AGY THERAPEUTICS PRESENTS DATA ON NOVEL TARGETS AND COMPOUNDS FOR STROKE THERAPY AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
-- Powerful Functional Genomics Platform Identifies Targets and Compounds for Acute Neuroprotection and Enhanced Functional Recovery --
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. September 15, 2003 AGY Therapeutics Inc. today announced that Roman Urfer, Ph.D., senior vice president of drug discovery and development, is scheduled to present at the upcoming "Treatment of Stroke and Neuroprotection" conference being held at The Hatton in London on September 15-16. Dr. Urfer will discuss the discovery of two novel stroke targets, one in the area of acute neuroprotection and the other in post-stroke functional recovery enhancement the two areas of stroke therapeutic intervention to which AGY applies its functional genomics research technologies.
Scientists at AGY, using the companys powerful functional genomics platform, succeeded in identifying a novel target that is naturally up-regulated in response to stroke-like injury and found to be associated with increased neurological damage. This target was characterized, validated and rapidly advanced through assay development and high-throughput screening, yielding several small molecules with neuroprotective properties. Inhibitors of this target were found to act late in the pathway of molecular events that trigger neurological damage, expanding the possible timeframe for effective therapeutic intervention following a stroke.
Our functional genomics platform enables the identification of key biological processes that occur following stroke-induced brain trauma allowing the rapid identification of drugable targets, said Dr. Urfer. These unparalleled neurogenomics capabilities coupled with our target validation and high throughput screening provides us with the ability to rapidly move from target validation to lead identification.
In addition, Dr. Urfer will describe the identification of a drug target that expedites and improves long-term post-stroke recovery. Animals placed within an enriched or challenging environment following stroke have been shown to exhibit an enhanced functional recovery. Detailed functional genomic analysis of brain tissues from these animals led to identification of a novel target that is up-regulated in response to this enriched environment, and AGY researchers have demonstrated that a compound binding to this target enhances functional recovery from stroke-induced brain trauma.
The identification of these two novel targets and several promising small molecule candidates provides strong validation of AGYs proprietary ImAGYne platform, said Cynthia J. Ladd, AGYs president and CEO. The burden on the U.S. economy for the treatment and rehabilitation of stroke victims is considerable. There is a serious unmet need for therapies that can both reduce neurological damage soon after stroke-induced brain damage and expedite the long-term recovery of patients.
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, where there are approximately 700,000 strokes and more than 2.5 million stroke survivors each year.
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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.