MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ACLARA BioSciences announced that its eTag(TM) System will be discussed by members of the Company's Scientific Advisory Board at this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting, June 5 - 8, 2004 at Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. ACLARA is developing its proprietary protein-based technologies to accelerate the preclinical and clinical development of targeted therapeutics and provide physicians and researchers with diagnostic tools capable of making personalized medicine a reality.
Specifically, ACLARA's eTag System will be discussed by Scientific Advisory Board member David B. Agus, M.D., Research Director at the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA at:
-- What: Education Session, Integrating Genomics, Proteomics, and Clinical Outcomes in Oncology
When and Where:
Saturday, June 5, 2:45 pm - 4 pm in Room 265 (Escalators 5 & 6)
Sunday, June 6, 7:45 am - 9 am in R08 (2nd Floor - Escalators 1 & 2)
Dr. Agus will participate in this panel session with a presentation on "Proteomics and Outcome Studies".
-- In addition, I. Laux, Ph.D. investigator at the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will present a poster containing eTag data:
What: Poster, "Epidermal growth factor receptor dimerization status determines response to HER-kinase targeted therapies in keratinocytes."
When and Where: Monday June 7, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm, Hall A
Analyst and Investor Briefing
In addition, both Dr. Agus and Dr. Carlos Arteaga will be available to answer questions regarding their respective scientific work at an Investor Briefing to be hosted by ACLARA on Monday June 7 at 7 a.m. Central Time at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 315 Julia Street, New Orleans in the Andrew Jackson Board Room. Carlos Arteaga, M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology and Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. During the briefing, Dr. Sharat Singh, CTO of ACLARA and inventor of the eTag technology will describe the technology and present some representative data. The briefing will be webcast; details are below.
Dr. Agus, a world-renowned expert in the field of cancer research and drug development, is researching the various factors that influence cancer development, progression and response to treatment. At last year's ASCO he presented positive results from Phase I Omnitarg(TM) trials focusing on targeting the Her-2 heterodimer in solid tumors.
Similarly Dr. Arteaga is distinguished for his studies of the HER2 receptor, which led to ongoing studies of the HER2 antibody Herceptin(R) in combination with EGFR inhibitors in patients with advanced HER2-overexpressing breast tumors.
According to Thomas Klopack, ACLARA chief executive officer, "We're excited about focusing our unique powerful technology to accelerate new cancer drugs through the clinical trial process into doctors' arsenals, and on providing the oncology community with diagnostic and prognostic tools to help treat patients with the growing list of new targeted therapies. Many of the presentations here at ASCO by Dr. Agus, Dr. Arteaga and others are bringing into sharp focus the need for our technology -- today."
ACLARA collaborates with opinion leaders and academic institutions in the area of cell signaling, oncology and autoimmunity to demonstrate the most compelling attributes of its proprietary protein expression technology. Customers include Pfizer Inc., Genentech, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals and others, which have signed agreements to use ACLARA's system in pharmaceutical research and development. In addition, ACLARA has partnership agreements with Amersham BioSciences, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital, Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science.
Clarifying Choices for Targeted Therapies
One of the primary challenges in cancer treatment is administering to patients the most effective therapy at the right time. Critical to meeting this challenge is physician confidence that a particular treatment will be effective for an individual patient and will not subject the patient to unnecessary side effects without a beneficial effect. To increase physician confidence, researchers are attempting to develop diagnostic tools designed to characterize markers of gene and protein expression associated with an individual's disease. These markers or "profiles" could then be used to determine, with a higher degree of specificity, whether or not a targeted treatment will effectively combat a particular manifestation of cancer.
While many approaches to this problem focus on gene expression patterns, there are new targeted drugs that have been, and are being, developed to interrupt protein pathways that result in cancer. In order to understand the ability of a targeted drug to affect an individual patient's tumor, the protein expression characteristics of that tumor may be the most direct and, therefore, the best indicator. Researchers and physicians must be able to analyze tumor samples at the protein level to determine the specific protein-protein or signaling pathway interactions that characterize it, and on which the appropriate targeted drugs were designed to act. If a patient has the activated target pathway a drug was designed to interrupt, the drug should have an effect. If a patient does not have the protein target for the drug, the drug may not work.
This is what ACLARA's protein-based technology -- the eTag(TM) System -- is designed to accomplish. Our eTag assays can identify and quantitate, in a robust and sensitive way, the presence of protein complexes and dimers from a small amount of patient tissue including formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples. These protein complexes are key links in activated pathways. Once a particular tumor's pathway biology is understood, researchers and doctors can better identify, with a higher probability of success, the patients that will respond versus those that may not. This could lead to faster development of tailored therapies capable of targeting and deactivating the complicated signaling networks that activate cancer formation in real patients, and to better treatment for patients with the current arsenal of targeted drugs.
Investor Briefing Webcast and Conference Call Details
Those wishing to participate in the Investor Briefing via live teleconference should call 1-800-289-0494 several minutes before 7 a.m. Central time, Monday June 7. In addition, the audio and slide presentations from the briefing will be simultaneously broadcast over the Internet and will be available to investors, news media and the general public. The live and archived webcast can be accessed by going to Investor Relations section at http://www.aclara.com/ and clicking on the Conference Calls link. The webcast will be archived on the ACLARA website. For those who are not able to access the live conference, an audio replay will be available until Wednesday June 9, 2004 by dialing 1-888-203-1112 (U.S.) or 719-457-0820 (international) and giving the following confirmation code: 643288 for access.
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/.
All statements in this news release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended. Such forward-looking statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially for ACLARA from those projected. Those factors include risks and uncertainties relating to the performance of our products, anticipated progress in commercialization of our eTag(TM) assay system; the potential for use of our eTag assays in clinical development programs; the potential for use of our eTag assays as diagnostic tests; our ability to successfully conduct clinical studies and the results obtained from those studies; our ability to establish reliable, high-volume operations at commercially reasonable costs; expected reliance on a few customers for the majority of our revenues; actual market acceptance of our products and adoption of our technological approach and products by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; our estimate of the size of our markets; our estimates of the levels of demand for our products; our ability to develop organizational capabilities suitable for the further development and commercialization of our eTag assays; the ultimate validity and enforceability of our patent applications and patents; the possible infringement of the intellectual property of others; technological approaches of ACLARA and our competitors; our pending merger with ViroLogic, Inc., including the risk that the closing conditions or the merger may not be satisfied and the merger may not be completed, and costs related to the proposed merger; and other risk factors identified in our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2004 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.