SAN DIEGO, Calif. November 15, 2001 AGY Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that research using the company's proprietary imAGYneTM research platform resulted in the identification and validation of specific genes that protect and damage brain tissue following a stroke, discoveries that could lead to novel therapies for this debilitating and deadly condition. Results were presented here at the 31th Annual Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience.
Researchers at AGY Therapeutics and the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center in Lund, Sweden discovered several protective genes as well as other genes, which cause damage to neuronal cells. The researchers have completed a broad genomic analysis of models of stroke, and by an array of computational, as well as, molecular techniques, focused on 40 genes, which play a key role in stroke-induced neuronal damage. Finally, functional tests were used to characterize the functional properties of these genes. The discoveries are expected to lead to entirely new treatments for stroke and related neurological diseases.
"These results are highly significant, because they provide concrete landmarks from which we can further explore gene expression and pathways following stroke, moving us much closer to novel treatments for this very destructive disease," said Roman Urfer, Ph.D., AGY's Vice President of Drug Discovery and Development. "Based on these findings, we plan to identify and pursue potential drug targets in the upcoming year."
Experts believe that in the hours and days following a stroke, areas of the brain continue to be damaged by aberrant cell signaling and subsequent changes in gene expression. By understanding specific gene function and pathological pathways surrounding these events, therapies can be developed to intervene in this process, thereby protecting brain tissue from the deleterious after-effects of stroke.
\About the ImAGYne Platform
AGY Therapeutics developed the imAGYne platform to provide researchers with a comprehensive approach to defining the intra- and extra-cellular signaling pathways underlying the pathological progression of disease, so potential therapeutic targets could be more easily identified and qualified for further investigation. The imAGYne platform begins with animal models that replicate the same disease found in humans. Next, diseased tissue samples are compared to normal tissue samples. After regulated genes are identified, multiple expression profiles are run over a period of time to distinguish genes that are unique to the diseased tissue sample and their special signaling activities. Upon learning the "what, when and where" of the signaling activities, the activities are translated into pathway models that underlie the disease process. While multiple pathways and targets are identified, it is not until after multiple strategies are applied that the highest-quality targets are gleaned for future drug or diagnostic development.
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.