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Tranzyme and the University of Utah to Collaborate in Bioinformatics And Gene Function Discovery

Collaboration Announced at the Third Annual Southeastern Biotechnology Investor Conference

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. and SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Tranzyme, Inc. and the University of Utah today announced that they have entered a broad collaboration in the area of bioinformatics and applied genomics. Under the terms of the agreement, Tranzyme and the University will jointly develop gene libraries using the sequence database provided by the University of Utah Genome Center.

With access to the University's library of gene sets, Tranzyme will have a unique capability to address genetic function while building its applied genomics platform. This platform will employ the company's gene delivery and expression technology for gene function discovery, subsequent target validation, and assay development for drug discovery.

``This partnership provides a unique opportunity to combine our genome technology with Tranzyme's applied genomics capabilities,'' said Dr. Robert Weiss, Co-Director of the Genome Center. ``Now that the human genome has been sequenced, it is time to use this information to unravel gene function. Genome analysis, high-throughput sequencing, and gene delivery vectors provide a powerful combination of technologies for this effort. Our collaboration with Tranzyme allows us to evaluate the functional effects of genetic variations in a smooth continuum of biological assays ranging through in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo model systems.''

The University of Utah Genome Center was one of the centers nationwide that participated in the Human Genome Project and is currently involved in the Environmental Genome Project as well as the mouse and the rat genome projects. The Environmental Genome Project is focused on evaluating the sequence variation of environmental response genes, including detoxification genes that determine susceptibility to environmentally induced diseases.

Speaking today at the third annual Southeastern Biotechnology Investor Conference in Birmingham, Ala., Vipin K. Garg, Ph.D., President and CEO of Tranzyme, announced the collaboration and its significance to the company's business development strategies and goals.

``Our technology is unique because we can efficiently deliver and express genes in any mammalian cell, whether at the bench or in living animals,'' said Dr. Garg. ``This advantage allows us to take applied genomics research to any relevant biological system. This translates into more meaningful studies in protein interactions, functional assays, and drug screens.'' He also pointed out that the collaboration ``will greatly assist Tranzyme in the understanding of genetic functions associated with neuro-opthalmic and neuro-degenerative disorders including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Huntington's Disease, areas of particular interest to the company.''

Tranzyme, Inc. (Tranzyme) is a privately held biotechnology company engaged in the development of proprietary technologies for applied genomics, proteomics, and drug discovery. Tranzyme has developed proprietary molecular approaches in genetic engineering, gene transfer, and protein expression with broad applicability. The company's technology platform includes a unique protein expression technology (TExT(TM)), a proprietary gene transfer technology (TranzVector(TM)), and a high-throughput screening and drug discovery technology (TranzAssay(TM)). Tranzyme's goal is to discover and develop new therapeutic lead compounds in partnership with other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In addition, Tranzyme is focused on building an intellectual property portfolio of novel gene function(s) and assembling its own specific gene libraries for drug discovery and development.

About Southeastern Biotechnology Investor Conference

The conference is an event of the Southeastern Life Sciences Association, which is a collaborative effort of the leading life science and entrepreneurial organizations in the region. The meeting draws life science investors from throughout the U.S. and abroad. This two-day conference will include presentations by 19 of the region's best cutting-edge life science companies, expert panels on life science financing and industry trends, and diverse networking opportunities for life science entrepreneurs, executives, investors, academics, industrial scientists and others, involved in the life science financing process.

SOURCE: Tranzyme, Inc.

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Date last modified October 28, 2001