2 July 2014

Agreement will accelerate genetic disease research worldwide

Licence provides access to more than 9,500 knock-out EUCOMM mouse resources

Academic and industry researchers worldwide can access a huge catalogue of conditional knock-out mouse resources to investigae human disease and development due to a non-exclusive partnership between EUCOMM members the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Helmholtz Zentrum München, and genOway, a specialist mouse resources producer and distributer.

Academic and industry researchers worldwide can access a huge catalogue of conditional knock-out mouse resources to investigae human disease and development due to a non-exclusive partnership between EUCOMM members the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Helmholtz Zentrum München, and genOway, a specialist mouse resources producer and distributer. [Genome Research Limited]

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Academic and industry researchers worldwide will be able to carry out research and development into human disease more rapidly due to a non-exclusive partnership between European Conditional Mouse Mutational Program (EUCOMM) members Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Helmholtz Zentrum München, and genOway, a specialist producer and distributer of modified mouse resources. The license enables researchers to immediately access mice models derived from the entire range of more than 9,500 conditional knock-out resources generated so far.

EUCOMM is an international collaboration to create lines of mice in which an existing gene has been inactivated, or knocked out, by replacing it or disrupting its DNA sequence. By silencing a particular gene, researchers are able to explore its function by observing the changes that result in appearance, behaviour and other observable physical and biochemical characteristics. In this way, scientists can explore the roles of genes associated with human diseases by knocking out their mouse counterpart.

"We are delighted that our genetic resources will help drive new biological discovery and improvements in healthcare. In line with our mission, our aim was to ensure that our resources are used by the entire scientific community. Through creative mechanisms, including partnering with commercial parties, we are now able to deliver it to both academia and for-profits." says Dr Bill Skarnes from the Sanger Institute and EUCOMM member.

" We are delighted that our genetic resources will help drive new biological discovery and improvements in healthcare. "

Dr Bill Skarnes

By partnering with genOway as an intermediary, the Sanger Institute and Helmholtz Centre are able to deliver their EUCOMM resources using a quality controlled platform that also provides full legal operating rights for commercial users.

"This new agreement is of major importance for scientists since it will enable access to a fantastic scientific resource, save a lot of time and provide the necessary IP rights," said Alexandre Fraichard, CEO of genOway. "We've already had very positive feedback from the worldwide research community on the value that this offering represents."

At the heart of the agreement lies open academic access, and mice developed by genOway from EUCOMM material will be donated to a public repository so they can be archived and distributed to the academic community; enriching and building the EUCOMM resource further.

"The EUCOMM knock-out resource has already and will continue to benefit thousands of academic researchers, enabling them to discover the roles of individual genes and facilitating scientific progress. Now this resource can also be used in more applied research and development and thereby support the development of medicines." says Professor Allan Bradley, Principal Investigator on the EUCOMM project from the Sanger Institute.

Notes to Editors

genOway

genOway (ALTERNEXT-NYSE: ALGEN) is a biotechnology company developing genetically modified and high value-added research models for the bio-pharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical and food industries as well as for academic research. With highly qualified scientific personnel, the company has a workforce of 95 people and operates in 28 countries in Europe, Asia and North America, supplying more than 275 customers. It is a market leader in terms of both size and customer portfolios.

The company's development is founded upon both a broad and exclusive technology platform as well as strong intellectual property rights combining patents and licensing agreements. Taking advantage of the global trend towards outsourcing the production of genetically modified research models, genOway has signed contracts with leaders of the pharmaceutical industry (Janssen R&D, GSK, Pfizer, etc.), and with prestigious academic research centers (King's College and the University of Manchester, in England; Harvard, Caltech and the National Institutes of Health, in the United States; the Institut Pasteur, in France; NGFN and the Max Planck Institutes, in Germany, etc.).

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The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease.

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The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests.

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