Alethia BioTherapeutics Inc.

Alethia BioTherapeutics Inc.
Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.

Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.

May 01, 2007 08:31 ET

Alethia Biotherapeutics Inc. and Emerillon Therapeutics Inc. Announce Collaborative Agreement for Target Discovery in Bone-Related Diseases

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - May 1, 2007) - Alethia Biotherapeutics Inc. and Emerillon Therapeutics Inc, both privately held biotechnology companies, announced today that they have signed a collaborative research agreement to conduct a discovery and functional validation program to identify new drug candidates for the treatment of bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis. Under the terms of the collaboration, Emerillon will provide Alethia with a list of genetic loci that are associated with an osteoporotic phenotype in mice. In return, Alethia will generate bone-specific cDNA libraries to help identify these genes. Furthermore, Alethia will conduct cell-based validation studies to determine the functional relevance of the genes provided by Emerillon.

The last decade has witnessed considerable progress in the treatment of osteoporosis. There have been many advances in elucidating the molecular mechanisms that contribute to osteoclast and osteoblast differentiation. This has led to the development of anabolic agents as well as new anti-resorptive agents which target factors involved in osteoclast differentiation. Nevertheless, there are needs for more potent and specific anti-resorptive drugs to treat severe bone loss that occurs in advanced cases of osteoporosis and inflammatory disorders.

"We are pleased to initiate this collaboration with Emerillon," commented Mario Filion, Alethia's Executive Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer. "The use of recombinant congenic strains (RCS) of mice has proved to be a valuable way to identify susceptibility genes to various diseases. I believe that this genetic approach coupled with our expertise in functional genomics will accelerate the identification and validation of new biological regulators of bone degradation."

"This collaboration will provide the necessary link between the phenotypic manifestation observed in the RCS mice and the genetic cause associated with that phenotype," added Ron Lafrenière, General Manager and Director of Research at Emerillon. "The identification of new genetic factors in bone-related diseases will certainly contribute to the elaboration of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to address these ailments."

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Alethia Biotherapeutics Inc.

Alethia is a Montreal-based biotechnology company that specializes in the development of focused therapeutic strategies in cancer and cancer-related complications. The Company applies its unique functional genomics platform to identify and validate highly specific disease-related candidate genes in ovarian cancer and severe bone loss. Alethia is also engaged in the preclinical development of a chemosensitizer that will improve the response of tumors to chemotherapeutic drugs in ovarian and colorectal cancer.

About Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.

Emerillon is a Montreal-based private biotechnology firm dedicated to the discovery of novel drug targets in human complex diseases through its unique RCS mouse platform technology, its access to human patient samples, and its expertise in high throughput mutation screening and ion channel genomics.

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