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Applied Biosystems and Immune Tolerance Network announce immunology research agreement

Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation business, and the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) announced a multi-year agreement to study genes expressed in clinical samples that are believed to be related to immune response modulation in organ transplantation, autoimmune disease, and allergy and asthma. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

This agreement is a follow-on to a previous program in which the ITN and Applied Biosystems developed a set of functionally validated gene expression assays based on genes predicted to be involved in the modulation of the immune response. In the latest agreement, Applied Biosystems, through its Knowledge Business Genomics Services group, is expected to analyze the set of approximately 1,000 assays in specimens taken from ITN sponsored clinical trials. Under the agreement, ITN will make public the list of genes and clinical trial protocols and Applied Biosystems intends to provide commercial access to the complete assay set by this Spring through its Assays-on-DemandTM Gene Expression Product offering. Approximately two-thirds of the gene expression assays from the ITN set are already available through the enhanced Applied Biosystems e-commerce web site.

ITN intends to use the gene expression data derived from these studies to assess relative expression levels of genes between normal controls and patients, and in single patients at various time points throughout the clinical trials. The data is expected to be used to track parameters such as disease onset, disease progression and patient responses to therapeutics. It is hoped that these studies will result in a better understanding of the mechanisms that relate to the induction, loss and/or maintenance of tolerance and identify new genetic markers for tolerance in humans. Ultimately, this marriage of clinical and genetic sciences in the tolerance arena is designed to improve therapeutic options in organ transplantatio
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7-Jan-2003


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