CLERMONT-FERRAND, FRANCE and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., U.S.A. - MARCH 21, 2001 - Meristem® Therapeutics, a leader in recombinant protein development technology, and Quintiles Inc., the world's leading contract research organization, today announced the formation of a strategic alliance to help biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies accelerate the development of therapeutic proteins.

Meristem Therapeutics and Quintiles expect to collaborate with companies that have discovered proteins of therapeutic interest and need additional development expertise and resources, and to offer innovative partnering solutions to address the financial impact of clinical development.

Meristem Therapeutics' innovative Genie Vegetal® (plant engineering) technology, combined with the product development expertise and resources of Quintiles, can help companies facing the challenge of limited production capacity in the therapeutic recombinant protein sector. As part of the strategic alliance, Quintiles, through its corporate ventures group, PharmaBio Development, has made an equity investment in Meristem Therapeutics.

"We believe Meristem Therapeutics' pioneering technological platform for the production of recombinant proteins will benefit the biotech industry as a whole, and is very synergistic with the services we provide," said Michel Abiteboul, General Manager, Quintiles France. "Quintiles is committed to providing its customers advanced biopharmaceutical technologies and offering creative partnering solutions for the clinical development of compounds. One of our aims is to become a preferred strategic partner in the biopharmaceutical sector and this alliance should help us achieve that goal."

The alliance gives Meristem Therapeutics and Quintiles, the product development group of Quintiles Transnational Corp. (Nasdaq: QTRN), the ability to offer customers coordinated services ranging from supply of the first milligrams of protein in the laboratory to worldwide drug registration and production.

Bertrand Merot, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Meristem Therapeutics, said: "This partnership with the world leader in clinical development emphasizes the value of Genie Vegetal® to the biopharmaceutical industry. I believe this alliance will bring greater value to the development of our own projects and provide numerous clients with an effective development solution. We believe this alliance will be a great success."

The skills and expertise of Meristem Therapeutics and Quintiles are complementary: Meristem Therapeutics is a leader in research and development for the active compound and in the production of recombinant proteins to Good Manufacturing Practice standards, and Quintiles is the global leader in conducting preclinical and clinical studies to support regulatory submission.


MERISTEM® THERAPEUTICS, a biotechnology company pursuing development of the unique Genie Vegetal® (plant engineering) concept, has succeeded in the production by plants of mammalian proteins, particularly human proteins, with a view to the manufacture of new drugs. Genie Vegetal® technology enables production of economically more competitive active proteins, while ensuring optimal biological safety. The MERISTEM® THERAPEUTICS team was the first to set up an industrial-scale unit for the extraction and purification of recombinant proteins from plants. The company is currently developing a gastric lipase for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. The phase I clinical trials were recently successfully concluded. Several other products are currently at the preclinical stage. Created in 1997, MERISTEM® THERAPEUTICS has today a staff over 90. For more information visit the company's web site at

About Quintiles Transnational and PharmaBio Development

Quintiles Transnational is the world's leading provider of information, technology and services to bring new medicines to patients faster and improve healthcare. Headquartered near Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Quintiles employs a global workforce of 18,000 in 39 countries. Quintiles Transnational is a member of the S&P 500 and Fortune 1000. For more information visit the company's web site at PharmaBio Development, the corporate ventures group of Quintiles Transnational Corp., is dedicated to innovative partnering solutions for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Information in this press release contains "forward-looking statements" about Quintiles. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including without limitation, our ability to complete development and commercialization of new products, actual operating performance, the ability to maintain large client contracts or to enter into new contracts, and changes in trends in the pharmaceutical industry. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are discussed in the company's recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to its S-3 and S-4 Registration Statements, its Annual Report on Form 10-K, its Form 8-Ks, and its other periodic reports, including Form 10-Qs. Statements in this release regarding MERISTEM® THERAPEUTICS and Quintiles have been made by their respective company under that company's sole responsibility.