SOURCE: Upstream Biosciences Inc.

October 01, 2008 09:00 ET

Upstream Biosciences Appoints Dr. Michael Hayden Killam Professor of Medical Genetics and the Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics to Its Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Hayden Was Awarded the Prix Galien Canada (Research) Award in 2007 -- He Has Co-Founded Three Companies: Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Neurovir -- He Is Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwire - October 1, 2008) - Upstream Biosciences Inc. (OTCBB: UPBS) today announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Hayden, MD, PhD, FRCPC to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Hayden has co-founded three companies: Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Neurovir. He is currently serving as chief scientific officer for Xenon and chairman of the medical advisory board for Aspreva. Aspreva focuses on repurposing existing drugs to treat rare diseases and was purchased in a deal worth approximately $915 million US by the Galenica Group. Dr. Hayden is a full professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia as well as Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) in Vancouver; the CMMT is a gene research center under UBC's Faculty of Medicine.

Author of over 400 peer-reviewed publications and invited submissions, Dr. Hayden focuses his research primarily on genetic diseases, including genetics of lipoprotein disorders, Huntington's disease and predictive medicine. In association with his colleagues, Dr. Hayden developed the proposal which led to the award of the Canadian Centers of Excellence on the genetic basis of disease. This effort has been furthered by his involvement in the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network; Dr. Hayden has served as the Network's Scientific Director since its inception in 1990.

Dr. Hayden has pioneered the development of predictive testing for Huntington's disease, an incurable condition that affects approximately one in 10,000 people. He has made major contributions to determine how specific genes lead to Huntington's, premature coronary artery disease and diabetes. In 2007, he provided the first evidence of prevalence of Huntington's disease in laboratory mice.

"Dr. Hayden has a proven track record of turning groundbreaking science into commercial success. We are extremely excited that Upstream will have the opportunity to leverage his vast scientific and business experience," said Joel L. Bellenson, Chief Executive Officer of Upstream. Dr. Hayden has pursued endeavours that focus on finding new treatments for unmet needs.

The recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards, Dr. Hayden was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 1992, to the Board of the American Society of Human Genetics in 1994 and to the Royal Society of Canada in 1995. Among his most recent awards are the 1998 Distinguished Scientist Award of the Canadian Society of Clinical Investigation, the 2000 BC Biotechnology Alliance Award for Vision and Leadership and in 2001, Dr. Hayden received both the award of Excellence of the Genetics Society of Canada and the Ottawa Life Sciences Award of Merit. In 2007, he received the prestigious Prix Galien Canada (research) award.

"I look forward to helping Upstream advance their very important drug discovery efforts. This success could have a major impact on the lives of millions of people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East," said Dr. Michael Hayden.

Dr. Hayden received his PhD in genetics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship and further training in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Upstream's computational drug discovery platform has the potential to identify and optimize multiple drug candidates quickly and efficiently. The company currently is conducting preclinical tests on a number of compounds in the hope of treating major tropical diseases. Upstream recently announced preliminary results indicating that its novel structural class of agents is demonstrating promising in vitro activity against malaria. Upstream's compounds have also shown encouraging therapeutic potential in vitro against leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. Malaria, leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis, which are caused by related parasites, are leading sources of disability, death and economic hardship in Africa.

About Upstream Biosciences Inc.

Upstream Biosciences is focused on developing and commercializing drug candidates to treat tropical diseases, including leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) and malaria. Caused by parasites that have developed resistance to available treatments, these diseases afflict millions of people living in the tropics with death, illness, malnourishment and economic hardship. Upstream's drug candidates are generated using its proprietary computer-assisted drug discovery process. The Company's lead drug candidates have demonstrated anti-parasitic efficacy in vitro and positive safety data in animals.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among others, the expectation and/or claim, as applicable, that: (i) the Company's success could have a major impact on the lives of millions of people; and (ii) the Company's computational drug discovery platform has the potential to identify and optimize drug candidates quickly and efficiently. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others: (i) the risk that the Company does not execute its business plan; (ii) the inability of the Company to keep pace with technological advancements in the field of genetic diagnostics and the treatment of tropical parasitic diseases; (iii) the Company's inability to adequately protect its intellectual property or the Company's inadvertent infringement of third party intellectual property; (iv) the Company not being able to retain key employees; (v) competitors providing better or cheaper products and technologies; (vi) markets for the Company's products not developing as expected; (vii) the Company's inability to finance its operations or growth; (viii) inability to obtain all necessary government and regulatory approvals; and (ix) the inability to effectively market and commercialize the Company's technologies, including the establishment of viable relationships with third parties. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance those beliefs, plans, expectations, or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consider all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosed in the Company's periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at

Contact Information

  • Investor and Media contact:
    Samantha Haynes
    1-800-539-0289 or
    Email Contact