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Sangamo BioSciences Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Innovative Global Health Research
Date:5/4/2009

RICHMOND, Calif., May 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGMO), the world leader in the research and development of zinc finger DNA-binding proteins (ZFPs), announced today that it has received a US$100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support an innovative global health research project conducted by Sangamo scientists and titled "Zinc Finger Nucleases for In Vivo Treatment of HIV Infection."

Sangamo's project is one of 81 grants announced by the Gates Foundation in the second funding round of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to help scientists around the world explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. The grants were provided to scientists in 17 countries on six continents.

To receive funding, the company showed in a two-page application how its idea falls outside current scientific paradigms and might lead to significant advances in global health. The initiative is highly competitive, receiving more than 3,000 proposals in this round.

People born with a genetic mutation in their CCR5 gene, a critical receptor for HIV entry, are naturally resistant to HIV infection. Sangamo has designed and engineered zinc finger DNA-binding protein nucleases (ZFN(TM)) that specifically disrupt the CCR5 gene in cells. In preclinical work published with their collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania, Sangamo researchers demonstrated that in an animal model of HIV infection ZFN-modified human immune cells survived and multiplied preferentially, leading to an increase in CD4+ T-cell counts and a reduction in viral load suggesting resistance to HIV ('/>"/>

SOURCE Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.
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