ALTANA Pharma and Atugen Renew Target Validation and License Agreement


Atugen AG announced that it has renewed its non-exclusive target validation and License Agreement with ALTANA Pharma AG for another year. The agreement gives Altana the right to have molecular targets validated by Atugen's discovery team, utilizing a number of proprietary knockdown tools and transfection technologies. Under the agreement, Altana also receives a license to use Atugen's gene silencing and oligonucleotide delivery technologies. The license was first granted in August 2001 and Altana has paid Atugen several research milestones.

Atugen uses a unique target validation approach where both siRNA molecules and a third generation antisense technology (GeneBloc®) are employed in parallel. This approach, called CrossValidation, is designed to exclude artifacts and nonspecific effects that could arise if either technology were applied alone. The GeneBloc® technology is, in contrast to other antisense technologies, extremely potent and devoid of toxicity. Furthermore, Atugen possesses a set of proprietary liposomal transfection reagents that is custom-tailored to individual cell lines and minimizes toxicity while obtaining high transfection rates.

Atugen's gene silencing technologies are employed in in vitro and in vivo target validation and the Company has a program to develop siRNA therapeutics.

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