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Chronogen Inc. Demonstrates That Mammalian Aging Is Under The Control Of CLK-1 Activity


10/26/2005 11:51:26 AM

MONTREAL, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ - Chronogen Inc. (Montreal, Canada), a drug discovery company developing novel therapeutics to treat oxidative stress disorders in age-related diseases, announced today that the gene clk-1 that has been involved in aging in the nematode C. elegans plays a similar role in mammals. In a recent study published in Genes and Development, (19:2424-34, 2005. Evolutionary conservation of the clk-1-dependent mechanism of longevity: loss of mclk1 increases cellular fitness and lifespan in mice), Professor S. Hekimi, CSO of Chronogen, and his team at McGill University (Canada), report that the longevity-promoting effect of reducing CLK-1 activity that was initially observed in C. elegans is conserved in three different genetic backgrounds of mice. In 129Sv/JxBalb/c mice for instance, reducing activity of the gene mclk1 (mouse clk-1) results in a prolongation of lifespan of about 32%. The inactivation of mclk1 gene, which encodes a mitochondrial enzyme, decreases reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, the toxic molecules that damage proteins, lipids and DNA, and this likely explains this increase in lifespan.

Commenting on his study, Professor Siegfried Hekimi said: "Increased lifespan can be considered a marker for a physiological condition in which oxidative stress is reduced. Extrapolated to the pathophysiology of human diseases partially decreasing CLK-1 activity by pharmacological means should limit oxidative stress and consequently, prevent or slow the development of common age-related degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or atherosclerosis. Such new therapies may also be beneficial to treat more acute diseases where oxidative stress is also significantly increased such as ischemia-reperfusion injury."

Dr. Max Fehlmann, CEO of Chronogen, stated: "This key finding reconfirms our hypothesis that our target CLK-1 is regulating aging by modulating ROS production at the cellular level and is the appropriate target to develop innovative pharmacological agents with neuroprotective and cardioprotective properties. Drugs that inhibit CLK-1 represent a new mechanism of action, acting to reduce ROS production, and will represent a welcomed alternative to conventional antioxidant therapies which failed to demonstrate clinical efficacy."

About Chronogen Inc.

Chronogen Inc., a privately-held drug discovery company, is a leader in the identification of drug targets that control metabolic pathways underlying age-related diseases. Chronogen has developed unique, rapid, and reliable in vivo assays aimed at the identification of small molecules affecting cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological diseases. The mission of Chronogen is to design and develop innovative small-molecule drugs to decrease the production of Reactive Oxygen Species in oxidative stress-related diseases including vascular complications of diabetes, reperfusion injury, neurodegenerative diseases, as well as Low Density Lipoproteins in dyslipidemia.

CHRONOGEN INC.

CONTACT: please contact: Pascal Puchois, Ph.D., VP Corporate & BusinessDevelopment, (514) 521-9595 ext. 201, Fax: (514) 521-9087,ppuchois@chronogen.com; More information on Chronogen Inc. can be found on:http://www.chronogen.com


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