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Thu 1 Feb 2007 12:00 AM

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GSK acquires Praecis; completes CNS buyout

Acquisitions add novel compounds, nasal dilator strips and dietary supplements

GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and Praecis Pharmaceuticals Incorporated have reached an agreement for GSK to acquire all outstanding shares of Praecis’ common stock for US $54.8 million.

Praecis is a biopharmaceutical company focused on utilising its proprietary technologies for the discovery and development of novel compounds that have the potential to address unmet medical needs or improve existing therapies. Praecis has a novel MetAP-2 inhibitor, PPI-2458, in clinical development for cancer indications, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and solid tumors.

It also has a drug discovery technology, DirectSelect, which enables the generation and practical use of ultra-large libraries for the discovery of orally active compounds for drug development. The company also has a research and development program underway, which aims to identify one or more selective S1P-1 agonist compounds to advance into clinical testing. “Praecis has created novel therapeutic programs and innovative chemical-synthesis and screening technology that will complement our own discovery capabilities,” said Allen Oliff, senior VP, molecular discovery research, GSK.

GSK has also completed its acquisition of CNS, marketer of Breathe Right nasal dilator strips and FiberChoice dietary fibre supplements. The transaction is worth approximately $566 million.

CNS, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, reported sales of $122.2 million for the twelve month period ended September 30, 2006, an increase of 20% over the previous twelve month period.

Breathe Right branded products are marketed in 27 countries around the world. FiberChoice fibre supplements are currently marketed solely in the US, a situation that is likely to change. “We are very pleased to welcome this outstanding business into the GSK Consumer Healthcare family,” said John Clarke, president, GSK Consumer Healthcare. “CNS is a well-managed company, and its brands fit with our growth strategy and are great additions to our portfolio. The opportunity for growth through geographic expansion and pipeline innovation make this acquisition an exciting prospect.”

The Breathe Right brand has delivered 12% and the FiberChoice brand 54% compound annual sales growth over the past three years. For GSK, the transaction will be neutral to earnings in 2007, and accretive from 2008.

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