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Granted Australian Patent

  1. Henrik

    635 posts.
    Positive announcement for both AGT and CHF
    =========================================
    Granted Australian Patent for Obesity Gene

    AUTOGEN LIMITED 2002-07-11 ASX-SIGNAL-G
    HOMEX - Melbourne

    Autogen, an Australian biotechnology company today announced that the
    Australian Patent and Trademark office has granted a patent
    (Australian patent number 742651) covering a novel gene "beacon" and
    its use as a therapeutic or diagnostic for conditions such as
    obesity, diabetes and energy imbalance. This patent further extends
    Autogen's competitive advantage and position as a leading
    genomics-based drug discovery and development company. Professor Greg
    Collier, Managing Director and CEO of Autogen says "We believe that
    this patent strengthens our position in diabetes and obesity
    research".

    The "beacon" gene was initially discovered in 1998 by Autogen
    Researchers at Deakin University using the Israeli Sand Rat as an
    animal model for human obesity. The Autogen scientists were able to
    show that beacon, acting through a novel pathway, produces a protein
    that can regulate food intake and body weight. With the rapidly
    increasing rates of obesity and related disorders such as diabetes in
    Australia and worldwide, any new drugs or treatments that can be
    developed based on beacon could potentially benefit the large numbers
    of people suffering from these diseases. The grant of the patent
    ensures that Autogen will be able to maximise returns from any
    potentially useful drug or treatment that is derived from the
    patented gene.

    The identification of the beacon gene was Autogen's first major gene
    discovery in its highly successful diabetes and obesity gene
    discovery program. The diabetes and obesity program is supported
    through a commercial alliance with the French pharmaceutical company
    Merck - Sante, a subsidiary of Merck KgaA, Germany. Merck has already
    committed $34 million in funding to the project over the next 4 years
    and will be Autogen's major partner in the development of novel drugs
    from the discoveries arising from the program. To date, patent
    applications have been filed for over 40 diabetes and obesity related
    genes discovered in this research program.

    Autogen is a biotechnology company which applies functional
    genomics technologies to discover novel genes and identify the role
    of these genes and proteins in triggering complex diseases in order
    to develop more effective drugs with fewer side effects. It has a
    number of gene discovery research programs that are supported by
    in-house platform technologies and unique resources for gene
    discovery.

    For more information on Autogen please visit the company's website
    located at www.autogenlimited.com.au or contact Professor Greg
    Collier, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on
    03 5227 2752 or 0419 897 501

    G R Collier
    MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO


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