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Lentigen Corporation And ZGene A/S Enter License Agreement For Selected ZGene Intellectual Property


1/9/2006 12:49:04 PM

BALTIMORE and LYNGBY, Denmark, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Lentigen Corporation and ZGene A/S announced today they have entered into an exclusive license agreement whereby Lentigen will obtain an exclusive license to certain specified proprietary ZGene multisubstrate kinase genes for certain indications. These genes will allow Lentigen to create lentiviral vectors with increased safety by providing the capability to eliminate genetically modified cells from the body, if required. Lentigen will be able to provide this safety feature to clients who purchase its custom lentiviral vectors. ZGene will receive an upfront payment and additional milestone payments based on successful development and commercialization, as well as royalty payments on resulting products. No additional terms of the agreement were disclosed.

"This license agreement represents another important step in Lentigen's development," remarked Dr. Boro Dropulic, Founder and CEO of Lentigen. "We believe that these genes will provide lentiviral vector technology with additional safety features not present in retroviral and lentiviral vectors currently under evaluation in human clinical trials. Lentigen aims to increase the safety of Lentiviral vector technology by the acquisition of technologies and by its own internal research and development efforts."

Zoran Gojkovic, CEO of ZGene, said: "This agreement is another commercial validation of our technology. Since the founding of the company, we have been purposefully and successfully expanding our gene portfolio to ensure that this technology remains at the forefront of drug activation. I am excited that Lentigen will combine our genes with lentiviral delivery and hope that this work will pave the way for better and safer treatments."

About Lentiviral Vectors

Lentiviral vectors (LV) are vehicles that can deliver genes or RNAi into cells with up to 100% efficiency and stability. By comparison, other viral vector systems such as non-viral, adenoviral and adeno-associated viral vectors have been shown to achieve high, but not stable gene delivery into cells or to deliver genes stably, but not efficiently (murine retroviral vectors).

Gene delivery is accomplished by the binding and fusing of the LV pseudotyped envelope protein to the target cell membrane. The LV RNA containing the gene or gene silencing sequence is then incorporated into the cell via reverse transcription creating a DNA complex. This complex enters the nucleus incorporating into the chromosomal DNA creating a stable molecule. The gene sequence is integrated in the chromosome and is copied along with the DNA during ongoing cell division.

About Lentigen Corporation

Lentigen Corporation is a privately owned biotechnology company focused on the manufacturing and development of lentiviral vectors using its proprietary gene delivery technology for a wide range of applications in biotechnology and medicine. Lentiviral vectors are highly adapted delivery vehicles that can transport genes or gene silencing sequences into cells with high efficiency and stability. Lentigen is positioning itself to become the leading provider of Lentiviral vector products and services for academic, government, biotechnology and pharmaceutical researchers. For further information, visit http://www.Lentigen.com.

About ZGene A/S

ZGene A/S is a privately held Danish biotechnology company founded in 2001. ZGene A/S holds the rights for a prodrug activation system, called ZASTM, which drastically enhances the effect of current anticancer and antiviral drugs and reduces their toxicity. ZGene collaborates with leading academic and industrial partners in the field of cancer therapy and innovative gene delivery. ZGene is based in the Medicon Valley Region in Denmark. The company was founded by private investors, NsGene A/S, and NeuroSearch A/S. Dansk Innovations investering I/S and Symbion Capital I has since entered the company through capital investments. http://www.zgene.dk

Lentigen Corporation

CONTACT: Greg Feulner, VP Business Development of Lentigen Corporation,+1-443-543-5318, greg.feulner@lentigen.com; or Media Contact - GregoryTiberend of Richard Lewis Communications, Inc., +1-212-827-0020,gtiberend@rlcinc.com; or Investor Contact - Tara Spiess of TSCommunications Group, LLC, +1-914-921-5900, spiess@biotechirpr.com, bothfor Lentigen Corporation; or Zoran Gojkovic, CEO of ZGene A/S,+45-4525-9220, zg@zgene.net


Read at BioSpace.com

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