CLEVELAND, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Athersys Inc. announced today that it has received a U.S. patent covering key aspects of its core RAGE (Random Activation of Gene Expression) technology, specifically addressing the activation and production of secreted proteins and cell surface proteins. Use of the patented technology has enabled Athersys to create a genome-wide collection of secreted proteins, which it is applying in multiple internal research programs in areas including oncology, cardiovascular disease, immunology, neurobiology and developmental biology. U.S. Patent number 6,361,972, entitled "Compositions and methods for non- targeted activation of endogenous genes," is part of Athersys' growing patent estate surrounding its proprietary RAGE technology. Currently, the Company has an additional 17 patents pending related to the core RAGE technology platform, with multiple issuances expected over the next six months. Athersys' RAGE technology enables production of virtually every protein in the human genome without first having to clone and isolate genes, or even know a gene's sequence or elements that control its expression. Athersys has formed a number of collaborations around its RAGE technology with partners including Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Medarex, and 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals. Commenting on the significance of the recently issued '972 patent, Gil Van Bokkelen, Ph.D., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Athersys said, "Historically, secreted proteins and cell surface proteins have been a rich source of new therapeutics and drug targets, and are currently the focus of major drug discovery programs throughout the industry. Our comprehensive library of secreted proteins is enabling us to efficiently conduct a broad range of research programs, including those designed to identify factors that regulate many important aspects of cellular function, growth and development. Combined with our other capabilities, we can efficiently identify and validate novel antibody targets, small molecule drug targets, and therapeutic protein candidates. We can also produce cell lines expressing clinically validated drug targets in a manner that does not require the use of cloned and isolated gene sequences." Athersys is a functional genomics and biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development, application and commercialization of therapeutic products and novel gene expression tools. The company's research and development programs are focused on its two proprietary platform technologies: RAGE (Random Activation of Gene Expression(TM) and SMC(TM) (Synthetic Microchromosome(TM)) vector system. RAGE is a novel gene expression system that provides the unique ability to produce protein from virtually every gene in the human genome, without requiring the cloning of individual genes or use of cDNA libraries. RAGE greatly accelerates the identification and validation of novel drug targets by enabling the direct correlation of a disease process or characteristic with expression of a specific protein. As a result, RAGE has powerful applications in functional genomics; the generation of validated drug targets; discovery of novel antibody drug targets; structural proteomics and rational drug design; and the production of protein therapeutics. Athersys is developing novel therapeutic products based on its proprietary technologies, through partnerships and internal research and development programs. This press release and further information on Athersys Inc. can be found on the World Wide Web at: www.athersys.com . Statements herein that are not descriptions of historical facts are forward-looking and subject to risk and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, including risks relating to the early stage of products under development; uncertainties related to patent protection; uncertainties relating to clinical trials; dependence on third parties, including strategic partners, collaborators and key personnel; and risks relating to the development and commercialization, if any, of Athersys' proposed products (such as effectiveness of our products, marketing, manufacturing, safety, regulatory, patent or product liability, supply, competition and other risks). MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X23675747
SOURCE Athersys Inc.