Celera Diagnostics To Investigate Breast Cancer With University Of California, San Francisco
LabCorp® to Commercialize Discoveries with Diagnostic Potential
Alameda, CA - November 07, 2002
Celera Diagnostics, a 50/50 joint venture between the Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI) and the Celera Genomics Group (NYSE:CRA) of Applera Corporation, today announced a new breast cancer research initiative with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Celera Diagnostics plans to complete large-scale disease association studies in breast cancer with the goal of identifying novel genetic markers associated with the disease. One of the studies will be in collaboration with the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. The UCSF research activities will be funded in part by the UC Discovery Grant from the Industry-University Cooperative Research Program (IUCRP), within the UC Office of the President, and in part by Celera Diagnostics.
“We look forward to working with UCSF to identify new diagnostic tools for breast cancer,” said Kathy Ordoñez, President of Celera Diagnostics. “This study will be done concurrently with Celera Diagnostics’ ongoing efforts to identify markers for Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease.”
“The search for gene alterations in breast cancers that are associated with clinical outcome and response to therapy is a perfect match for academic-industry collaborations,” said Frederic Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF. “This UC Discovery Grant complements our funding from the National Cancer Institute’s Special Program of Research Excellence for translating basic science to the clinic and will allow our efforts to move forward at a much faster pace.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year worldwide. It is estimated that more than 40,000 deaths will occur from breast cancer each year in the United States. The death rates from breast cancer declined significantly between 1992 and 1996, with the largest decreases among younger women. Medical experts attribute the decline in breast cancer deaths to earlier detection and more effective treatments.
Founded in 1996, the UC IUCRP awards UC Discovery Grants in six fields of science and engineering to strengthen California’s economy. Forming a three-way partnership between the University of California, Industry Sponsors, and the State of California, UC Discovery Grants support hundreds of industry-university research projects each year. Through an expert peer review process, each proposal is evaluated for its scientific merit, budget justification, and relevance to the IUCRP and the state of California.
Under a separate agreement announced last month, Celera Diagnostics and Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp) (NYSE:LH) are collaborating to establish the clinical utility of laboratory tests based on novel diagnostic markers for breast cancer. This agreement provides LabCorp with exclusive access to breast cancer markers found to have clinical utility for a defined time. LabCorp is one of the largest independent clinical laboratories in the United States.
“We believe this collaboration could expedite genetic discoveries related to breast cancer that may ultimately assist physicians and the patients they serve to better manage this important disease,” said Thomas P. Mac Mahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LabCorp.
About Celera Diagnostics and Applera Corporation
Celera Diagnostics is a 50/50 joint venture between two Applera Corporation businesses, Applied Biosystems and Celera Genomics. Headquartered in Alameda, CA, Celera Diagnostics focuses on discovering novel genetic markers for disease and configuring these into new diagnostic tests to predict, characterize, monitor and select therapy for cardiovascular disease, auto-immunity, central nervous system disorders, and cancer. The Applied Biosystems Group develops and markets instrument-based systems, reagents, software, and contract services to the life science industry and research community. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries, leading to the development of new pharmaceuticals, and to conduct standardized testing. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of $1.6 billion during fiscal 2002. The Celera Genomics Group, located in Rockville, MD, and South San Francisco, CA, is engaged principally in integrating advanced technologies to discover and develop new therapeutics. Celera intends to leverage its proteomic, bioinformatic, and genomic capabilities to identify and validate drug targets and diagnostic marker candidates, and to discover and develop new therapeutics. Its Celera Discovery System™ online platform, marketed exclusively through the Applied Biosystems Knowledge Business, is an integrated source of information based on the human genome and other biological and medical sources. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800.762.6923.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as “believe,” “expect,” “plan,” and “should,” among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Applera Corporation’s current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Applera notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include but are not limited to (1) unproven ability of Celera Diagnostics and UCSF to identify genetic markers associated with breast cancer; (2) unproven ability of Celera Diagnostics to discover, develop, and commercialize diagnostic products; (3) uncertainty in obtaining intellectual property protection for inventions made by Celera Diagnostics, and uncertainty in obtaining any necessary third party intellectual property licenses; (4) unproven use of genomic information to develop diagnostic products; and (5) other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.
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