BioStratum Announces First Production
of Recombinant Laminin

--Recombinant laminin to be used in advanced skin regeneration program­-

Research Triangle Park, NC, September 18, 1997 ­ BioStratum Incorporated today announced the successful recombinant production (produced through genetically engineered mammalian cells) of a functional and biologically active laminin molecule. The research was performed by Dr. Peter Yurchenco at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and is reported in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Volume 94, p. 10,189).

Shiseido Co. Ltd., a leading skin care company in Japan,
in cooperation with the Cutaneous Biology Research Center (CBRC) at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, have formed an agreement with BioStratum to utilize the recombinant molecules in
laminin-based skin regeneration formulations. In addition, the Company has agreed to terms to license related technology from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.

Laminin molecules are complex, multi-functional, extracellular protein molecules that are well recognized
to affect cell function and cell phenotype through specific binding interactions with other extracellular matrix molecules and receptors on the surface of neighboring cells. These complex molecules are integral components
of the basal lamina, a specialized extracellular membrane structure that underlies all epithelial cells and has demonstrated to influence cell proliferation, differentiation, metabolism and tissue development.

Damage to basal lamina occurs with deep wounds, severe burns or traumatic injury of nerves and blood vessels.
This damage results in poor healing, scarring and failure
to reinervate nerves with loss of motor control and organ function. Regrowth of the basal lamina or substitution of external basal lamina in these situations has demonstrated to result in more rapid and complete repair of the damaged tissue.

The availability of recombinant human basal lamina components is expected to make a major improvement
in formulating effective treatments to promote tissue regeneration. In addition to providing biologically active laminin of defined purity, the technique permits production of laminin which may be specifically engineered to meet diverse product application needs.

Laminin-5, for example, plays a key role in the growth
and development of tissues of epithelial origin. This includes skin and vital organs such as the kidney, lung, and pancreas. Dr. Robert Burgeson's laboratory was one
of the original discoverers of laminin-5 and has been involved in investigating its biological functions. Shiseido and CBRC are jointly evaluating uses of laminin-5 for treatment of skin conditions. The incorporation of recombinant laminin-5 in wound healing treatments
is expected to promote skin regeneration for injuries
such as burns and severe lacerations as well as other skin disorders such as diabetes, venous and pressure ulcers. An appropriate cost effective source of human laminin-5
for product development and manufacturing is currently
not available. The advances announced here will provide
for the production of human recombinant laminin-5, which
is currently under development in BioStratum's laboratory
at Research Triangle Park, NC. The collaboration with Shiseido and the CBRC will evaluate the application of recombinant laminin-5 to improve skin conditions including burns, lacerations and abrasions, and to accelerate healing and minimize scarring.

Over ten laminin molecules have been identified, and many of these have been characterized with respect to function and tissue specificity. Their recombinant production sets the stage for the incorporation of laminin molecules into advanced tissue regeneration formulations for a variety of tissues. BioStratum is initially targeting laminin-5, laminin-2 and laminin-8 for application in the regeneration of skin, nerve and blood vessels, respectively.

BioStratum Incorporated, based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is a privately held biotechnology company developing a new class of proprietary therapeutics based
on recent scientific advances in basal lamina technology. The Company's therapeutics are directed against novel basal lamina extracellular targets involved in invasive and degenerative disease processes fundamental to cancer and diabetes. BioStratum's ongoing preclinical studies include the evaluation of the company's proprietary therapeutics against tumor metastasis, tumor angiogenesis and diabetic nephropathy. The Company has also developed methods for the production of recombinant basal lamina proteins for use in advanced tissue regeneration protocols. In addition, the Company is developing a gene attenuated virus vaccine against AIDS.