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South San Francisco, CA

Acquisition Accelerates Company's Drug Discovery and Clinical Development Programs

South San Francisco, California - December 12, 2002 -- Renovis, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for the treatment of neurological diseases, announced today that it has acquired the assets of Centaur Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a drug development company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and inflammation. By completing this acquisition Renovis has expanded its drug development programs in neurological disease with the addition of preclinical and clinical stage compounds. Acquired assets include NXY-059, a drug candidate for acute stroke poised to enter Phase III clinical trials with AstraZeneca PLC in 2003; REN-1189, a Phase IIb drug candidate with a strong safety record that Renovis will develop for neuropathic pain; several preclinical compounds with efficacy in relevant animal models; and a proprietary compound library. Renovis will receive a significant milestone payment from AstraZeneca when it commences pivotal Phase III trials with NXY-059, and upon future potential commercialization, substantial royalties on worldwide net sales. Centaur receives a cash payment of $1.25 million, and up to 30% of Renovis stock in exchange for these assets.

"This acquisition accelerates our move from a discovery-stage company into a more fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with advanced compounds and clinical development programs," said Corey Goodman, Ph.D., co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Renovis.

"From Centaur's perspective, Renovis is the perfect match to take these compounds forward, enhance their value, and provide significant upside to our shareholders," said John Walker, Chairman of Centaur's Board of Directors and interim CEO.

Following the acquisition, Michael Callaghan, Managing Director, Private Equity at MDS Capital Corp., will join Renovis' Board of Directors representing the investors of Centaur Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We welcome the addition of Michael Callaghan to our Board," said Renovis co-founder and Chairman, Edward E. Penhoet, Ph.D. Dr. Penhoet is a Chief Program Officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a Partner at Alta Partners, and a Director, co-founder, and former CEO of Chiron Corporation. "This acquisition will help facilitate the transition of Renovis from a discovery company into a more fully integrated, product-focused biopharmaceutical company."

Mr. Callaghan joins Drs. Goodman and Penhoet on the Board of Directors which is comprised of Farah Champsi, Managing Director, Alta Partners; Nancy Crowell Founding Partner of Flagship Ventures; Anthony B. Evnin, Ph.D., Managing General Partner, Venrock Associates; Yasunori Kaneko, M.D., Managing Director of Skyline Ventures; and Edward M. Scolnick, M.D., President of Merck Research Laboratories.

About Renovis, Inc.

Renovis is a privately held biopharmaceutical company founded in February 2000 and dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics for neurological disease. Renovis industrializes neurobiology using proprietary technologies for overcoming nervous system complexity; unique expertise in neuronal identification, isolation, and neurogenomics; relevant preclinical animal models; cutting-edge electrophysiology; and specialized chemistry to discover and develop new drugs for neurological diseases and disorders with significant unmet needs. The Company's research programs are currently focused in the areas of pain (acute, chronic, and neuropathic pain), stroke, and nervous system injury (traumatic brain and spinal cord injury). Headquartered in South San Francisco, California, the company currently has 70 employees.

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Renovis, Inc.
John C. Doyle

Renovis, Inc.
Lynne Zydowsky, Ph.D.

Noonan Russo Presence Euro RSCG
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