Prometheus Laboratories Inc. Awarded Patent Related to Genetic Testing for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patent Includes NOD2 Gene Mutations Associated with Susceptibility to Crohn's Disease

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Prometheus Laboratories Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostic company, today announced that it has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,592,437 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent, entitled "Genes Involved in Intestinal Inflammatory Diseases and Use Thereof," covers genes useful in the detection of inflammatory diseases, including NOD2 (also known as CARD15) gene mutations which are associated with susceptibility to Crohn's disease(1).

"NOD2 gene mutations have been demonstrated to play an important role in the development of Crohn's disease, an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract that can lead to a variety of symptoms and often takes years to diagnose," said Henry Pan, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of Prometheus. "This patent provides important protection for us as we continue to develop innovative products to help physicians diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases through individualized patient care."

Prometheus has exclusive, worldwide rights to the methodology for identifying NOD2 gene mutations under an agreement with Fondation Jean Dausset - Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain (CEPH).

About Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and rectal bleeding. Crohn's disease is often expensive to treat because many patients may require long-term medical care, including multiple hospitalizations, surgeries and expensive therapeutics. The condition can be difficult to manage clinically and consumes a substantial amount of healthcare resources in terms of physician time, procedures and medications. Crohn's disease is estimated to affect between 400,000 and 600,000 individuals in North America(2).

About Prometheus

Prometheus Laboratories Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostic company committed to developing and commercializing novel pharmaceutical and diagnostic products to help physicians individualize patient care. Prometheus is a leader in applying the principles of personalized medicine to the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and is applying these principles to oncology. Its strategy includes the marketing and delivery of pharmaceutical products complemented by proprietary diagnostic testing services. By integrating pharmaceutical products and diagnostic testing services, Prometheus believes it can address the full continuum of care, thereby providing physicians with a comprehensive solution to treat chronic diseases. Prometheus' corporate offices are located in San Diego.

(1) Hugot, JP et al. Association of NOD2 leucine-rich repeat variants with susceptibility to Crohn's disease. Nature. 2001 May 31;411(6837):599-603.

(2) Loftus, EV et al. The epidemiology and natural history of Crohn's disease in population-based patient cohorts from North America: a systematic review. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Jan;16(1):51-60.

SOURCE Prometheus Laboratories Inc.

CONTACT: Pete De Spain, Director, Investor Relations & Corporate
Communications of Prometheus Laboratories Inc., +1-858-587-4117,
pdespain@prometheuslabs.com

Web site: http://www.prometheuslabs.com/

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