Studies at UT Southwestern to Leverage WaferGen's SmartChip Platform to Evaluate Efficacy of ImmuneRegen's Drug

Published on March 24, 2009 at 8:17 AM

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 biopsy

"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.

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