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PR: Chiroscience (gene regulates CD4 T-cells)

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  • by way of Janice and Ben Haines
    SEATTLE, WA and CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND -- September 29, 1998 -- Chiroscience Group plc (London Stock Exchange: CRO) announced today the discovery of a gene that is
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 1998
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      SEATTLE, WA and CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND -- September 29, 1998 -- Chiroscience
      Group plc (London Stock Exchange: CRO) announced today the discovery of a
      gene that is responsible for the control of an immune response.

      The gene has been discovered in both mice and humans, and the gene product
      regulates the activity of CD4 T-cells, a cell-type central to many immune
      responses.

      The company has filed patents for the gene, which provides a novel,
      proprietary target for drug discovery for a number of autoimmune and
      inflammatory diseases, as well as cancer. The
      announcement was made today in London during the company's Research and
      Development Update.

      "We have validated that this gene is a virtual 'off/on switch' for the
      immune system," said Robert
      Jackson, PhD, Chiroscience Director of Research, "and, depending on the
      disease, there are times when we need to turn the system off, and times
      when we need to turn it on.
      We now have a new pathway to use in the discovery and development of drugs
      for unmet medical need."

      Diseases in which the immune system must be turned down include rheumatoid
      arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and
      allergy. Diseases in which the immune system should be increased include
      cancer and AIDS.

      Chiroscience researchers studied a unique strain of mice to isolate the
      gene that causes a lethal, progressive autoimmune disease in that
      population. A defect in this gene results in such a severe
      effect that it would be difficult to identify in man without the prior
      identification in mice. Company researchers cloned the gene this year and
      went on to identify the corresponding human gene. Chiroscience researchers
      are now studying the human gene's mechanism of action to determine methods
      to activate or inhibit immune responses.
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