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Jan 03, 2002

Syngenta’s Torrey Mesa Research Institute And Xencor Sign Research And License Agreement

Syngenta’s Torrey Mesa Research Institute And Xencor Sign Research And License Agreement

(BW Healthwire)–January 03, 2002—La Jolla, CA and Monrovia, CA.- January 3, 2002 -Torrey Mesa Research Institute (TMRI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Syngenta (NYSE: SYT), today announced the signing of a three year agreement with Xencor focusing on the discovery of novel proteins that will enable new products in the food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries.

Under the agreement, Xencor will use its patented Protein Design Automation™ (PDA™) technology to create optimized versions of TMRI protein leads. Xencor will receive research support, as well as milestone payments and royalties on products commercialized from this research.

“We’re pleased to be working with TMRI and its exceptional scientists and expanding into markets beyond pharmaceuticals and diagnostics,“ said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., President and CEO of Xencor. “Our proprietary PDA technology elegantly merges supercomputing with experimental screening to overcome the limits of natural and directed evolution. By screening vastly more protein sequence diversity than possible with directed evolution methods, the PDA technology will create proteins with features tuned for TMRI’s applications.“

Xencor’s PDA technology is the first method to combine advanced computational methods, high performance computing and experimental screening for protein optimization and sequence design. Xencor uses the information embedded in protein structure to optimize the function of a protein including its activity, binding affinity and specificity, stability, expression level, and potency.

“We are excited about the potential of Xencor’s PDA technology to optimize the novel proteins that we have identified in our research,“ said Steven Briggs, Ph.D., President and CEO of TMRI. “This relationship will allow us to evaluate the PDA technology and extend the range of product development opportunities for Syngenta that are enabled by our genomics-based research programs.“

Xencor, a privately held company, is focused on using its cutting edge protein analysis and optimization technologies to accelerate the discovery of therapeutic proteins and novel compounds. With its proprietary ProCode™ and Protein Design Automation™ (PDA™) technologies, Xencor scientists can rapidly determine the interactions and functions of a cell’s entire protein complement, identify proteins of interest, and then optimize key properties of these proteins to fit commercial applications. The use of these technologies alone, or in combination, will accelerate the compound identification and development programs of Xencor’s strategic partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agricultural and chemical industries. Further information is available at www.xencor.com.

The Torrey Mesa Research Institute is the genomics research center for Syngenta, a world leading agribusiness. Syngenta ranks first in crop protection, and third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Pro forma sales in 2000 were approximately US $6.9 billion. Syngenta employs more than 20,000 people in over 50 countries. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative Research and Technology. Formed in November 2000 by the merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca Agrochemicals, Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, and in London, New York and Stockholm. Further information is available at www.syngenta.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as “expect“, “would“, “will“, “potential“, “plans“, “prospects“, “estimated“, “aiming“, “on track“, and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to Syngenta’s publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This release does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefore.