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Governor Perdue Launches Pilot Project to Encourage Bioscience Growth

Thursday, December 11, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Inhibitex to Receive Recoverable Grant to Develop New Research Facility

Atlanta - Further cementing Georgia's commitment to expanding its bioscience industry, Governor Sonny Perdue announced today a pilot project that will support Alpharetta-based Inhibitex Inc. with their decision to establish its new headquarters and research facility in Georgia. Inhibitex is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing antibody-based products for the treatment and prevention of staph and other serious bacterial and fungal infections.

"This pilot project addresses the long term investment nature of the bioscience industry," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "By encouraging and supporting the growth of biotech companies, Georgia will help grow this important industry and its high paying jobs."

The Inhibitex pilot project, administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), is working through the Development Authority of Fulton County to finance $2.5 million in research laboratories for Inhibitex in a public-private partnership with the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism (GDITT) and the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA).

"The bioscience research facility pilot program meets Inhibitex's immediate needs to further establish, grow, and support research facilities and other capital projects," said GRA President Mike Cassidy. "This project will allow Georgia to stay on the cutting edge of innovation."

This pilot project could eventually be expanded to reach other venture-backed bioscience companies supported by private capital construction funds, according to GDITT Commissioner Glenn Cornell. Due to the long time of getting product to market it often takes years for bioscience companies to reach profitability; consequently they don't typically qualify for traditional financing.

"The state of Georgia is making a significant investment in the future of its life sciences industry," said William D. Johnston, Ph.D., Inhibitex president and CEO. "This project, coupled with Inhibitex's pipeline of novel products, keeps us in Georgia, where we started and puts our company in a great position to provide clinicians with the power to change and dramatically improve the existing treatments for serious infections."

About Inhibitex

Inhibitex, Inc., headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing "first in field" antibody-based products for the treatment and prevention of staphylococcal and other serious bacterial and fungal infections. The company currently has two product candidates, Veronate® and Aurexis®, in clinical development, and several other ongoing preclinical development programs, including a partnership with Wyeth to develop staphylococcal vaccines. These product candidates and development programs are all based upon the company's proprietary MSCRAMM® protein technology platform, which it is utilizing to identify and create antibodies that can be used therapeutically to eliminate, or reduce the severity of, infections caused by certain pathogenic organisms.

About Georgia Research Alliance

The vision of Georgia's private and public sector leaders, the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) is a private, nonprofit corporation. Its Board of Trustees is drawn from the top levels of some of the state's largest corporations and its university partner presidents. With a rich background and history, the Alliance executes the state's strategy for capitalizing on innovative university research to build a vibrant, technology-rich economy.

About GDITT/Office of Science and Technology

The Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism (GDITT) is the state's sales and marketing arm for Georgia's economic growth. GDITT's Office of Science and Technology (OST) is focused on attracting and retaining technology and bioscience companies to the state. In building awareness of Georgia's key research assets GDITT/OST helps to grow the technology and bioscience industries to critical mass by attracting capital and talent to the state.