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The Immune Tolerance Institute Announces Collaboration with Beckman Coulter Establishing a Multiplatform Immunophenotyping/Immunogenotyping Laboratory
Date:3/31/2008

- Center for Critical Path Immunology created to discover and develop

biomarkers for immune system-related diseases -

SAN FRANCISCO, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Immune Tolerance Institute, Inc. (ITI) today announced a collaboration with Beckman Coulter, Inc. to establish a Center for Critical Path Immunology to investigate the role of the human immune system in disease. This facility, which will be managed by ITI and located initially at Beckman Coulter's Cellular Analysis Business Group in Miami, FL, will integrate state-of-the-art genomic, cellular, proteomic and bioinformatic technology platforms to elucidate immune function in patients with a broad array of immune-related diseases. The Center will work with academic and corporate partners to discover and develop novel, high-value biomarkers that more effectively guide new drug development, including companion diagnostics that match patients with therapies that will provide them the greatest benefit.

"The establishment of ITI's Center for Critical Path Immunology is the first step in bringing to fruition our mission to transform the drug discovery process to one that identifies promising therapies in their early phases of development, and that produces drug candidates that are safer, more highly targeted and effective in treating immune system-related diseases," said Dr. Louis A. Matis, President and Chief Executive Officer of ITI. "We are extremely pleased to be partnering in this initiative with Beckman Coulter, a world leader in the design and development of biomedical testing systems that span research, clinical trials, and diagnostics."

"Advancing 'critical path' science will lead to new approaches to investigate the biological mechanisms of disease and to better predict the clinical efficacy and safety of emerging therapeutics. Such efforts have the potential to enhance drug development and reverse the recent trends that have led to higher failure rates and reduced numbers of annual new drug approvals," said Wade E. Bolton, Ph.D., Vice President of Custom BioPharma Solutions and Services at Beckman Coulter. "Working with the ITI and their distinguished scientific staff, we will be able to identify new solutions and make them available for better patient management."

ITI is advancing a new paradigm for mechanism-based clinical development, designed to better correlate clinical outcomes with underlying disease mechanisms. The company's technologies are being deployed in high-throughput fashion to perform comprehensive cellular, molecular and immunological assays on specimens obtained from patients during clinical trials of emerging immunotherapeutics. The mechanistic data that are generated from these assays will be analyzed in parallel with clinical safety and efficacy data using cutting-edge bioinformatic approaches that leverage new insights at the nexus of emerging life science and information technologies. This approach to critical path science is designed to shorten development times, reduce both costs and failure rates in drug development and guide better informed patient selection for targeted therapies.

The Immune Tolerance Institute (ITI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to fill critical unmet needs for translating fundamental scientific discoveries into new therapies for the broad range of diseases related to the human immune system, including autoimmune diseases, allergy, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular and infectious diseases. ITI is a milestone and value-driven not-for-profit company uniquely positioned at the intersection of academia and biopharma that offers a comprehensive constellation of scientific and bio-pharmaceutical industry expertise and services to convert knowledge- based discoveries into market-accessible products for immune system related conditions. The Institute is led by a management team with roots in both biomedical research and the biotechnology industry, and a board of directors including leaders in the field of translational medicine. For more information, visit http://www.iti-immune.org.


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SOURCE Immune Tolerance Institute, Inc.
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