SOURCE: Althea Technologies, Inc.

April 19, 2005 06:00 ET

Althea Awarded NCI Grant to Apply Innovative Technology in Compound Library Expression Screening

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2005 -- Althea Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of innovative technologies for pharmaceutical services and manufacturing, announced today that it has received an R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), of the National Institutes of Health. The principal goal of this $450,000 grant is to develop and demonstrate the value of screening compound libraries using Althea's eXpress Profiling™, high-throughput gene expression screen.

"The exponential growth in our knowledgebase of cancer genetics has led to the identification of key sets of genes and pathways that play a central role in carcinogenesis and may be potential targets for therapeutic intervention," stated Dr. Joseph Monforte, Chief Scientific Officer. "The challenge now is to delve into how different compounds and compound classes influence these genes. Our approach to gene expression analysis, using highly multiplexed PCR, can be used to provide deep insight into the on- and off-target mechanistic activities of existing and potential therapeutics."

The grant has two main goals, the first being the development and validation of several new multiplexed gene screens, including improved automation and the performance of pilot screens using a library of several thousand compounds including the NCI chemical diversity set. The second goal is focused on a collaborative study with Dr. Robert Shoemaker at the NCI Developmental Therapeutics Program to further characterize the pharmacodynamics of several candidate and analog histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACs), an up-and-coming class of new chemotherapeutics.

Recently licensed to Beckman Coulter, Inc., the eXpress Profiling™ technology is a high-throughput, highly multiplexed, PCR-based gene expression analysis technique that can be used to quantitate the gene expression values of 15-35 genes in a single PCR reaction. "At Althea, we continue to develop new tools for gene expression analysis that support our services and research with organizations such as the National Cancer Institute," said Dr. François Ferré, Co-President and Co-CEO. "Our goal is to use eXpress Profiling™ to help researchers to both better characterize cancer at a molecular level and to discover new therapies that can capitalize on these molecular differences."

About Althea Technologies, Inc.

Althea Technologies, a leading San Diego-based pharmaceutical services firm, provides critical development and manufacturing services that support researchers worldwide in their advancement of novel therapies and efforts to apply new genomic information. Althea's services include cGMP contract manufacturing of recombinant proteins and DNA-based therapeutics and vaccines, aseptic filling, and gene quantification using real-time PCR and gene expression analysis under GLP conditions. Additionally, Althea has introduced new services and technologies for the identification and application of gene biomarkers with innovative tools such as the company's proprietary eXpress Profiling™ technology. For more information, visit www.altheatech.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Althea Technologies, Inc.
    Alan Moore
    Executive Vice President and CBO
    (858) 882-0205
    amoore@altheatech.com