AGY THERAPEUTICS' SCIENTISTS IDENTIFY NOVEL PROTEIN THAT LIMITS DAMAGE INDUCED BY STROKE TO NERVE CELLS
-- Detailed findings published in Nature Medicine --

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – July 17, 2003 – AGY Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the publication in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine of important scientific findings identifying a protein with the ability to limit neurological damage induced by stroke or trauma and therefore having the potential to improve the long-term outcome of acute brain injury. The paper, recently published in advance online format, is included in the upcoming August issue of the journal.

“Following stroke or serious head injury, a cascade of events is initiated in the vicinity of the damage that results in the programmed cell death of neurons, which is responsible for many of the long-term debilitating effects of brain trauma,” said Karoly Nikolich, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, AGY Therapeutics. “Here we have identified a protein with the ability to thwart the progress towards cell death with the properties of preserving neurologic integrity and potentially improving clinical outcome and quality of life.”

The paper entitled, “Uncoupling protein-2 prevents neuronal death and diminishes brain dysfunction after stroke and brain trauma” describes experiments undertaken by scientists at AGY in collaboration with scientists at the Wallenberg Neuroscience center, Sweden, University of California, Davis, and the State University of Campinas, Brazil. In the process of identifying new mechanisms of brain protection using a genomics approach, scientists found the gene encoding uncoupling protein-2 (UCP-2) to be up-regulated in response to short episodes of reduced blood flow. Subsequent analyses showed that UCP-2 displayed a marked neuroprotective effect in experimental mouse models of stroke and brain trauma and in vitro models of neuronal death indicating that UCP-2 is potentially protective against human stroke and brain trauma. “This publication is consistent with our mission to develop novel therapeutics that interfere with the intra- and extra-cellular signaling pathways underlying the pathology of CNS diseases,” said Cynthia J. Ladd, President and Chief Executive Officer, AGY Therapeutics. “This study provides strong validation of our functional genomics capabilities in identifying novel targets for therapeutic intervention.”

Stroke is the third most frequent cause of death in Western countries. In addition to the extremely high rate of deaths, stroke is also the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Compounds inducing the activity or expression of this novel protein (UCP-2) could be neuroprotective and preserve brain function after stroke, epilepsy or neurodegeneration and therefore could improve the outcome. The abstract of the paper may be viewed here.

For additional information contact:
Kristin Nash
WeissCom Partners
415-302-7951
info@agyinc.com

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 number of promising drug targets to treat or diagnose CNS diseases.

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, depression, cognitive and mental diseases and brain tumors.
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