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Idun Licenses Bcl-2 Gene to Selective Genetics for Gene Therapy Applications.

- Anti-apoptosis Gene to Combat Tissue Injury -

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ --

Idun Pharmaceuticals and Selective Genetics today announced the signing of a license agreement for the use of Idun's Bcl-2 gene. Selective Genetics will utilize the gene in conjunction with their proprietary delivery technologies for the development of gene therapy products for tissue repair and regeneration.

Cells in injured tissue often die via apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Expression of the Bcl-2 gene in cells cause them to be resistant to this form of cell death. It is conceived that introduction of the Bcl-2 gene into the cells of injured tissue will reduce cell death and improve the clinical outcome of the injury. Using their gene delivery technology, Selective Genetics will develop a gene therapy that delivers the Bcl-2 gene to the cells of injured tissue.

"Surprisingly, gene therapy has been deployed infrequently against the one clinical area that is often truly localized and thus offers a greater chance of success: tissue injury," said Dr. Robert Abbott, CEO of Selective Genetics. "As a group, tissue injury conditions probably comprise the largest class of medical need, including fractures, dermal ulcers, cardiac and peripheral ischemia, spinal cord and peripheral nerve injuries, stroke, periodontal disease, and others. The highly localized nature of tissue injury makes it an ideal application for Selective Genetics' proprietary Gene Activated Matrices (GAM(TM)) technology, which physically targets gene therapy to achieve a local, high concentration of therapeutic agent. The Bcl-2 gene will be a useful gene to combine with our delivery technology for the treatment of some of these diseases."

According to Steven Mento, Ph.D., President and CEO of Idun Pharmaceuticals, "Use of Bcl-2 as a gene therapy agent to treat tissue injury is an ideal application of Idun's anti-apoptosis technology. The core focus of Idun's research and development activities is on the development of small molecules that modulate apoptosis and to develop these as drugs for cardiovascular, central nervous system, inflammation, organ protection, and cancer indications. Selective Genetics' use of Bcl-2 in gene therapy will further allow us to capitalize on our technology beyond our internal efforts."

Idun Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego, CA. It creates innovative human therapeutics with a primary focus on controlling apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Idun believes that controlling the cell death process will have utility in treating cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, ischemic disorders and cardiovascular disease. The company has adopted a commercialization strategy encompassing strategic collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies, internal, independent development of selected small molecule therapeutics, and out-licensing of diagnostics, gene therapies, and bioproduction technologies. Idun has a broad patent portfolio covering the fundamental and core technologies involved in the regulation of cell death and has established partnerships with Abbott Laboratories in cancer, with Elan Corporation, plc in stroke, and Becton Dickinson and Company in research reagents.

Selective Genetics is a San Diego, Calif. company with broad scientific expertise in growth factor biology and tissue repair. The company's technology platform arises out of several dominant intellectual property positions that allow for the development of highly localized, sit-specific gene therapy products for tissue repair and regeneration. Selective Genetics is the first company to focus and specialize in this area. The company believes that tissue repair is a straightforward gene therapy product opportunity, particularly when contrasted to heritable disease and cancer applications. The company's technologies provide a series of powerful product opportunities in several areas of clinical medicine: orthopedic surgery (bone regeneration, interbody spinal fusion), oral surgery (dental implants), general and plastic surgery (dermal ulcers and wound healing), cardiovascular medicine (therapeutic angiogenesis, restenosis), and neurological injuries (nerve regeneration, scar inhibition). In addition, through the application of DNA to in vivo medical devices for some of theses indications, Selective Genetics is creating for the first time a new class of products called DNA devices.

Contacts:

Steven J. Mento, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Idun Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

(858) 623-1330

http://www.idun.com

Robert T. Abbott, Ph.D.

CEO

Selective Genetics, Inc.

(858) 625-0100

http://www.selectivegenetics.com

Noonan/Russo Communications, Inc.

Lora Pike (media)

(415) 677-4455 x 211

http://www.noonanrusso.com
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 27, 2001
Words:685
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