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DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, October 11, 2001 - Merix Bioscience, Inc. (Merix) announced today that three of the world's leading scientists in the field of dendritic cell research - Dr. Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller University, Dr. Jacques Banchereau of Baylor Research Institute and Dr. Gerold Schuler of the University of Erlangen, Germany - have joined the Company's Expert Advisory Committee. This Committee will participate in the planning and execution of research projects that aid and broaden the development of Merix's proprietary individualized RNA-based cancer vaccines. The Committee will work in conjunction with Dr. Eli Gilboa of Duke University Medical Center (DUMC), original founder of Merix, who developed the RNA-based technology platform, and Dr. Johannes Vieweg, also of DUMC, a leading clinical investigator with dendritic cell vaccines.

Additionally, Merix announced that it has obtained licenses and/or options to intellectual property developed by Drs. Steinman, Banchereau and Schuler, from their respective universities and institutes. This will allow the Company to broaden its business into the Antiviral, Autoimmunity and Transplantation markets while maintaining Merix's core concentration on Oncology.

"This is a major achievement for Merix as these scientists are internationally recognized pioneers in the field of dendritic cell technology. We are excited to have them aboard to help Merix develop and commercialize the technology. Through their combined expertise we can build a world renowned company that will establish the standard for personalized vaccinations for cancer treatment," said Mark Weedon, President and CEO of Merix Bioscience.

The Merix platform is based on stimulating the patient's own immune system to produce an immunological response to the patient's tumor, utilizing dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are a group of specialized cells that can recognize and hold antigens for a long period of time, assisting in stimulating T cells for a specific response.

These experts, who are each conducting research and/or clinical trials at their respective universities and institutes have been associated with dendritic cell research since the cells were first discovered by Dr. Steinman over 20 years ago. Their contributions will be used to complement and expand the existing RNA-based dendritic cell technologies previously licensed by Merix from Duke University. Funding for on going research, pre-clinical and clinical trials was raised in a $39.5 million second round of venture financing announced in September 2001.

Ralph M. Steinman, M.D., heads the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immunology at Rockefeller University, where he is the Henry G. Kunkel Professor and Senior Physician. Dr. Steinman is cited as the discoverer of dendritic cells (1973) and has continued since then to study dendritic cell physiology, including the use of dendritic cells to understand and manipulate the human immune response. Dr. Steinman received his undergraduate degree from McGill University, and his M.D. from Harvard University. "I am pleased that the results of my research using dendritic cell physiology will get to the clinical setting to help understand the body's immune defense system and thereby create more effective preventions and treatments for a wide range of diseases," said Dr. Steinman.

Jacques Banchereau, Ph.D., is the director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (Dallas, Texas), which he helped establish in 1996. He holds the Max and Gayle Clampitt Chair for Immunology Research. While serving as director of BIIR, Dr. Banchereau also teaches at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School as an adjunct professor. Previously, he was director of the Schering-Plough Laboratory for Immunological Research near Lyon, France. Dr. Banchereau has investigated various areas of immunology and cancer. He was among the first to discover how to grow human dendritic cells. Dr. Banchereau earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Paris. "I'm excited to work alongside Eli, Ralph and Gerold where together our combined expertise will accelerate the road to new and effective treatments for cancer and other diseases," reported Dr. Banchereau.

Gerold Schuler, M.D., is professor of Dermatology, and currently director of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Dr. Schuler is noted for his development of the concept of dendritic cell "maturation" as well as the identification of GM-CSF as the critical cytokine for generation of dendritic cells from hematopoietic precursors. His present research focuses on dendritic cell vaccination of tumors and immune disorders. He is a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Schuler was graduated as an M.D. at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and received extensive post-doctoral training both in dermatology and immunology. "Merix has afforded me the opportunity to integrate R&D plans on both continents while working with the world's most talented team in this field," said Dr. Schuler.

About Merix
Merix Bioscience, Inc. is a private immunotherapy company poised to assume leadership in the large emerging market of cancer vaccines. The Company's proprietary platform technology encompasses methods to optimize the preparation of dendritic cells, methods for the antigen loading (transfection) of dendritic cells, and the application of the resulting vaccines in the treatment of cancer, chronic infectious diseases and immune disorders. Merix offers a unique and proprietary ability to produce a nearly limitless supply of individualized (autologous) vaccine for potentially every cancer patient, a vaccine created from the body's own dendritic cells pulsed with amplified messenger RNA (mRNA) from the patient's cancer (RNA-loaded DC vaccines).