SAN DIEGO, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nanogen, Inc. (Nasdaq: NGEN), developer of advanced diagnostic products, has announced a collaboration agreement with Oy Jurilab, Ltd., the Finnish genomics company. The collaboration is designed to identify and validate new prognostic markers for type II diabetes, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. "There are 20 million children and adults living with diabetes in the U.S., and many of them are undiagnosed until they develop complications," said Howard C. Birndorf, Nanogen chairman and chief executive officer. "Combining genetic data about risk with early intervention strategies can have a significant impact on reducing disease incidence and severity, and we expect to see extensive demand for prognostic and diagnostic tests, as well as for new effective drugs." Complications arising from diabetes include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and nervous system damage, and constitute a tremendous economic burden on healthcare systems. Global incidence of diabetes has been on the rise, in both developed and developing countries, and is projected to reach 220 million by 2010. Jurilab has access to genetic screening of an isolated population in East Finland, which is derived from one of the most genetically homogeneous populations available. Estimated at approximately 20 generations old, it is about half the age of other populations employed in screening programs. Fewer generations result in less genetic variation, and statistically significant data can be derived from relatively small sample groups, reducing research time and costs. Through the current agreement, Nanogen will gain access to markers identified by Jurilab in genome-wide screens. Certain markers seem to be associated with predisposition to diabetes; others appear to protect against developing the disease. Both Jurilab and Nanogen plan to validate the diabetes associations of these markers in populations outside Finland, including case controls in Catalonia, England, Germany, and from Ashkenazi Jews. Subsequent to validation, Nanogen intends to develop diagnostic tests for panels of confirmed markers, and the companies will jointly seek licensing opportunities with pharmaceutical companies to develop therapeutics based on genes determined to play a causative role in the disease. "The collaboration with Jurilab offers an opportunity for us to expand our presence in the pharmacogenetics arena," said David Ludvigson, president and chief operating officer of Nanogen. "The program has potential to lead to the development of new prognostic and diagnostic reagents and also provide licensing opportunities for new drug targets." About Nanogen, Inc. Nanogen's advanced technologies provide researchers, clinicians and physicians worldwide with improved methods and tools to predict, diagnose, and ultimately help treat disease. The company's products include real-time PCR reagents, the NanoChip(R) electronic microarray platform and a line of rapid diagnostic tests. Nanogen's ten years of pioneering research involving nanotechnology holds the promise of miniaturization and continues to be supported for its potential for diagnostic and biodefense applications. For additional information please visit Nanogen's website at www.nanogen.com. About Jurilab Ltd. Oy Jurilab Ltd is dedicated to applying its proprietary discoveries of genes and genetic markers associated with the underlying cause of common diseases and drug response across healthcare. The company's current product emphasis is on Disease Risk Assessment and Molecular Subtyping Tests, Human-Validated Drug Targets, Pharmacogenetic Profiling Tests and biochemical and genotyping services. For additional information, please see www.jurilab.com. Forward-Looking Statement This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements, including whether products currently marketed or under development can be successfully developed and commercialized, whether patents owned or licensed by Nanogen will be developed into products, whether the patents owned by Nanogen offer any protection against competitors with competing technologies, whether results reported by our customers or partners can be identically replicated, and other risks and uncertainties discussed under the caption "Factors That May Affect Results" and elsewhere in Nanogen's Form 10-K or Form 10-Q most recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Nanogen disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Nanogen, Inc.