updated 4/15/2011 8:46:14 AM ET 2011-04-15T12:46:14

SAN DIEGO, April 15, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Trius Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:TSRX) today announced it has been awarded a research contract by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, for the development of novel antibiotics directed against multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens. Trius may receive up to $3.0 million over three years in support of its development efforts. This award brings the Company's total federal contract awards to $60 million over the last three years.

The contract is the second collaboration between Trius and LLNL. In both projects, Trius' expertise in structure-guided medicinal chemistry is combined with LLNL's computational chemistry, biodefense microbiology and pharmacology expertise to create new antibacterials for MDR bacterial pathogens. Lead compounds discovered under the first contract are in late stage optimization with an IND candidate nomination targeted by the end of 2011. This second contract aims to create antibiotics that kill bacteria by disrupting cell wall biosynthesis.

"For certain clinical and biodefense settings, broad-spectrum antibacterial agents are preferred to treat bacterial infections caused by MDR pathogens," said John Finn, Chief Scientific Officer at Trius. "This new contract to discover new broad spectrum antibacterial agents that block bacterial cell wall biosynthesis is an exciting complement to our existing programs."

This is the third government-funded research contract that has been awarded to Trius. In September of 2008, Trius entered into a five-year contract with the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health, for up to $27.7 million. In 2010, Trius was awarded a four and one-half year contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, an agency within the Department of Defense for up to $29.5 million.

About Trius Therapeutics

Trius Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative antibiotics for serious, life-threatening infections. The company's first product candidate, torezolid phosphate, is an IV and orally administered second generation oxazolidinone being developed for the treatment of serious gram-positive infections, including those caused by MRSA. In addition to the company's torezolid phosphate clinical program, it is currently conducting a preclinical program using its proprietary discovery platform to develop antibiotics to treat infections caused by bacteria of the gram-negative category. For more information, visit www.triusrx.com.

About Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. For more information, visit https://www.llnl.gov/.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the potential benefits and protections afforded to Trius through issued patents and patents which may be issued in the future and the potential duration of those benefits. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: Trius' ability to obtain additional financing; the success and timing of Trius' preclinical studies and clinical trials; regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries; the performance of third-party manufacturers; changes in Trius' plans to develop and commercialize its product candidates; Trius' ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for its product candidates; and the loss of key scientific or management personnel. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in Trius' most recently filed SEC documents, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, including those factors discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in such filings. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Trius undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

CONTACT: Public Relations Contact:
         Jason Spark at Canale Communications, Inc.
         jason@canalecomm.com
         619-849-6005
         
         Investor Relations Contact:
         Stefan Loren at Westwicke Partners, LLC
         sloren@westwicke.com
         443-213-0507

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