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EraGen: EraGen Biosciences and Emory University Enter into Collaborative Agreement for HIV Molecular Diagnostics
3/22/2004

MADISON, Wis., March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- EraGen Biosciences, a rapidly growing life science company driving a new era in genetic diagnostics and drug discovery announced today they have entered into a collaboration agreement with Emory University supported by an NIH STTR grant to develop a quantitative genotyping system useful in the early detection of the HIV variants.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010305/FLM003LOGO )

Under the agreement, EraGen will provide Emory with highly sensitive mixed population quantitative genotyping systems for HIV. In turn, Emory will provide expertise and testing results. The goal of the collaboration will be to develop the world's first quantitative genotyping system for early response to therapeutic resistance.

"We believe that early HIV quantitative drug resistance monitoring is not only important for therapeutic development, but will also become the norm for clinical testing," commented Dr. James Prudent, CSO at EraGen. "Our quantitative detection technology is ideal for this application since both the susceptible and resistant forms of the virus are quantified in a single closed reaction system." The funding supports our developmental costs of a number of tests, building on prototype systems already developed for quantitative resistance screening to the HIV therapeutics Viread(R), Emtriva(TM) and Comitia(R).

"EraGen has brought us a tool that will greatly accelerate our research into HIV drug resistance since the mutation rates can be quantitatively detected at an early stage allowing physicians to optimize treatment before the virus is fully drug-resistant," states Professor Raymond F. Schinazi the inventor of Emtriva and other HIV drugs. "We expect the technology will also be useful in our other drug resistance studies on HBV and HCV for example."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 950,000 Americans are infected with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Approximately 360,000 infected individuals are receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV infection in the United States today.

About EraGen Biosciences

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, EraGen Biosciences is driving innovative genetic-based diagnostics and drugs to market faster. The company develops and commercializes high performance molecular diagnostics and drug discovery products to capitalize on the rapidly growing market for personalized medicine and rapid response needs for bioterrorism. Further information is available at www.eragen.com , or 608-662-9000.

Viread is a registered trademark and Emtriva is a trademark of Gilead Sciences, Inc. Combivir is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010305/FLM003LOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, 888-776-6555 or 212-782-2840

Source: EraGen Biosciences

CONTACT: Regina Reynolds of EraGen Biosciences, +1-608-662-9000 ext.306,
rreynolds@eragen.com

Web site: http://www.eragen.com/



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