ST. LOUIS, Feb. 26 Sigma-Aldrich(TM)(Nasdaq: SIAL) and NeuroSurvival Technologies Ltd. (NST) announced today thatthey have signed a licensing agreement for a leading marker, developed by NST,for molecular imaging of apoptosis in vitro and in vivo in animals. Themarker, developed by NST, will be manufactured and marketed by Sigma-Aldrichunder the commercial name Apo-TRACE(TM) (http://www.sigma.com/apotrace).Apo-TRACE(TM) is a member of a family of proprietary small molecules developedby NST that target apoptosis. Another molecule of the family,ApoSense(TM)-PET, is in clinical trials for imaging apoptosis in vivo inhumans with PET (positron emitting tomography) and is not part of thisagreement.
Apoptosis (programmed cell death) is a fundamental biological process ofcell "suicide", inherent in every cell in body, and its discovery is regardedas one of the major recent revolutions in biology and medicine. Apoptosis hasan important role in almost any medical disorder, and its control may hold thepromise for substantial advances in medical care for a wide array of medicaldisorders, ranging from cancer, myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke, toneurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
Respectively, extensive scientific work is continuously being performed inthe field of apoptosis worldwide, involving thousands of research groups, andgenerating over 17,000* peer-reviewed scientific papers in 2006 alone.Apo-TRACE is a unique and novel solution to the need of researchers forimaging of apoptosis in vivo, in the living organism. As such, it maysubstantially contribute to advancing preclinical research in variety offields. Upon a simple intravenous administration, Apo-TRACE selectivelytargets cells undergoing apoptosis from the early stages of the death process,and, through its fluorescent properties, marks the apoptotic cells, thusenabling easy and accurate detection in vivo of this important cell deathprocess. Thus, by substantially facilitating apoptosis research in vivo,Apo-TRACE offers a breakthrough in advancing apoptosis related research in arange of fields in biology and medicine. Apo-TRACE is available for purchasefrom Sigma-Aldrich as of January 2008. Once the ApoSense(TM)-PET molecule alsobecomes commercially available from NST, apoptosis research in vivo willcontinue into the clinic and become a valuable biomarker for development andtesting of new therapeutic agents.
* Based on PubMed database search.
About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and HighTechnology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits areused in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceuticaldevelopment, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceuticaland other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in lifescience companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and inindustry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products.Sigma-Aldrich operates in 36 countries and has 7,900 employees providingexcellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to AcceleratingCustomer Success through Leadership in Life Science, High Technology andService. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit itsaward-winning Web site at http://www.sigma-aldrich.com.
About NST: NST NeuroSurvival Technologies is a clinical stage molecularimaging and drug development company, focused on the introduction of novelagents based on the identification and targeting of cells undergoing apoptosis(programmed cell death). NST has developed the ApoSense(TM) technology -- Aset of proprietary compounds with demonstrated ability to identify, bind andaccumulate within apoptotic (dying) cells in vivo. This technology addresses ahuge market of unmet research and clinical need across a range of molecularimaging and therapeutic applications. ApoSense(TM)-PET