other processes involving cell death. Data from the combined program are expected to provide unique insights into the molecular mechanisms by which malignant cells can revert to non-malignant cells.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lynx will receive payments from MEL for genomic discovery services to be performed by Lynx. Lynx will receive royalty payments from the commercialization of any products or services stemming from the scientific results of the research program. No other financial terms of the agreement were disclosed.

"MEL’s research on tumor reversion is a fundamentally different approach to finding new routes to treat cancer, and we believe Megasort™ will be an important addition to MEL’s program,” stated Dr. Norrie Russell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lynx. “We are pleased MEL has chosen to exploit the power of Lynx’s differential gene expression technology. Our partnership with MEL is yet another element of our unfolding strategy to create value-added opportunities for Lynx.“

“We are delighted that Lynx will be working with us,” said Claude Hennion, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MEL. “We chose Lynx as a collaborative partner because we believe that its Megaclone™ and Megasort™ technologies are the most powerful tools currently available for identifying the functional genes associated with MEL’s biological models for tumor reversion.”

While conventional anti-cancer approaches focus on targeting malignant cells for destruction, MEL's method of tumor eradication seeks to “reprogram” cancerous cells towards a non-malignant state. This method, known as tumor reversion, offers a new strategy in cancer intervention. The understanding of the genetic and molecular components underlying tumor reversion would provide unexpected insights into developing a new generation of therapeutic agents.

Lynx’s Megasort™ technology provides a method to compare two DNA samples, each containing millions of molecules, and identify and physically extract essentially all of the genes that differ in expression level between the two samples. The novelty of Megasort™ technology is that the identification and extraction are performed in a single assay. Importantly, the comparison and sorting require no prior knowledge of the sequences of the genes in either sample, which means Megasort™ technology can be used with samples isolated from tissues or organisms that are not well characterized.

Lynx is a leader in the development and application of novel technologies for the discovery of gene expression patterns and genomic variations important to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agricultural industries. These technologies are based on the Megaclone™ technology, Lynx's unique and proprietary cloning procedure, which transforms a sample containing millions of DNA molecules into one made up of millions of micro-beads, each of which carries approximately 100,000 copies of one of the DNA molecules in the sample. Megaclone™ technology is the foundation for Lynx's analytical applications, including: Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing, or MPSS®, technology, which provides gene sequence information and high-resolution gene expression data; Megasort™ technology, which provides differentially expressed gene sets; and Megatype™ technology, which is expected to provide single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, disease- or trait-association information. For more information, visit Lynx's web site at

MEL is a private biotechnology company whose purpose is to develop novel therapeutics for cancer. The strategy of MEL, as conceived by Drs. Adam Telerman and Robert Amson, is to characterize most of the genes associated with tumor reversion and to understand their mechanisms in order to induce the reversion of malignant cells to non-malignant cells. For more than twenty years, numerous academic institutions and a plethora of pharmaceutical companies have been working intensively in trying to understand how normal cells become malignant. The team at MEL is taking a novel approach toward cancer research by focusing instead on how malignant cells revert to non-malignant cells.

Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include those related to the identification of differentially expressed genes associated with disease, as well as the development and/or commercialization of research, diagnostic, and therapeutic products or services resulting from the collaboration with MEL. Lynx cautions readers that forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties can include the failure to discover any product candidates as a result of the collaboration, the possible failure of any clinical trials for product candidates that arise from the collaboration; the inability to successfully market the product; Lynx’s inability to identify differentially expressed genes related to disease; the prospect of continued losses by Lynx; and other risks identified from time to time in Lynx's reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Lynx directs readers to its reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2000.

SOURCE : Molecular Engines Laboratories (Paris, France) and Lynx Therapeutics (Hayward, California, USA)