BRANFORD, Conn., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellular Genomics Inc. (CGI) today announced that it has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Schering AG (SHR), in which CGI will apply its proprietary chemical genetics technologies to the study of an undisclosed target kinase selected by Schering. Under the terms of the agreement, CGI will receive an undisclosed upfront fee and a series of milestone payments over a period of 15 months.
"We are happy to have partnered with Cellular Genomics," said Professor Bjorn Wallmark, Head of Corporate Research for Schering AG. "This collaboration enables us to effectively extend our kinase target platform. Cellular Genomics delivers a very competitive validation technology that will enhance our possibilities to enter novel drug targets for drug discovery and development in our fields of interest."
CGI's proprietary cutting-edge approach to kinase drug discovery is based on the replacement of a normal kinase with a modified kinase or ASKA (Analogue Sensitive Kinase Allele). This modified kinase can be inhibited with exquisite selectivity and specificity by a proprietary small molecule inhibitor, such that the kinase can be validated as a drug target with both the specificity of genetics and the pharmaceutical relevance of small molecule chemistry. ASKA mice are created in which a fully functional ASKA replaces the normal kinase in the genome. The target kinase can then be reversibly inhibited by systemic administration of CGI's proprietary small molecule inhibitors. These mice represent the most pharmaceutically relevant disease models for establishing the role of kinase targets across a wide spectrum of potential clinical indications, and provide a new gold standard for kinase target validation, drug dose response analysis, and therapeutic index determination.
CGI will use its ASKA technology to produce the modified ASKA kinase for Schering, which will then be evaluated in CGI's proprietary target validation system.
"We are extremely pleased to be working with a world-class partner such as Schering AG to support their kinase drug discovery programs," said Louis Matis, M.D., President and CEO of Cellular Genomics. "This collaboration, the second one we have established with a major partner based on our proprietary kinase technologies within the past two months, represents a further demonstration of the unique capabilities of our rigorous, pharmaceutically relevant platform for kinase target validation and drug discovery and the breadth of our technology's utility."
Protein kinases are a major family of drug targets across a broad range of clinical indications. Protein kinases are considered to be the largest druggable target class, with approximately 2% of all genes encoding these key cellular enzymes. Kinases regulate critical pathways involved in cell growth, activation, and death, and have been implicated in a wide range of diseases.
About Cellular Genomics Inc.
Cellular Genomics Inc. (CGI) is a privately held genomics-based biopharmaceutical company that is pioneering a unique, highly integrated chemical genetics platform for drug discovery and development. The company's established platforms of functional genomic and proteomic technologies couple unprecedented rigor in the identification and validation of novel drug targets directly to unique drug discovery capabilities, including proprietary drug screens and small molecule compound libraries, thus providing a comprehensive gene to drug platform. The company has an established small molecule drug discovery program focused on discovering and developing kinase inhibitors targeting oncology and autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. CGI is leveraging all of these capabilities to discover and develop its own, internal drug development opportunities as well as to establish collaborative programs with pharmaceutical partners.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements are only predictions and the company's actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such differences include the risk that products that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstrate safety or efficacy in larger-scale clinical trials and the risk that the company will not obtain approval to market its products.
Cellular Genomics, Inc.
Louis A. Matis, M.D.
President and CEO
Rx Communications Group
Rhonda Chiger (Investors)
Pete Holmberg (Media)
SOURCE: Cellular Genomics Inc., 12/12/2002
Web site: http://www.cellulargenomics.com