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Sigma Life Science Collaborates with Cofactor Genomics to Develop Publically Available Rat Genome Database
Date:2/2/2011

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sigma Life Science, the innovative biological products and services business of Sigma-Aldrich® (Nasdaq: SIAL), today announced that its SAGE Labs initiative has partnered with Cofactor Genomics in an effort to sequence genomes for six of the most widely used strains of rat.  As part of the agreement, Cofactor Genomics plans to generate and analyze sequence data using next generation sequencing systems, while SAGE Labs plans to provide the samples and to host a new, free public database at sageresearchmodels.com in late 2011.  The database will include exclusive genomic information and analysis tools.

Currently, the Brown Norway is the only rat strain with a high quality draft sequence available.  It was completed by the Rat Genome Consortium in 2004 with funding from the NIH.  The draft sequence showed the rat shares nearly every gene implicated in human disease.  However, since then, little work has been done, with the last update occurring in November of 2004.

The additional genome sequence provided by SAGE Labs and Cofactor Genomics should enable SAGE Labs to create improved models of human disease for the research community, while helping researchers to better pinpoint the crucial areas of biological difference between rats and humans.  The creation of a new, public rat strain database could provide a quantum leap forward for better understanding the genetic basis of disease in humans.

Dr. Edward Weinstein, Director of SAGE Labs at Sigma Life Science, said, "With the costs of whole genome sequencing rapidly coming down, it is now far more feasible to understand the genomes of the most widely used model organisms such as the rat.  Sigma Life Science and its SAGE Labs initiative plan to lead the way in revealing these new genomes and making the information publically available."

"This project and collaboration leverages Cofactor's experimental design and analysis expertise to develop a global resource aimed at scientific discovery," said Jon Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer of Cofactor Genomics.

The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "plans to," "should," or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products derived from the initiative to sequence the rat genome. 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 by better understanding the rat genome we will achieve, through our offering of gene-modified rats for sale, any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding our rat program 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.

For more information on SAGE Labs, please visit http://www.sageresearchmodels.com.

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 of critical bioessentials like biochemicals, antibiotics, buffers, carbohydrates, enzymes, forensic tools, hematology and histology, nucleotides, amino acids and their derivatives, and cell culture media. For more information about Sigma Life Science, please visit our Web sites at Where Bio Begins and Sigma Life Science.

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 http://www.sigma-aldrich.com.

About Cofactor Genomics: Cofactor Genomics provides next-generation sequencing and analysis services and cutting-edge genomics solutions to corporate and academic clients worldwide. Cofactor's expertise in experimental design, next-generation sequencing, and advanced analytics provides a foundation for researchers to answer previously unimagined scientific questions. The company uses the most advanced next-generation sequencing platforms available in combination with commercial and proprietary analysis software and pipelines. For more information about Cofactor Genomics, please visit www.cofactorgenomics.com

Sigma-Aldrich and Sigma are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.


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