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Galileo Genomics Discovers More Than 10 New Gene Candidate Regions In Crohn's Disease In Whole Genome Study Powered By Perlegen Sciences, Inc. Technology


10/19/2005 5:08:48 PM

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, AND MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Galileo Genomics and Perlegen Sciences today announced the completion of a linkage disequilibrium-based genome-wide scan (LD-GWS) of Crohn's disease in the Quebec Founder Population.

The study identified two previously reported disease genes, NOD2/CARD15 and OCTN, and more than 10 new regions strongly associated with Crohn's disease, each containing one to four genes. The LD-GWS was performed on 1,500 individuals using more than 248,000 SNP markers distributed throughout the human genome, resulting in 372 million genetic analyses. This is one of the largest disease gene discovery surveys ever performed in a single common disease.

These discoveries in Crohn's disease are the first data resulting from the collaboration between Galileo and Perlegen on 21 diseases, announced in January 2004. This collaboration applies a combination of Galileo's proprietary gene discovery software and unique genetic approach with Perlegen's world leading high-throughput SNP genotyping platform and database of over 1.5 million validated SNPs.

DNA samples for Galileo's programs are collected in collaboration with over 800 Quebec clinical investigators. The Quebec Founder Population of French descent is believed to be among the world's best for gene discovery in common diseases, based on its high levels of genetic homogeneity and extended LD (genetic sharing).

"This data supports Galileo's belief that an LD-GWS in Quebec is the most powerful approach to gene discovery for common diseases. Over the next two years we expect to apply the LD-GWS approach to at least 20 additional diseases", noted Dr. John Hooper, President and CEO of Galileo Genomics. "I would like to thank the hundreds of patients and their families and the 39 Quebec clinical investigators and their staff whose collaboration made success with Crohn's disease possible." "Genetic technology and analytical techniques have finally evolved to the point that the underlying variations that predispose individuals to complex diseases such as Crohn's can now be determined" added Brad Margus, CEO of Perlegen Sciences. "We are thrilled to have been able to partner with Galileo in this important study that holds the promise of improving future therapeutics and diagnostics." About Galileo Genomics Inc.

Galileo is a next-generation genomics company dedicated to the discovery of GeneMaps, genes, and biomarkers associated with the root cause of common diseases and drug response. GeneMaps are ensembles of causative genes for common diseases that define key biochemical pathways leading to disease causation. GeneMaps allow the acceleration of drug target identification, validation and downstream development. Additionally, Galileo's pharmacogenomics capability to stratify patient populations and evaluate drug response further accelerates the clinical development of drug candidates. With over 100 employees, including 22 Ph.D. and M.D. scientists, Galileo's research relies on DNA sampling from the Quebec Founder Population, whose extensive genetic sharing and low genetic variability make this population ideal for LD-GWSs. In recognition of the contribution to Galileo's research made by the Quebec Founder Population, the company has committed to donate three per cent of its net profits to a trust fund for the benefit of Quebecers. Galileo Genomics is not affiliated in any way with Galileo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Santa Clara, California.

For more information about Galileo Genomics Inc., please visit http://www.galileogenomics.com/ .

About Perlegen Sciences

Perlegen Sciences, Inc. is working to provide safe and effective medicines to the world. The company quickly and cost effectively analyzes more than one million genetic variations in DNA samples obtained from clinical trial participants. This information is used to explain and predict the efficacy and adverse effect profiles of prescription drugs. Perlegen also applies this expertise to discovering genetic variants associated with disease for potential new therapeutics and diagnostics. For years, scientists and drug manufacturers have been eager to comprehensively examine entire genomes; through Perlegen, their moment has come. Perlegen is able to bring drugs to the market whose clinical development would have been otherwise discontinued.

Based in Mountain View, California, Perlegen was formed in late 2000 as a spin-off from Affymetrix, Inc. . For more information about the company and its technologies, visit Perlegen's website at http://www.perlegen.com/ . Perlegen Sciences, Perlegen, and the Perlegen logo are trademarks of Perlegen Sciences, Inc.

GALILEO GENOMICS INC.

CONTACT: Mariano Rodriguez, CA, CPA, Vice President andChief Financial Officer, Galileo Genomics Inc., (514) 270-3991 ext. 230,mrodriquez@galileogenomics.com; Robert Middlebrook, Chief CorporateDevelopment Officer, Perlegen Sciences, Inc., (650) 625-4500,rmiddlebrook@perlegen.com; Dr. Bill Cheliak, Ph.D., Vice President,Business Development, Galileo Genomics Inc., (613) 261-9813,bill.cheliak@galileogenomics.com



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