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
"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
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
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
SOURCE Nanogen, Inc.