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Ingenium Pharmaceuticals To Provide Merck & Co. (MRK) With Genetic Rat Models

10/19/2005 5:10:40 PM

MUNICH, Germany, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Ingenium Pharmaceuticals AG announced today an agreement under which Ingenium shall seek to provide Merck & Co., Inc. with novel genetic rat models with alterations in a gene specified by Merck. No financial terms or further details of the agreement have been disclosed.

The models will be developed using Ingenium's INGENOtyping(TM) technology. As opposed to mouse "knockout" models, the development of genetic rat models remains a scientific hurdle despite years of intense research worldwide, due to the lack of rat embryonic stem cells. Nevertheless, the rat remains the model of choice for many therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, behavioural and neurological disease research.

"The publication of the rat genome demonstrates the high value the scientific community places on using rat genetics to accelerate pharmaceutical development and improve our understanding of disease," said Michael C. Nehls, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Ingenium. "Our INGENOtyping(TM) technology can provide the next generation of genetic rat models that should generate significant advances in research areas where rat models could simulate human pathology better than genetic mouse models."

Ingenium has created a "rolling-circle" production pipeline that represents a living, inbred rat model archive. One year's production represents several-fold mutational coverage on a gene-by-gene basis. This translates into an expected probability of more than 90% to identify a gene- specific rat DNA mutation in less than 12 months. Ingenium's INGENOtyping(TM) technology for genetic rat models is therefore comparable in time and efficiency to what current mouse ES-cell-based technology provides for producing targeted genetic mouse models.

The basis of Ingenium's business is its knowledge and expertise in generating the biological information critical to the discovery, validation and development of therapeutics. Ingenium's drug discovery technologies combine functional genetics in the rodent model system with proprietary, therapeutic goal-oriented biological screens and advanced pathway analysis. From the breadth of knowledge generated by the company's Deductive Genomics(R) technology, Ingenium is currently advancing a pipeline of novel models and biologically validated drug targets in the areas of inflammatory bowel disease, obesity/diabetes, and neurological disorders. The company's INGENOtyping(TM) platform offers the most rapid access to innovative rodent models for drug discovery and development and drug target validation. Ingenium has research partnership agreements with Elan Corporation, Bayer AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Gruenenthal, Molecular Engines Laboratories, Sequenom Inc., Oxagen Limited, and Wyeth in addition to numerous international academic collaborations.

Ingenium and Deductive Genomics are registered U.S. trademarks. For more information contact: Gretchen L.P. Schweitzer Vice President Ingenium Pharmaceuticals AG 49-89-8565-2398

Ingenium Pharmaceuticals AG

CONTACT: Gretchen L.P. Schweitzer, Vice President of IngeniumPharmaceuticals AG, +49-89-8565-2398,

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