Astellas Has Begun High-Throughput Screening On Unique Target From Metabolex Gene Database

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Gene Database

Metabolex a biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for diabetes and related metabolic disorders, announced today that Astellas Pharma Inc. has begun high-throughput screening against an additional target from Metabolex's proprietary human gene database. Astellas is working to identify potential drug candidates by examining genes associated with insulin resistance and obesity.

Astellas' decision to begin screening triggers an undisclosed milestone payment.

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"Understanding insulin resistance is the key to developing the next generation of therapies for type 2 diabetes, and Astellas' work with our targets has the possibility of making available new approaches to treating this large and growing disease," said Harold E. Van Wart, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Metabolex. "Our partnership with Astellas continues to be fruitful, and we are pleased by this validation of Metabolex's strong research platform."

Today's announcement is the latest milestone in the partnership between Metabolex and Astellas. The two companies initiated a research and drug discovery collaboration with the goal of identifying candidate compounds from the validated drug targets and advancing them into development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance and obesity. The companies have identified more than 10 targets during their collaboration.

Metabolex is entitled to receive royalties on sales of any product emerging from the collaboration and retains co-promotion rights in North and South America.

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