MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 29, 2004--SRI International, an independent research and development organization, announced today that it has acquired the intellectual property assets of drug discovery company Ceretek, LLC, of Alameda, California. The assets include rights to know-how and pending patent applications for endothelial differentiation gene (Edg) receptors 1 through 7 and their uses in cancer, inflammation and other diseases. Ceretek has also transferred its proprietary cell lines incorporating chimeric Edg receptors for screening purposes, its lead compounds, and screening equipment.
SRI International's Biosciences Division will pursue further lead optimization and preclinical development of several Ceretek leads. SRI will also develop a grant-based discovery research program around the Edg receptors' roles in cancer and immunosuppression. As a part of the program, SRI will seek to establish collaborations with university-based principal investigators.
SRI will pay a portion of commercialization revenue to Ceretek. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The shareholders of Ceretek are very excited to see SRI continue development of our discoveries. They have just the right team to bring these discoveries to their full potential, which we believe will have important consequences for many disease indications," said Ceretek Chairman Michael Granoff.
Edg receptors are G-protein coupled receptors that bind either 1-oleoyl lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) or sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). The receptors play a role in cell growth and are believed to effect proliferation, differentiation and survival (apoptosis). They are also believed to affect the cytoskeleton and play a role in adhesion, migration, aggregation, secretion and contraction.
"We believe that modulators of specific family members of the Edg receptor class will have activity in both cancer and immunosuppression. Recent evidence has shown that certain family members are also activated by the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor class, and inhibitors could be attractive therapeutic targets for cancer," said Glenn Rice, Ph.D., vice president of SRI's Biosciences Division.
About SRI International's Biosciences Division
SRI's Biosciences Division conducts drug discovery and development on its own drugs and works with government agencies and commercial pharmaceutical companies to provide a broad range of preclinical discovery and development services in a GLP and cGMP environment.
SRI's own drug discoveries include the anti-malarial halofantrine (Halfan(R)), the antiviral vidarabine (Vira-A), several agents in human clinical trials for cancer treatment and diagnosis, and several small-molecule drug candidates about to enter clinical development for cancer treatment. During its 50-year history of preclinical development work, SRI has performed FDA-compliant services on more than 30 marketed drugs and more than 100 drugs in clinical trials.
About SRI International
Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. Founded as Stanford Research Institute in 1946, SRI has been meeting the strategic needs of clients for more than 55 years. The nonprofit research institute performs contract research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and nonprofit foundations. In addition to conducting contract R&D, SRI licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships and creates spin-off companies.
SRI International Marty Mallonee, 650-859-2198 firstname.lastname@example.org or
Connecting Point Communications Molly Holtman, 415-442-4028 email@example.com