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Advancing the search for new antibacterial agents: Targanta drug discovery platform to be presented at the 45th ICAAC

MONTREAL, QUÉBEC (July 22, 2005): Targanta Therapeutics Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company developing innovative antibacterial drugs, today announced that it will present three scientific abstracts at the 45th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) to be held in Washington, D.C., December 14-19, 2005.

Phage-inspired Drug Discovery Platform
By unraveling the genetic code of phages, or viruses that attack bacteria, Targanta researchers have identified antimicrobial proteins used by the phages to kill or stop the replication of the bacteria, as well as the specific bacterial targets with which those proteins interact. These targets are then used to screen hundreds of thousands of synthetic compounds to identify novel small molecule drugs that mimic the phage proteins' antimicrobial effects. Targanta's discovery efforts are currently focused on three medically and economically important human pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The work to be presented at the 45th ICAAC describes the discovery of two antimicrobial phage proteins and their use to identify new targets in S. aureus bacteria. Small molecule compounds with promising attributes of antibacterial activity and limited cytotoxicity were subsequently identified by screening the bacterial targets. The results of an intensive medicinal chemistry effort to advance one of these compounds, a transcription inhibitor, will also be presented. The scientific advances that are to be disclosed at the 45th ICAAC firmly establish Targanta in the battle against increasing antibiotic resistance worldwide.

Tissue Targeting Antibacterials
Targanta is also pursuing the development of novel antibacterial pro-drugs that specifically target high turnover bone for the treatment and prevention of bone infections, or osteomyelitis. The market for the prevention and/or treatment of osteomyelitis is large and open to a convenient treatment with superior efficacy. Currently no antibacterial is approved for marketing with an osteomyelitis indication. Targanta has already created several proprietary bone-targeting antibacterial pro-drugs that are dramatically effective at binding to infected bone where they regenerate the antibacterial in high concentration to maximize bactericidal effects. These product candidates are currently being tested in various osteomyelitis models.

About Targanta
Targanta Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly known as PhageTech Inc.) is a private, venture-backed biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new classes of antibiotic drugs, based on its world-leading efforts in phage genomics and its strength in medicinal chemistry. Targanta is headquartered in Montreal, Québec.

For more information on Targanta, please contact Pierre Etienne, M.D., President and CEO or Thomas Parr, Jr., Ph.D., CSO at (514) 332-1008