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SAGE® Labs, Ekam Imaging, Inc. Partner to Develop Preclinical Imaging Assays to Screen Therapies of Neurodegenerative Disease


10/16/2012 9:22:27 AM

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sigma-Aldrich® Corporation (Nasdaq: SIAL) today announced that Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE) Labs, an initiative of Sigma® Life Science, and Ekam Imaging, Inc. have partnered to develop a suite of preclinical services based on the advanced translational power of genetically engineered rat models from SAGE Labs and Ekam's expertise in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology. For more information on SAGE Labs, visit www.sageresearchmodels.com.

Unlike the fMRI studies currently performed in drug development that require anesthetized, unconscious animals, Ekam Imaging's fMRI translational technology produces detailed maps of a conscious animal's brain activity, a state that much better represents the human condition.

"The rat models created by SAGE Labs have been genetically modified to reflect patient-relevant mutations and exhibit highly relevant, robust phenotypes. The combination of these rats with Ekam's imaging platform presents a transformative opportunity for translational neuroscience programs. Ultimately, these types of studies will lead to better drugs targeting neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases," said Edward Weinstein, Ph.D., Director of SAGE Labs.

"Probing the brain functions of a conscious animal, specifically in rats which are prized by the neuroscience community for intelligence and complex social behaviors, produces data that is much more representative of a potential therapy's effects on human processes," said Mark Nedelman, MS, MBA, President and CEO of Ekam Imaging.

Nedelman's company is currently producing a detailed map of neural activity in SAGE Lab's Pink1 gene knockout rat, which SAGE Labs generated for The Michael J. Fox Foundation to model Parkinson's disease. The Pink1 gene knockout rat exhibits delayed-onset motor deficits, a key phenotype of Parkinson's disease in humans.

Sigma and Ekam plan to publicly launch services specific to SAGE Labs' neuroscience rat models in early 2013.

Cautionary Statement: The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "more precise," "unambiguously," "curtail," "rapidly" or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products derived there from. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that preclincal imaging assays or related services will assist the Company to achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding products associated with preclinical imaging assays or related services could be affected by, among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the Company's ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Company's assets and liabilities as recorded in its consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Sigma-Aldrich's current Form 10-K on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Sigma-Aldrich is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sigma Life Science: Sigma Life Science is a Sigma-Aldrich business that represents the Company's leadership in innovative biological products and services for the global life science market and offers an array of biologically-rich products and reagents that researchers use in scientific investigation. Product areas include biomolecules, genomics and functional genomics, cells and cell-based assays, transgenics, protein assays, stem cell research, epigenetics and custom services/oligonucleotides. Sigma Life Science also provides an extensive range critical bioessentials like biochemicals, antibiotics, buffers, carbohydrates, enzymes, forensic tools, hematology and histology, nucleotides, amino acids and their derivatives, and cell culture media.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company whose biochemical, organic chemical products, kits and services are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostics and high technology manufacturing. Sigma-Aldrich customers include more than 1.3 million scientists and technologists in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals and industry. The Company operates in 38 countries and has nearly 9,100 employees whose objective is to provide excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to accelerating customer success through innovation and leadership in Life Science and High Technology. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its website at www.sigma-aldrich.com.

Sigma-Aldrich and Sigma are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Co, LLC registered in the US and other countries. SAGE is a registered trademark of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC.

SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich Corporation



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