updated 4/25/2011 5:17:19 PM ET 2011-04-25T21:17:19

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Icagen, Inc. (Nasdaq:ICGN) today announced the promotion of Douglas Krafte, Ph.D. to the newly created position of Chief Scientific Officer. In this position, Dr. Krafte will have overall scientific leadership responsibilities for the research and discovery of new targets and new chemical leads, and for each of Icagen's research projects. In so doing, Dr. Krafte will continue to work closely with Mark Suto, Ph.D., VP of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Greg Rigdon, Ph.D., VP of New Product Development and continue to report to Kay Wagoner, Ph.D., President and CEO.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Krafte has served as Vice President of Biology and Scientific Affairs at Icagen for the past three years, and has held a series of leadership positions within the Company since joining Icagen in 1999. Dr. Krafte's prior experience includes scientific leadership positions at Aurora Biosciences, Sterling-Winthrop and Boehringer Ingelheim. Dr. Krafte is currently a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the International Association for the Study of Pain. 

"Icagen has always been a leader in the area of ion channel drug discovery, and I see even greater opportunities for us going forward," said Dr. Krafte.   "I am excited about the progress of our existing programs, including our collaboration with Pfizer, and look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to advance all of our research programs and contribute to the success of the Company."

"Over the past several years, Dr. Krafte has provided outstanding scientific leadership to the ion channel research efforts at Icagen. He has assumed broad responsibilities in our research and discovery groups, with a strong track record of success. He is a well-respected scientific leader in whom I have great confidence, and therefore I am pleased to announce this expansion of his role at Icagen," noted Dr. Wagoner.

About Icagen

Icagen, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel orally-administered small molecule drugs that modulate ion channel targets. Utilizing its proprietary know-how and integrated scientific and drug development capabilities, Icagen has identified multiple drug candidates that modulate ion channels. The Company is conducting research and development activities in a number of disease areas, including epilepsy, pain and inflammation. The Company has two clinical stage programs in epilepsy and pain. To learn more about Icagen, please visit our website at www.icagen.com .

The Icagen, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5735

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations described in these forward-looking statements are set forth under the caption "Risk Factors" in Icagen's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on March 9, 2011. These risk factors include risks as to Icagen's history of net losses and how long Icagen will be able to operate on its existing capital resources; Icagen's ability to raise additional funding; general economic and financial market conditions; Icagen's ability to maintain compliance with Nasdaq's continued listing requirements; whether Icagen's product candidates will advance in the clinical trials process; the timing of such clinical trials; whether the results obtained in preliminary studies will be indicative of results obtained in clinical trials; whether the clinical trial results will warrant continued product development; whether and when, if at all, Icagen's product candidates, including ICA-105665 and Icagen's other lead compounds for epilepsy and pain, will receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent regulatory agencies, and for which indications, and if such product candidates receive approval, whether such products will be successfully marketed; and Icagen's dependence on third parties, including manufacturers, suppliers and collaborators. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.

CONTACT: Richard D. Katz, M.D.
         EVP, Finance and Corporate Development;
         Chief Financial Officer
         Icagen, Inc.
         (919) 941-5206
         rkatz@icagen.com

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