AGY THERAPEUTICS IDENTIFIES GENES PROVIDING NEUROPROTECTIVE EFFECTS FOLLOWING STROKE
Study Results Presented at Society For Neurosciences Annual Meeting
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. November 6, 2000 AGY Therapeutics, Inc. (AGY) today announced that two studies utilizing AGY's proprietary imAGYne functional genomics platform in neuronal ischemic preconditioning resulted in the identification and characterization of genes involved in protecting neurons from the effects of ischemic stroke. The study results were presented this week at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neurosciences in New Orleans, Louisiana.
"The discovery of these genes is a significant accomplishment for AGY," said Thorsten Melcher, Ph.D., vice president of Research at AGY. "We believe further research into the activity of these genes will provide insight for developing therapeutics that can reduce the neuronal damage associated with stroke and other neurological diseases."
The studies analyzed gene expression in the brain at various time points following the induction of ischemic preconditioning, a poorly understood process by which brief episodes of ischemia induce a protective action against the lethal effects of subsequent periods of prolonged ischemia, such as stroke. Using the imAGYne technology for de novo gene discovery, gene expression profiling and integrated target validation, over 3,500 genes were identified as induced at different time points and were analyzed for expression patterns. More than 2,000 of these genes are of unknown function, providing a large pool of potential neuroprotectants.
The resulting fingerprints of gene expression profiles allowed the prediction of novel mechanistic pathways of neuroprotection that were tested in animal and cell culture models. For some of the genes, complete blockade of stroke-induced neuronal death could be demonstrated. The results suggest the involvement of different signaling pathways in the establishment of ischemic preconditioning and point to a small number of genes as key players in the neuroprotective process.
Thorsten Melcher, Ph.D., vice president of Research at AGY and Mirella Gonzalez-Zulueta, director of Cell Biology at AGY presented the study results. The discovery program was carried out in collaboration with Tadeusz Wieloch, Ph.D., professor of Neurobiology at the Wallenburg Center at the University of Lund, Sweden.
AGY's proprietary imAGYne functional genomics platform enables the generation and collection of regulated genes from selected biological models. The imAGYne platform has been applied to the analysis of models of stroke and neurological diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, depression and schizophrenia.
ABOUT AGY THERAPEUTICS, INC.
AGY Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutic products for the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system. With its proprietary imAGYne, imArrays and imFormatics platforms, AGY has built a unique knowledge base of the neuroprotective capacities and vulnerabilities of the nervous system.
This news release contains forward-looking statements about future research and development efforts. These statements represent our judgment as of the date of this news release and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. In particular, we face risks and uncertainties that further research into these genes may not go forward as planned or that future scientific data on these genes may not provide supportive data for the diseases we are targeting.