RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Icoria Inc. today announced that it has entered into a research agreement with Vesta Therapeutics, Inc. to use Icoria's metabolomics and gene expression technologies to develop biological profiles for Vesta's adult human liver derived stem/progenitor cells and to aid in characterizing the cells' ability to regenerate new liver tissue.
Vesta will use the information generated by Icoria to optimize its selection of liver cells for transplantation and to guide clinical trials. Biomarkers identified by this research may also be used to help stimulate the differentiation of liver stem and progenitor cells along the hepatic lineage. In return, Icoria will gain access to clinical liver samples for use in validating biomarkers and drug targets in Icoria's proprietary drug and diagnostics discovery research.
Vesta is a liver stem cell company developing therapeutics for liver repair and regeneration. It currently has an IND for a Phase I clinical trial using a whole liver cell product for patients with cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. The goal of Vesta's liver regeneration program is to expand the use of a single donor organ to treat hundreds or even thousands of patients.
"Our goal is to incorporate the data generated from our collaboration with Icoria into the development and launch of a novel liver stem/progenitor cell- only product suitable for an expanded patient population," said John W. Ludlow, Ph.D., Senior Director, Vesta Therapeutics.
"The ability to work with Vesta on this project provides Icoria with an opportunity to discover novel biochemical and transcriptional biomarkers that, alone or in combination, signal different functional states of the liver and its ability to regenerate," said Thomas Colatsky, Ph.D., Vice President, Healthcare Research, Icoria. "Moreover, access to clinical liver samples from defined patient populations complements our internal commitment to biomarker- enabled drug discovery in the areas of liver disease and hepatic metabolism."
Icoria, Inc. is a biotechnology company dedicated to finding new ways of detecting and treating human disease. Icoria uses its ability to analyze biological function at the level of gene expression, biochemical pathways and tissue structure to discover and validate novel biomarkers, drugs and drug targets. In addition to its internal biomarker and drug discovery program, the company provides services to clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agriculture, academic and public health research sectors, and has major contracts with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a subsidiary of DuPont). Icoria also has a major grant from the National Institute of Standards & Technology's Advanced Technology Program. For more information, visit http://www.icoria.com/ .
About Vesta Therapeutics
Vesta Therapeutics is a privately held company developing cell therapeutics for liver repair and regeneration. The Company's technology is centered on the isolation, expansion, and cryopreservation of liver cells (human hepatocytes) obtained from organ donor livers that are not suitable for whole organ transplantation. Clinicians in academic settings have found that, following administration, human hepatocytes engraft and create new functioning liver tissue, which may provide a bridge to transplant or in some cases, eliminate the need for a liver transplant. The Food and Drug Administration has allowed the Company's Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a Phase I clinical trial of cryopreserved, allogeneic human liver cells for the treatment of patients with cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease. For more information, visit http://www.vestatherapeutics.com/
This press release contains forward-looking statements including but not limited to the Company's expectations for the potential outcomes regarding the Vesta Therapeutics, Inc. research agreement. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks, factors and uncertainties that may cause actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. These risks, factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to Icoria's ability to identify biomarkers, Icoria's early stage of development, history of net losses, technological and product development uncertainties, reliance on research collaborations, uncertainty of additional funding and ability to protect its patents and proprietary rights. Certain of these and other risks are identified in Icoria's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as may be required by law.
Note: Icoria and the Icoria logo are trademarks owned or used by Icoria, Inc.