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Iceland Genomics Corporation And ACLARA BioSciences, Inc. (ACLA) Collaborating On Cancer Biomarkers


10/19/2005 5:12:21 PM

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Iceland Genomics Corporation (IGC) announced today that they have entered into an agreement with ACLARA BioSciences under which ACLARA will utilize its proprietary eTag(TM) assays to analyze tumor samples from cancer patients provided by IGC to validate candidate biomarkers and their utility as indicators of disease progression and as predictors of a likely response of individual patients to particular therapies.

Under the agreement, Iceland Genomics will provide to ACLARA tumor and blood samples and blinded patient data, including treatment histories and outcomes. ACLARA will test the samples with its eTag assays to help validate the parameters measured as biomarkers. ACLARA will provide funding to IGC, and will share the data from the study with IGC for incorporation into its database.

Dana Hosseini, chief executive officer of Iceland Genomics, said, "We believe ACLARA's eTag assays offer a unique view of the molecular processes driving cell proliferation and tumor growth. We are pleased to be collaborating with ACLARA, and helping to demonstrate the tremendous potential for eTag technology. There is clearly a need for better methods to assess cancer patients, both from a preferred treatment and ultimate prognosis perspective. We look forward to the results of this study, and seeing how they correlate with other measures used to evaluate these samples at Iceland Genomics."

The biomarkers under evaluation are proteins and protein complexes, and importantly, their different functional or activation states that comprise signaling pathways in cells. These pathways enable information transfer within and between cells, and control such processes as cell growth, division and death. When these pathways malfunction, the affected cells can become cancerous, dividing uncontrollably. Several approved targeted therapies, such as Iressa(R), Herceptin(R) and Avastin(R), and many others in development, act on the proteins within these pathways. By measuring the targeted proteins and pathways directly, ACLARA believes it can help physicians better determine whether certain therapies are more appropriate for individual cancer patients.

"We are excited to be working with Iceland Genomics since the extensive pedigrees of the Icelandic population, along with the detailed patient histories and samples that IGC has collected, are a powerful resource that can help facilitate answering critical questions in medicine, and oncology in particular," said Sharat Singh, ACLARA's chief technical officer. "With success, we look forward to a potentially broader collaboration with IGC, and ultimately to the utilization of these biomarkers in clinical practice."

ACLARA's eTag assays are able to identify difficult-to-detect protein complexes that can provide unique insights to the likelihood of particular patients to respond to specific therapies. In addition, since eTag assays can utilize formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded clinical samples, the standard format in most pathology labs, this enables the analysis of both archived samples from initial biopsies or surgeries as well as freshly collected materials.

About Iceland Genomics Corporation

Iceland Genomics Corporation (IGC) is a privately held cancer biology company using an innovative 'clinical genomics' approach to understand the underlying mechanisms of cancer, isolate and characterize new therapeutic targets for cancer, assess outcomes of specific therapies in genetically defined subcategories of cancer patients and optimize clinical trials for success. IGC was incorporated in the State of Delaware in October 1998, and is the sole owner of an Icelandic subsidiary called UVS. IGC is one of several genomics-based biotechnology companies operating in Iceland and the only company that solely focuses on cancer biology. In addition to its agreements with the great majority of clinicians in Iceland actively engaged in treating cancer, the IGC also has agreements with both major national hospitals and the Icelandic Cancer Society (which is responsible for maintaining the National Cancer Registry) as well as the Genetical Committee of the University of Iceland.

About ACLARA

Founded in 1995, ACLARA is a biotechnology company working to provide physicians and researchers products and services to make personalized medicine a reality through its protein-based assay technology -- the eTag(TM) System. ACLARA is dedicated to unlocking the power of pathway biology to accelerate the development of next-generation targeted therapeutics, recognizing the most appropriate patients for approved therapies and identifying the highly- specific, protein-based biomarkers that will enable physicians to create truly personalized treatment regimens for patients suffering from cancer and other life-threatening disorders.

ACLARA is commercializing its proprietary eTag System to enhance and accelerate drug discovery research and the preclinical and clinical development of targeted therapeutics. ACLARA's technology may also enable the development of highly specific, protein-based diagnostics capable of providing physicians with a powerful tool for creating personalized treatment regimens for patients suffering from serious and difficult-to-treat cancers. For more information on ACLARA please visit the Company's web site at http://www.aclara.com/.

Trademarks

ACLARA BioSciences is a registered trademark, and eTag and the ACLARA logo are trademarks of ACLARA BioSciences, Inc. Iressa is a registered trademark of AstraZeneca, and Herceptin and Avastin are registered trademarks of Genentech, Inc.

Iceland Genomics Corporation

CONTACT: Dana Hosseini, Chief Executive Officer of Iceland GenomicsCorporation, +354.525.3600, dhosseini@uvs.is



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