Genizon Biosciences

October 24, 2005 03:00 ET

Genizon and Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology Replicates Disease Gene Discoveries in Crohn's Disease

KIEL, Germany & MONTREAL--(CCNMatthews - Oct 24, 2005) -

Results Confirm the Power of Genizon's Platform and the Quebec Founder Population for Disease Gene Discovery

Genizon Biosciences and the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein today announced the replication of many disease gene signals for Crohn's disease, previously discovered by Genizon in the Quebec Founder Population. This replication further confirms the validity of Genizon's methods and the applicability of Genizon's discoveries to general populations, and underscores the power of the Quebec Founder Population in the discovery of disease genes.

A selection of narrowly defined candidate regions, previously announced by Genizon from a whole genome association study on Crohn's disease, was fine mapped using samples from a German population, collected by a group led by Professor Stefan Schreiber, Director of the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology. These regions have led to a comprehensive GeneMap for Crohn's disease, consisting of multiple interacting genes, biochemical pathways and prospective targets for therapeutic intervention.

"This is a considerable achievement, given the well known statistical challenges of replication in a second population," said Professor Schreiber. "The extent of replication achieved with our Montreal collaborators is outstanding. We believe this is due to careful phenotyping, together with the high quality of the regions discovered by Genizon. We are convinced that the comprehensive discoveries by our collaborators will lead to a new understanding of disease mechanisms and hence new therapies."

Dr. John Hooper, President and CEO of Genizon, commented, "Professor Schreiber is a leading authority on the genetics of intestinal diseases. We undertook this additional study with him and his group to validate our approach, and are very pleased with the results of the collaboration. This gives us further assurance that our discoveries in other diseases, using the Quebec founder population and enhancements of the methods we used in Crohn's disease, will also be valid and highly relevant to new drug targets."

About Genizon BioSciences

Genizon BioSciences (www.genizon.com) is a biotechnology company whose mission is to discover the key disease genes that define causative biochemical pathways for common human diseases, and identify novel targets and predictive biomarkers that will lead to the development of therapeutics and diagnostics that treat the root cause of these diseases and not merely symptoms. Genizon has initiated more than 20 gene discovery programs in several major therapeutic areas including autoimmune, inflammation, metabolism, CNS, respiratory, gastrointestinal, ophthalmology, dermatology, and women's health.

About the Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology

The Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein focuses on the genetic etiology and molecular mechanisms of epigenetic triggers for the manifestation of inflammatory barrier diseases (in particular Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis). The Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology is also among the leading academic centers developing novel therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. The institute is one of two speaker institutions of the German National Genome Research Network (NGFN) and is also a site of the German National Genotyping Platform.

Contacts:

Dr. Bill Cheliak Vice President, Business Development Genizon BioSciences Inc. 613.261.9813 bill.cheliak@genizon.com

Lauren Arnold/Wendy Mejia Schwartz Communications 781.684.0770 genizon@schwartz-pr.com

Professor Stefan Schreiber Institute for Clinical Molecular Biology University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein Schittenhelmstrasse 12 24105 Kiel, Germany Phone: +49.431.597.2350 Fax: +49.431.597.1434 e-mail: secretary@mucosa.de

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