Echelon Biosciences was formed from a project under the Center for Cell Signaling, a State of Utah Center of Excellence, and was incorporated under the laws of the state of Utah as Echelon Research Laboratories, Inc. on October 3, 1997. The company has since changed its name to Echelon Biosciences Incorporated. The company was organized to further the science of lipid cell signaling and critical metabolic enzymes, which provide new and viable targets for the development of potential drugs and diagnostics for cancer, diabetes, inflammation, infections, and cardiovascular disease.
From 1997 through 2004 Echelon primarily used government grants and product sales revenues to fund its research efforts. In early 2005 Echelon was purchased by Aeterna Zentaris for its MEP antiinfectives, PI 3-Kinase small molecule program and catalog business. The new ownership allows expanded research and funding for the drug discovery aspect of the business.