Genizon BioSciences

Genizon Biosciences Announces Major Milestone in Identifying Genes Involved in Psoriasis

    Montreal, Canada (ots/PRNewswire) - Genizon BioSciences today announced the confirmation of a previously  reported disease-gene location, PSORS1, as well as the identification of  more than 10 new regions strongly associated with psoriasis, each  containing only a limited number of genes. The company will be discussing  with potential pharmaceutical partners how these discoveries can translate into new therapeutics and diagnostics, leading to a Personalized Medicine  approach to this disease, an approach advocated by the US FDA.

    These discoveries were achieved through completion of a linkage disequilibrium-based genome-wide scan (LD-GWS) of psoriasis in the Quebec Founder Population (QFP) using a Quebec LD (genetic sharing) map recently developed by Genizon.

    Following closely behind Crohn's disease, this is the second successful set of discoveries in the identification of disease-genes/targets for common diseases resulting from a collaboration between Genizon and Perlegen Sciences Inc.

    This is the first genome-wide association study conducted to date using a genome-wide linkage disequilibrium map tailored to a specific population. Genizon's proprietary Quebec LD Map consists of approximately 80,700 SNP markers whose spacing reflects the extent of genetic sharing in the Quebec population. Genome wide association studies using the Quebec population and the Quebec LD Map are highly cost effective because far fewer SNPs are required than in a general population. This approach also provides greater sensitivity due to the high genetic homogeneity of the QFP and the greater distances over which genetic sharing extends in this population.

    Dr. John Hooper, President and CEO of Genizon BioSciences noted:

    "These discoveries in our second landmark study, following the unprecedented discoveries in our first study in Crohn's Disease, confirm our belief that an LD-GWS using Quebec Founder Population DNA samples is one of the most powerful approaches to disease-gene/target discovery for common diseases. We are now poised to apply the LD-GWS approach to numerous additional diseases. In collaboration with pharmaceutical partners, we are well positioned to make major contributions to the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics for many of the world's most important common diseases."

    Over 34,000 DNA samples have currently been collected for Genizon's disease-gene discovery programs in collaboration with Quebec families and approximately 1,000 Quebec clinical investigators, without whom this research would not have been possible.

    Psoriasis is a serious, chronic skin disorder that affects approximately 2% of the world's population, with approximately 80 million people affected world-wide.

    About Genizon BioSciences Inc.

    Genizon BioSciences (www.genizon.com) is a biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery of GeneMaps and biomarkers associated with the root cause of common diseases and drug response. GeneMaps are groups of disease genes that define the key biochemical pathways for common diseases. Through the discovery of GeneMaps, Genizon and its pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners will accelerate the identification of new and better therapeutic targets, validation of these targets, and downstream development of innovative new therapeutics and diagnostics. Additionally, Genizon's pharmacogenomics capability to stratify patient populations and evaluate drug response further accelerates the clinical development of drug candidates. Genizon has initiated more than 20 GeneMap discovery programs in several major therapeutic areas including autoimmune, inflammation, metabolic, CNS, respiratory, gastrointestinal, ophthalmology, dermatology, and women's health.

    In recognition of the contribution to Genizon's research made by the population of Quebec, the company has committed to donate three per cent of its net profits to a foundation for the benefit of Quebecers.

    About Perlegen Sciences Inc.

    Perlegen Sciences, Inc. (www.perlegen.com) is working to provide safe and effective medicines to the world. The company quickly and cost effectively analyzes millions of genetic variations in DNA samples obtained from clinical trial participants. This information is used to explain and predict the efficacy and adverse effect profiles of prescription drugs. Perlegen also applies this expertise to discovering genetic variants associated with disease for potential new therapeutics and diagnostics. For years, scientists and drug manufacturers have been eager to comprehensively examine entire genomes; through Perlegen, this is now possible. Perlegen is able to bring drugs to the market wherein clinical development could have been otherwise discontinued.

    Based in Mountain View, California, Perlegen was formed in late 2000 as a spin-off from Affymetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFFX). For more information about the company and its technologies, visit Perlegen's website at www.perlegen.com. Perlegen Sciences, Perlegen, and the Perlegen logo are trademarks of Perlegen Sciences, Inc.

ots Originaltext: Genizon BioSciences
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Contact:
Contacts: Dr. Bill Cheliak, Vice President, Business Development,
Genizon BioSciences, +1-613-261-9813, bill.cheliak@genizon.com;
Robert Middlebrook, Chief Corporate Development Officer, Perlegen
Sciences, Inc., +1-650-625-4500, rmiddlebrook@perlegen.com



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