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Sigma® Life Science Launches Suite of Knockout Rats to Model Parkinson's Disease

ST. LOUIS, March 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sigma Life Science, the innovative biological products and services research business of Sigma-Aldrich® (Nasdaq: SIAL), announced that its SAGE Labs initiative has created a suite of knockout rat models of Parkinson's disease in collaboration with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Developed using the proprietary SAGEspeed™ model creation process, these off-the-shelf rat models represent a breakthrough in Parkinson's disease research, overcoming the inherent limitations of the existing mouse models. For more information, on these animal models visit

Knockout rat models offer significant advantages over the existing mouse models, which do not effectively mimic the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in humans. The neuronal circuitry of the rat model more closely imitates that of humans, better demonstrating the disease symptoms, and rats' size and behavior allow researchers to perform a variety of experimental procedures more easily than in mice. In collaboration with MJFF, SAGE Labs has used Sigma Life Science's CompoZr® Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) technology to create a range of knockout rat models specific to Parkinson's disease, based on existing knowledge of the key genes implicated in the disease. This groundbreaking collection of rat models currently includes LRRK2, Parkin, Pink1 and DJ-1 knockouts which will help researchers accelerate investigation of novel therapeutic strategies for Parkinson's disease.

"This collaboration with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research highlights the enormous potential of our CompoZr and SAGEspeed technology platforms, and displays our commitment to providing the scientific community with tools for cutting-edge research into diseases that afflict the human population," said Dr. Edward Weinstein, Director of SAGE Labs at Sigma Life Science.

Cautionary statement: The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "represent a major step," "may serve," "opens the doors," "will become" or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products derived therefrom. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that knockout rats will achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding knockout rats could be affected by, among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the Company's ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Company's assets and liabilities as recorded in its consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Sigma-Aldrich's current Form 10-K on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Sigma-Aldrich is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sigma Life Science: Sigma Life Science is a Sigma-Aldrich business that represents the Company's leadership in innovative biological products and services for the global life science market and offers an array of biologically-rich products and reagents that researchers use in scientific investigation. Product areas include biomolecules, genomics and functional genomics, cells and cell-based assays, transgenics, protein assays, stem cell research, epigenetics and custom services/oligonucleotides. Sigma Life Science also provides an extensive range critical bioessentials like biochemicals, antibiotics, buffers, carbohydrates, enzymes, forensic tools, hematology and histology, nucleotides, amino acids and their derivatives, and cell culture media.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company committed to Enabling Science to Improve the Quality of Life. Its chemical and biochemical products and kits are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 40 countries and has 7,900 employees providing excellent service worldwide. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at

Sigma-Aldrich, Sigma and CompoZr are registered trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich and its affiliate Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology, L.P. SAGE and SAGEspeed are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich and its affiliate Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology, L.P.

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