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Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmBh (EXEL), CLEA Japan, Inc. And CLEA Japan, Inc. Form Strategic Alliance For Generation And Marketing Of Genetically Engineered Mouse Models


1/29/2007 11:45:10 AM

TOKYO, Japan and COLOGNE, Germany, January 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The two Japanese companies CLEA Japan, Inc. ("CLEA") and In-Vivo Science, Inc. ("IVS") together with Cologne/Germany based Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH ("Artemis") today announced the formation of a strategic alliance for the generation, marketing and delivery of genetically engineered mouse models for the Japanese market. This alliance combines Artemis' leading technology platform in mouse genetics and genomics with CLEA's and IVS's industry leading position in Japan in rodent breeding, quality control, marketing and distribution.

The new Alliance will for the first time make novel and state of the art mouse genomic and genetic technologies accessible to Japanese researchers. In particular Artemis has developed and validated methods to modulate gene expression in a mouse in an inducible fashion; Artemis has the capability to replace mouse genes with their human orthologue and has also developed the capability to knock down gene expression using shRNA in a high throughput and rapid fashion. Based on its own or in-licensed Intellectual Property Artemis has full freedom to operate in the Japanese market.

Accelerated generation, application of new technologies, efficient breeding and reliable delivery of these mice which are models for human biology provides significant advantages for customers. Functional analysis of gene targets which are related to severe human diseases and in vivo selection of the most promising drug candidates can now occur earlier in the drug discovery and development process. The use of Artemis' highly advanced technology basis for generating innovative mouse models, coupled with CLEA's and IVS's leading expertise in laboratory animal breeding and related services, will enable quicker and better results that increase the quality and efficiency of the drug discovery and development process.

"It is my greatest pleasure to announce the strategic alliance among CLEA Japan, Inc., In-Vivo Science, Inc., and Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH for the generation and marketing of genetically engineered mouse models combining the powerful technology of Artemis based on its own or in-licensed Intellectual Property. This will be linked with the valuable network of IVS using CIEA's (Central Institute for Experimental Animals) quality system and technology of laboratory animals, and over 40 years experience of high quality laboratory animals distribution of CLEA," says Mr. Fukushi Taguchi, President of CLEA Japan, Inc. "Together with the high quality laboratory animals and the high technology and know-how to generate genetically engineered mouse models, we believe that we can contribute to increasing the efficiency of drug discovery and development processes at our customers."

"Today, basic biomedical research has made remarkable progress in various fields very quickly. However, it is necessary to bridge gaps between research and the clinic, thereby translating this progress in research to improve human health . This alliance among three companies will provide researchers with key technology to bridge the gaps through in vivo experiments using genetically engineered mouse models in Japan," says Mr. R. Nomura, President of In-Vivo Science Inc. "In Japan, we want to support the development of new medicines and medical technologies by combining Artemis's advanced technology for genetically engineered mouse models, CLEA's long experience breeding laboratory animals and our ability backed by the most advanced institute CIEA (Central Institute for Experimental Animals) in the field of research of laboratory animal and its quality control in Japan. I believe that it is very meaningful to introduce Artemis's technology to customers in Japan."

"We are excited by the synergistic power of our relationship with CLEA and IVS and we believe that the combination of our unique expertise can produce new levels of efficiency within the pharmaceutical industry in Japan," says Dr. Peter Stadler, Managing Director of Artemis. "Together, our companies will provide an extremely powerful, effective contribution to shortening the time required for new models as well as optimizing the reliability of their supply to our customers in Japan."

About CLEA

Bioscience is a key for human health in these days. CLEA Japan, Inc. is the first company to mass-produce Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) mice and rats in Japan, and has been supplying them to many bioscience related companies and research institutes. We are a total system supplier of laboratory animals, their diets and equipments, to support bioscience research and development with a vision of health, welfare, and environment for human. We are also offering a broad area of contract researches using our highest quality laboratory animals and equipments. Our commitment is to provide the highest quality laboratory animals as "in vivo Assay System" with comprehensive animal care services to bioscience community for supporting bioscience research and preclinical study.

About IVS

In-Vivo Science Inc. was founded in July, 2006 aiming for the commercialization of uniquely developed technologies by CIEA for in vivo experimentation systems. It will develop and provide products and services to customers in Japan focusing human health and drug discovery.

About Artemis

Artemis Pharmaceuticals provides ready made and custom built high quality mouse models to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for drug research as well as to academic centers for basic research purposes. The company has developed an exceptionally efficient and powerful technology basis, termed ArteMiceTM for the production of such mouse models. Artemis uses the ArteMice platform to generate models with conditional or constitutive alterations in gene expression for gene function analysis in vivo. In addition, mice can be generated in which the mouse gene is completely replaced by its human orthologue. The biology of these "humanized mice" has a high level of similarity to human biology and, therefore they can play an important role in drug discovery. These models can provide an optimal model for the early in vivo testing of lead compound toxicity and efficacy on the specific human target. In this way they can better facilitate the selection of promising drug development candidates. In combination with Artemis' proprietary in vivo shRNAi methodology the ArteMice(TM) technology represents a particularly efficient way for gene function knock down in all tissues of a mouse. Artemis is the first company to have developed a robust methodology for the controlled induction of shRNA based gene knock down in adult mice. This inducible system permits the down-regulation of a selected target gene to be turned on and off thereby more closely modeling the dosing of a pharmacologic inhibitor. The generation time for such a mouse model at Artemis is only four months.

Artemis customers include the majority of the leading pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Hoffmann La Roche, Merck KGaA, Biovitrum AB, other pharma companies and biotech firms as well as various academic research institutions worldwide such as the Riken Institute, the MRC and the NIH.

For further information please contact: CLEA Japan, Inc. Tsuyoshi Suetake Tel: +81-(0)3-5704-7272 Fax: +81-(0)3-3791-2859 suetake-t@clea-japan.comwww.clea-japan.com In-Vivo Science Inc. Yasuyuki Ohnishi Tel: +81-(0)3-3715-7702 & +81-(0)44-754-4463 Fax:+81-(0)44-754-4463 kiyasho@invivoscience.comwww.invivoscience.com Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH Monika Hahn Tel:+49-221-96453-10 m.hahn@artemispharma.dewww.artemispharma.de

Artemis Pharmaceutical GmbH

CONTACT: For further information please contact: CLEA Japan, Inc.,Tsuyoshi Suetake, Tel: +81-(0)3-5704-7272, Fax: +81-(0)3-3791-2859,suetake-t@clea-japan.com, www.clea-japan.com. In-Vivo Science Inc.,Yasuyuki Ohnishi, Tel: +81-(0)3-3715-7702 & +81-(0)44-754-4463,Fax:+81-(0)44-754-4463, kiyasho@invivoscience.com, www.invivoscience.com.Artemis Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Monika Hahn, Tel:+49-221-96453-10,m.hahn@artemispharma.de, www.artemispharma.de


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