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ALS Therapy Development Institute and Aestus Therapeutics, Inc. Collaborate to Investigate Potential Treatments for ALS

Thursday, March 18, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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Combination of Core Competencies to Lead to New Compounds being Identified and Screened

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and Aestus Therapeutics, Inc., announced their plans today to test several potential small-molecule compounds to slow or stop the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease).

"Aestus is a key, strategic drug discovery partner in the effort to identify potential therapeutics for ALS. This collaborative effort will substantially increase our ability to identify several new existing compounds related to the information gained through our gene expression profiling and proteomics efforts. We hope to identify and test several, potentially viable therapeutics working together with Aestus," said Steve Perrin, Ph.D., CEO & chief scientific officer at ALS TDI.

An innovative translational medicine company, Aestus has used their complex, proprietary biological data mining techniques to identify therapeutics for screening against targets associated with ALS disease onset or progression. Information used to make these associations was analyzed by both of the biotechnology organizations. The potential therapeutics identified will be rigorously tested using a preclinical model of disease by ALS TDI, a nonprofit biotech focused exclusively on drug development for ALS. This is the first collaboration between the two biotechnology organizations.

"Aestus is honored to be working with ALS TDI, an organization with a long history and excellent scientific reputation within the field of ALS research," said Tage Honore, Ph.D., DSc., CEO & co-founder of Aestus. "By bringing together the Aestus technology for accelerated identification of potential drugs, and ALS TDI's vast knowledge and experience with ALS disease models and clinical drug development, we look forward to the rapid and efficient discovery of novel, effective therapies against this complex and devastating disease."

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It is estimated that there are 30,000 people living with ALS in the United States at any given time and approximately 450,000 worldwide. There are currently no effective treatments available that significantly alter the disease's relentless nature. Therefore, the average person survives only 3-5 years following a diagnosis with ALS. In addition to the current lack of effective treatments for ALS, there is little known about what causes the disease in the vast majority of cases not directly caused by known inherited, genetic mutations.

About ALS TDI

The mission of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is to develop effective therapeutics that slow or stop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), as soon as possible. Focused on meeting this urgent unmet medical need, ALS TDI executes a robust discovery program, while running the world's largest efforts to pre-clinically validate potential therapeutics; including small molecules, protein biologics, gene therapies and cell-based constructs. The world's first nonprofit biotech, ALS TDI has developed an industrial-scale platform that allows for the development and testing of dozens of potential therapeutics each year. Built by and for patients, the Institute is the world's only nonprofit biotechnology company with more than 30 professional scientists. In addition, the Cambridge, Massachusetts based research Institute collaborates with leaders in both academia and industry to accelerate ALS therapeutic development. For more information, please visit us online at www.als.net.

About Aestus Therapeutics, Inc.

Aestus Therapeutics Inc. is a translational medicine company focused on serious neurological diseases. Capitalizing on genomic data analysis to discover novel links between these diseases and well-studied biological pathways, Aestus identifies drug candidates already in clinical Phase 1 or later. By developing these drugs in novel disease areas such as chronic pain, ALS and schizophrenia, Aestus greatly reduces the time, cost and risk needed to deliver better and safer medicines for the benefit of patients and society. www.aestustherapeutics.com

Media Contacts: --------------- Robert Goldstein, ALS TDI, 617-441-7295, rgoldstein@als.net Lisa McCormick, Aestus Therapeutics, 609-865-4014, lmccormick@aestustherapeutics.com

SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute
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