SOURCE: Cypress Bioscience Inc.

February 24, 2009 06:30 ET

Cypress Bioscience, Inc. Acquires Personalized Medicine Technology Platform From Cellatope Corporation

Initial Product Candidate an Improved Diagnostic for Lupus

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - February 24, 2009) - Cypress Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYPB) today announced it has completed a transaction to acquire Cellatope's technology platform that uses cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAP) to diagnose and monitor debilitating autoimmune disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE/Lupus). The acquisition is consistent with Cypress' strategy of providing innovative products and services that address unmet medical needs in the fields of rheumatology and pain.

Lupus is a serious autoimmune condition affecting ~0.5 million patients in the US. Existing diagnostic tests offer limited utility, which can often delay the treatment of this challenging disorder. It is also difficult to monitor disease activity and to determine when patients are responding to treatment.

"Physicians diagnosing and treating patients with SLE need better tools for monitoring disease activity and forecasting who will flare. These complement activation products may be important footprints of ongoing inflammation which are undetected by current testing. This novel approach should enhance the ability to judge the efficacy of therapy and predict future exacerbations."

-- Jill P. Buyon, M.D. Professor, New York University School of Medicine

The role of the complement system in autoimmune conditions, such as Lupus, has been studied for several years, and genetic defects in the complement system have been associated with the development of disease. In addition, it has been observed that activation of the complement pathway can result in inflammation and tissue damage once Lupus is established. The CB-CAP technology was developed by Dr. Joseph Ahearn and Dr. Susan Manzi at the Lupus Center for Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh, to evaluate cell bound fragments of activated complement proteins and their utility in improved diagnosis and monitoring of Lupus patients. In connection with this asset purchase, Cypress will be assuming a license from the University of Pittsburgh. Cypress plans to complete the development program and add these important Lupus personalized medicine services to the current Avise(SM) product line, which includes tests for diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Cypress acquired the CB-CAP technology in a transaction that included a $2 million cash payment for the diagnostic technology to Cellatope as well as an additional $3 million potential milestone payment associated with the commercial development of the CB-CAP monitoring technology for Lupus.

About Cypress Bioscience

Cypress Bioscience, Inc. provides therapeutics and personalized medicine services, facilitating improved and individualized patient care. Cypress addresses the evolving needs of specialist physicians and their patients by identifying unmet medical needs in the areas of pain, rheumatology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, including challenging disorders such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. This approach to improving patient care creates a unique partnership with physicians. Current products include Savella™ (milnacipran HCl) and the Avise PG(SM) and Avise MCV(SM) therapeutic monitoring, diagnostic and prognostic tests for rheumatoid arthritis.

For more information about Cypress, please visit the Company's website at www.cypressbio.com.

About the University of Pittsburgh's Lupus Center of Excellence

Pitt's Lupus Center of Excellence is the premier multidisciplinary center in the region and the world for patients with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Founded in 2001, the Lupus Center now supports patients from 27 states and 10 countries.

For more information: www.lupuscenter.org.

Contact Information

  • For additional information please contact

    Mary Gieson
    Investor Relations
    (858) 452-2323
    Email Contact