LA JOLLA, Calif., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Neurome, Inc. today announced the purchase of substantially all the assets of Digital Gene Technologies, Inc., including the TOGA(R) technology, gene expression assays, existing datasets and know-how related to vaccine development programs. In conjunction with the asset purchase, Neurome will also acquire the entire patent estate, which includes data and discoveries generated in commercial and academic research programs with leading researchers worldwide.
The acquisition will allow Neurome to successfully expand beyond its current core technologies in quantitative molecular neuropathology to include TOGA's highly sensitive gene expression based surveys designed to characterize the role of important target molecules implicated in areas of important unmet medical need. TOGA(R) -- an acronym which stands for TOtal Gene expression Analysis -- enables researchers to measure gene expression levels of both known and novel genes, and shortens the time required to identify and evaluate gene expression levels in various disease models.
"This acquisition is another step in executing our growth strategy", said Warren Young, Ph.D., President and Chief Technology Officer of Neurome. "With this acquisition, Neurome adds a powerful platform that complements our current portfolio of neuroanatomical mapping and morphometric tools, specifically in the area of gene expression."
"Neurome's current collaborations with leading pharmaceutical partners to optimize and enhance their drug discovery efforts have shown the continued need for enabling technologies to accelerate the pace of target discovery and development," said Floyd Bloom, M.D., Chairman and Founding CEO of Neurome. "I am especially excited about TOGA(R) becoming part of Neurome. The addition of this technology expands Neurome's reach to encompass all components of the discovery and preclinical development pipeline."
In addition to 29 institutional research collaborations in a wide range of disease fields, the acquisition includes assets relating to a novel mechanism of drug delivery, well suited for oral delivery of vaccines and other large biomolecules. The vaccine development research program is currently the subject of grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Neurome plans to continue the development of this program and expects to begin animal testing sometime in early 2005.
Neurome, Inc. performs contract brain research for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies while at the same time pursuing its own in-house and collaborative research protocols. Neurome develops standardized, quantitative databases that accurately depict and integrate gene expression patterns in the three-dimensional context of the brain's structures, circuits, and cells, and deploys these databases in primary research directed toward the discovery and development of gene targets for enhancement of brain function and treatment of brain-based disease. The data collected from these efforts will populate an evolving, comprehensive database available by subscription and useful on a broad level for analyses of mouse models of brain function and disease. The application of the Neurome technologies provides rigorous, quantitative data that are optimally suited to the measurement of subtle cell-type specific shifts in gene expression, as well as progression and prevention of degenerative events affecting specific cell classes and brain regions. For more information, please visit Neurome's website at http://www.neurome.com/.