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Maxim Pharmaceuticals Receives Recommendation from ISS in Favor of Proposed Merger with EpiCept Corporation

Maxim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAXM)(SSE:MAXM)announced today that the Institutional Shareholder Services, or ISS,has recommended that Maxim’s stockholders vote in favor of theproposal to approve and adopt the merger agreement and the merger withEpiCept Corporation. ISS is a leading provider of proxy voting andcorporate governance services to institutional investors, analyzingproxies and issuing informed research and objective voterecommendations for more than 33,000 companies across 115 marketsworldwide.

The Company urges stockholders who have not already done so tovote their shares. Stockholders who have questions or need moreinformation about the special meeting to be held on December 21, 2005,should contact the Company’s proxy solicitor, MacKenzie Partners, asshown below.

EpiCept has filed a registration statement that contains adefinitive proxy statement/prospectus with the Securities and ExchangeCommission. STOCKHOLDERS OF MAXIM AND OTHER INVESTORS ARE URGED TOREAD THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS ORSUPPLEMENTS TO THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS) REGARDING THE PROPOSEDMERGER BECAUSE IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT EPICEPT, MAXIMAND THE PROPOSED MERGER. Maxim’s stockholders may also obtain a freecopy of the definitive proxy statement/prospectus, as well as otherfilings containing information about Maxim and EpiCept, withoutcharge, at the SEC’s Internet site (http://www.sec.gov). Copies of theproxy statement/prospectus and Maxim’s other filings with the SEC canalso be obtained, without charge, by directing a request to MaximPharmaceuticals, 8899 University Center Lane, Suite 400, San Diego, CA92122, Attention: Investor Relations, Telephone: 858-453-4040 orMacKenzie Partners, Inc. toll free at 800-322-2885, or direct at212-929-5500. If you are located in Sweden, you can call direct at+46-8-775-02-18.
PLEASE VOTE TODAY
If you have any questions or need assistance in voting your
proxy card, please contact our proxy solicitor
MacKenzie Partners, Inc.

In North America:
Call Toll Free – 800-322-2885 or call direct – 212-929-5500.

In Sweden:
Call WM DATA direct +46-8-775-02-18

Stockholders in Sweden may also fax their proxy cards to
WM DATA +46-8-775-01-95.

Swedish Shareholders may also vote through the Internet by
logging on to www.maxim.com/sgm

You will find your password included on your proxy card
recently mailed to you.

In Europe:
Call direct +44-(0)-207-170-4155

Maxim Overview

Maxim is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developinginnovative cancer therapeutics. Maxim has completed one Phase 3clinical trial of Ceplene(TM) plus Interleukin-2 combination therapyas a remission maintenance therapy for patients with acute myeloidleukemia. Maxim is also engaged in the discovery and development ofsmall-molecule apoptosis inducers and inhibitors to treat a wide rangeof disorders, including cancers and degenerative diseases. Using itsproprietary high-throughput screening technology and its chemicalgenetics approach several lead compounds have been identified. Currentefforts continue toward the development of these compounds eitherinternally or through strategic collaborative arrangements.

Ceplene and the apoptosis compounds are investigational drugs andhave not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or anyinternational regulatory agency.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements thatinvolve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to bematerially different from historical results or from any futureresults expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Suchforward-looking statements include statements regarding the proposedtransaction with EpiCept, the efficacy, safety and intendedutilization of Ceplene, the oral histamine formulation, and theapoptosis inducers, and the conduct and results of future clinicaltrials, and plans regarding regulatory filings, future research andclinical trials and plans regarding partnering activities. Suchstatements are only predictions and the Company’s actual results maydiffer materially from those anticipated in these forward-lookingstatements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materiallyinclude the risk that Maxim and EpiCept may not be able to completethe proposed transaction, the risk that products that appearedpromising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstratesafety or efficacy in larger-scale or later clinical trials, the riskthat the Company will not obtain approval to market its products, andthe risks associated with the Company’s reliance on outside financingto meet its capital requirements and the risks associated withreliance on collaborative partners for further clinical trials,development and commercialization of product candidates. These factorsand others are more fully discussed in the Company’s periodic reportsand other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Note: The Maxim logo is a trademark of Maxim.

Editor’s Note: This release is also available on the Internet athttp://www.maxim.com