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Millennium Patents Drug Discovery Target Identification Method

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- Millennium Pharmaceuticals has been granted US Patent No. 5,756,305 for a process for identifying genes essential for a pathogen's survival.

"Over the past few years, a growing problem has been identified: bacteria, fungi and other pathogens have developed resistance to current treatments," said Robert Tepper, Millennium's chief scientific officer, pharmaceuticals. "Consequently, there is a growing need for new compounds with novel mechanisms of action. We believe that the process covered by this patent will lead to the discovery and development of drugs that actually kill the pathogens in question, in contrast to many existing therapeutics which merely ameliorate the symptoms of the pathogenic disease or slow the growth of the pathogenic organism."

"This patent covers a methodology for identifying targets for therapeutic intervention that we believe will lead to the development of new and more effective antifungal, antibacterial, and antiparasitic agents," said Mark Boshar, associate general counsel and chief patent counsel at Millennium. "The issuance of this patent highlights the diversity of Millennium's growing patent portfolio. In addition to seeking protection for novel genes, proteins and drug leads, we have been aggressively pursuing patents for innovative process technologies developed in the technology division of the company that we believe are critical to the drug discovery process."

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