Cellumen, Inc. And CHDI, Inc. Announce An Agreement To Create A Systems Cell Biology Profile Of Huntington's Disease

PITTSBURGH and NEW YORK, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellumen, Inc. (Cellumen) and CHDI, Inc. (CHDI), announced today collaborative research agreements to build a Systems Cell Biology model of Huntington's Disease (HD). The cellular model, based on Cellumen's proprietary approach to Systems Biology, will serve as the foundation of a broadly applicable neurotoxicity profiling panel that will be used to characterize pre-clinical candidate molecules.

"Cellumen's approach to Systems Biology starts with the cell, the basic unit of life, an integrated and interacting network of genes, proteins and biochemical reactions which give rise to function," stated Kate Johnston, Ph.D., VP of Discovery Programs at Cellumen. "Neuro-toxicity must be considered a Systems Biology challenge, not just the response of a few cellular constituents. There is great potential to create a Systems Cell Biology profile of the cytotoxic effects of mutant Huntington expression which will facilitate the development of new therapies for Huntington's disease".

Robert E. Pacifici, Ph.D., executive responsible for CHDI, Inc., added that "Cell-based phenotypic assays are critical for CHDI since there is not a clearly defined set of well-validated and chemically-tractable targets for HD drug discovery. We look forward to leveraging Cellumen's high content platform which we feel is a unique combination of biology and technology. We are confident that Cellumen's technology will greatly contribute to our portfolio of screening tools."

About Cellumen, Inc.:

Cellumen is a Systems Cell Biology company developing sophisticated cellular models for collaborative discovery programs with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and private research foundations. Powerful cellular models of disease are created using proprietary reagents that measure and manipulate cellular constituents. These cellular models are explored with imaging technologies to illuminate cellular function in health and disease.

About CHDI, Inc. and High Q Foundation, Inc.:

CHDI and the High Q Foundation, Inc. (High Q) are non-profit organizations that share the mission of bringing together academia, industry, governmental agencies, and other funding organizations in the search for HD treatments.

CHDI is pursuing a biotech approach to rapidly discover and develop drugs that prevent or slow HD. Through collaborations with industrial and academic partners, CHDI participates in all aspects of drug discovery and development from high throughput screening to preclinical development. For more information about CHDI and its collaborative programs please see www.chdi-inc.org or contact Robert Pacifici (robert.pacifici@chdi-inc.org).

High Q supports HD research aimed at target identification and validation, the development and use of animal models, drug delivery, and the search for markers of disease progression. For more information about High Q and its support of HD research please see www.highqfoundation.org or contact Ethan Signer (ethan.signer@highqfoundation.org) or Allan Tobin (allan.tobin@highqfoundation.org).

About Huntington's Disease:

HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in a gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene which causes programmed degeneration of brain cells and results in emotional disturbance, loss of intellectual faculties and uncontrolled movements. Most people with HD develop the symptoms at midlife but in some people onset occurs in infancy or old age. The average survival time after onset is approximately fifteen to twenty years. It is estimated that about one in every 10,000 persons has the HD gene. At this time, there is no way to stop or reverse the course of HD.

Cellumen, Inc.

CONTACT: Kate Johnston, Ph.D., VP Discovery Programs of Cellumen, Inc.,+1-412-481-5691, or kjohnston@cellumen.com; or Robert Pacifici, Ph.D. ofCHDI, Inc.-MRSSI, Inc., +1-310-342-5507, or robert.pacifici@chdi-inc.org

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