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Tm Bioscience to Validate and Discover Coagulation Genes
with Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
-- Agreement marks key step in strategy to market diagnostic microarrays --

TORONTO, ON, December 20, 2001 - Tm Bioscience Corporation (Tm Bioscience, CDNX: TMC) and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute announced today the signing of a Letter of Intent to enter into a multi-phase agreement to validate the prototype coagulation diagnostic microarray developed by Tm Bioscience and discover new clinically relevant coagulation genes .

"This agreement moves us closer to our goal of becoming a leader in the DNA diagnostic testing market," said Greg Hines, President and CEO of Tm Bioscience. "We expect our prototype coagulation array to be validated in the first phase of this agreement. This validation will allow us to seek regulatory approval to market a gene based coagulation test. The second phase will involve the discovery of new, clinically relevant coagulation genetic variations (single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs) for use in future microarray diagnostic applications."

The prototype coagulation microarray simultaneously tests for four specific coagulation SNPs that are indicative of an increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), or blood clotting in veins. Internal results demonstrate that the Tm coagulation test has a high degree of specificity and sensitivity for these genetic variations. The Tm coagulation test was developed on the Tm100 Universal Array platform using the Luminex LabMAP™ bead-based system. The Tm100 Universal Array platform provides the Tm coagulation test with the necessary flexibility to easily incorporate additional clinically relevant SNPs as they are discovered during the second phase of this agreement.

Approximately 10% of people of Northern European descent have a genetic profile associated with a 7-fold increased risk of VTE, compared with the general population. The likelihood of VTE is even greater when combined with other risk factors such as oral contraceptive use, major surgery, pregnancy or estrogen replacement therapy. VTE leading to pulmonary embolism was the cause of death for some 175,000 North Americans last year.

"We are excited about the possibility of determining multiple SNPs from a patient, all in a single well of a standard 96-well plate," added Dr. Philip Wells of the University of Ottawa. "We are currently performing SNP evaluations by sequencing the DNA from each patient we look at, a method that is time consuming and expensive. We are eager to compare the results obtained from the current sequencing method to the high-speed, highly accurate microarray technology developed by Tm Bioscience."

About Tm Bioscience's Universal Array
The Universal Array is a major improvement over standard DNA biochips/microarrays, providing increased accuracy, reliability and flexibility, all at lower costs. Traditional biochips require that each DNA assay be designed and optimized in a single process, with cost savings achieved only through mass production of the final biochip product. With the Universal Array, an open platform array has been created, optimized and manufactured for all types of DNA assay applications. Customers now have the freedom to design, modify and port their DNA assay application onto the Universal Array platform. All this can be achieved on-site and at a lower cost, regardless of the number of final array products required.

About Tm Bioscience - Putting the Human Genome to Work™
Tm Bioscience is a genomics company developing and commercializing biochips (microarrays) for drug discovery and diagnostic applications, based on proprietary DNA-based technologies. Tm Bioscience is located in Toronto, Ontario. Additional information about Tm Bioscience can be found at .

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is affiliated with the University of Ottawa and is the research arm of the Ottawa Hospital. With over 600 employees and $30 million in external funding, it is one of the largest hospital-based research institutes in Canada. Additional information about the OHRI can be found at


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