SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – November 6, 2002 – AGY Therapeutics, Inc., today announced that research using the company's proprietary imAGYneTM platform resulted in the discovery of a novel gene involved in brain damage following stroke and the identification of genes that could lead to new therapies or diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's disease. Study results are being presented this week at the 32nd Annual Society for Neuroscience (SFN) meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Researchers at AGY Therapeutics and the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center in Lund, Sweden discovered a novel gene, which contains one of the key regulatory proteins that causes damage to brain tissue after a stroke. The exact role of the gene is not yet known, but in models tracking the molecular progression of damage to the brain following stroke, researchers detected a large increase in the mRNA of this gene. The study presented at SFN validates the functional importance of the gene in neuronal cell death, making it a potential target for an entirely new stroke treatment.

Another study demonstrates the use of comprehensive gene expression profiling and functional validation analysis to identify genes responsible for neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). AGY researchers have identified 50 genes and their protein products as possible targets to block the underlying neuronal cell death related to the progression of AD. Further study of these genes could lead to new therapeutic agents and diagnostic tests for this debilitating disease.

"These results are very positive and, based on these findings, we plan to pursue preclinical development of new small molecule therapeutic agents," said Karoly Nikolich, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of AGY. "The data presented here demonstrates the power and utility of AGY's functional genomics platform to identify and validate critical pathways in stroke, Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders."

The AGY-related abstracts are listed below and can be viewed at

  1. Abstract #123.3: Identification and Characterization of Genes Responsible for Neuronal Toxicity Mediated by Abeta-Activated Microglia, S. Ye, K.E. Anton, B.A. Masterson, D. Chin, D. Von Schack, M. Gonzalez-Zulueta, L. Gan, AGY Therapeutics, Inc., South San Francisco, Calif. (Oral presentation on Sun., Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m. EST, Room 315A);
  2. Abstract # 623.9: Validation Platform for Rapid Characterization of Functional Role of Brain Damage Related Genes, L. Gan, K.E. Anton, B.A. Masterson, S. Ye, R. Urfer, M. Gonzalez-Zulueta, AGY Therapuetics, Inc. (Oral presentation on Wed., Nov. 6 at 10:00 a.m. EST, Room 312A);
  1. Abstract #694.8: Identification and Characterization of a Novel Gene With Potential Role in Ischemic Brain Injury, M. Shamloo, T. Wieloch, D.C. Chin, K. Nikolich, M. Gonzalez-Zulueta, AGY Therapeutics, Inc.; Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund, Sweden (Poster presentation on Wed., Nov. 6 at 11:00 a.m. EST, Y-33).

About ImAGYne™
AGY Therapeutics' proprietary imAGYne™ platform defines the intra- and extra-cellular signaling pathways that underlie the pathological progression of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, so novel, high-quality targets can be carefully selected and functionally validated with the most valuable targets advanced into drug discovery and development. To date, AGY Therapeutics has identified and characterized a vast number of promising drug targets to treat or diagnose CNS diseases.

About Stroke
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 Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is associated with Amyloid proteins that precipitate in the brain to form extra-cellular deposits. These deposits in senile plaques activate microglial cells to produce inflammatory mediators and other potential neurotoxins. By understanding the role of genes involved in these pathological processes, researchers can identify targets and develop new therapies to treat the debilitating effects of this disease.

For additional information contact:
Karoly Nikolich, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
AGY Therapeutics, Inc.

Kristin Nash
WeissCom Partners

About AGY Therapeutics
AGY Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company, is dedicated to discovering and developing novel treatments for central nervous system (CNS) diseases, including stroke, Alzheimer's disease, depression, brain tumors and obesity.

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.

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