WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.
(OTC:WGBS) (BULLETIN BOARD: WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art
genetic analysis systems, and IR BioSciences Holdings, Inc. (OTC:IRBS) (BULLETIN
BOARD: IRBS) , a development-stage biotechnology company focused on the research,
development and licensing of ImmuneRegen's wound healing drug candidate, Homspera(R),
today announced the establishment of a novel wound healing research collaboration
with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Under terms of the
collaboration, UT Southwestern researchers will conduct preclinical and clinical
studies to evaluate the efficacy of Homspera. As part of these studies, WaferGen's
SmartChip(TM) Real-Time PCR System will be used to understand the mechanism
of action of Homspera.
The collaborators believe that these studies may demonstrate the key role that
the innovative capabilities of the SmartChip system can play in the field of
drug development, particularly in validating relevant gene expression biomarkers
and assessing their impact on patient response to treatment. Additionally, the
studies are expected to provide ImmuneRegen with important data to support potential
applications for Homspera in a range of therapeutic applications.
These studies, which provide the first opportunity for the SmartChip platform
to assist in the drug development process, are expected to demonstrate the following
key SmartChip system capabilities:
- Support of both preclinical and clinical studies
- Validating potential biomarkers in many samples with rapid turnaround time,
allowing for expedited drug development decisions
- High sensitivity and accuracy with limited amount of sample from needle
"The opportunity to involve our SmartChip Real-Time PCR System in the
development of a promising therapeutic agent such as Homspera is a significant
achievement for WaferGen and one that we believe will provide immensely valuable
validation for the SmartChip platform," stated Alnoor Shivji, WaferGen's
chairman and chief executive officer. "We expect this collaboration to
provide a clear demonstration of the value that the SmartChip system can offer
in the area of drug discovery and development, particularly as it pertains to
harnessing the potential of biomarkers."
"We are very excited to be able to incorporate the WaferGen SmartChip technology
into our studies at UT Southwestern," said Hal Siegel, Ph.D., ImmuneRegen
Chief Scientific Officer. "The reality is that many physiological processes
consist of a dynamic interplay among many biochemical factors. Unfortunately,
many analytical tools provide a static snapshot and can thus be misleading.
The ability to rapidly analyze hundreds of samples taken over the course of
the healing response promises to provide us with unique insights into the healing
process and the role our developmental candidate plays in enhancing the rate
at which wounds heal."
"This collaboration places UT Southwestern in the enviable position of
evaluating the potential of two cutting-edge scientific assets in a single study,"
stated Spencer Brown, Ph.D., Director of Research, Nancy Lee and Perry Bass
Advanced Wound Healing Laboratory in the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT
Southwestern. "We are excited to work with Homspera and the SmartChip system,
as we believe both possess the potential to play a key role in the development
of innovative therapeutics in the area of wound healing."
In January 2009, WaferGen and UT Southwestern established a separate collaboration
under which UT Southwestern is conducting novel research projects using the
SmartChip Real-Time PCR System in order to identify and validate gene expression
biomarkers related to wound healing.