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Ceregene Reports New Findings Regarding How Parkinson's Brains Respond to Neurotrophic Factors
Date:2/15/2011

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ceregene, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, reported today that its scientists and collaborators have published new experimental findings in support of its Parkinson's disease program which appeared as the lead article in the current issue of Movement Disorders (the official journal of the Movement Disorders Society).  The publication reports the first evidence that gene transfer can provide targeted expression of a neurotrophic factor, i.e., neurturin or NRTN, intended to restore and preserve dying neurons.  Moreover, it provides the first evidence that neurotrophic factors can improve the status of degenerating dopamine neurons in Parkinson's brains.  New insight important for further improving the bioactivity of NRTN in advanced Parkinson's disease, implemented in the current Phase 2b CERE-120 trial, was also reported.  Raymond T. Bartus, Ph.D., Ceregene's executive vice president and chief scientific officer, who has led the development of CERE-120, is the lead author of the publication.

CERE-120, Ceregene's neurotrophic therapy, currently being clinically tested in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), is partially funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.  CERE-120 is comprised of a viral vector intended to provide constant, sustained expression of neurturin, a neurotrophic factor shown to rescue dying dopaminergic neurons, restoring their function and protecting them from death.  The data in this publication were derived from an analysis of autopsied brain tissue from two patients who were treated in a previous CERE-120 Phase 2 study (see Ceregene press release, May, 2009) and later died of causes unrelated to the treatment.  Ceregene has since confirmed and extended these results by showing persistent, targeted NRTN expression in a patient who had been treated with CERE-120 five years earlier.  

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SOURCE Ceregene, Inc.
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