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Two Luminaries Join Cequent Scientific Advisory Board: Judy Lieberman, M.D. Ph.D., and Patrice Courvalin, M.D.
Date:10/6/2008

Dr. Lieberman, of Harvard Medical School, is a prominent expert on RNAi delivery for therapeutic uses; Dr. Courvalin, of the Institut Pasteur,

Paris, France, is foremost authority on bacterial genetic transfer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Cequent Pharmaceuticals, a pioneer in the development of novel products to deliver RNAi-based treatments to prevent and treat human disease, announced that two of the leading scientists in RNA Interference (RNAi) and gene delivery have joined the company's scientific advisory board. Dr. Judy Lieberman, a professor at Harvard Medical School, is well-known for her pioneering work on RNAi delivery for clinical applications. Dr. Patrice Courvalin, who is Institut Pasteur professor and director of the French National Reference Center for Antibiotics, is a leading expert in molecular bacteriology and gene delivery.

"We are honored that Drs. Lieberman and Courvalin have agreed to join Cequent's scientific advisory board, which is chaired by Cequent Founder Chiang J Li, M.D.," said Cequent President and CEO, Peter Parker. "The two bring unparalleled expertise and experience in their respective areas of research so fundamental to our success. We continue to make great progress with our development programs for familial polyposis, human papilloma virus, and inflammatory bowel disease, and their input will be paramount as we advance our pipeline of RNAi drug candidates through preclinical development, regulatory submission, and into clinical trials."

Judy Lieberman, M.D. Ph.D., is professor of pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School, director of the Division of AIDS at Harvard Medical School, and a senior investigator in the Immune Disease Institute. She received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Rockefeller University and completed her M.D. in the joint Harvard-MIT Program in Health, Science and Technology. Dr. Lieberman is board certified in internal medicine and haematology, a widely known expert in translational medicine, and a pioneer in the therapeutic use of RNAi, particularly through the development of innovative delivery tools. The Lieberman laboratory at Harvard was the first to demonstrate that RNAi could be used to treat disease in an animal model. Dr. Lieberman and her colleagues are currently working to harness RNAi for use against HIV and other viruses and they have developed novel strategies for cell-specific targeting of small interfering RNAs to confer in vivo protection from viral disease. In related work, Dr. Lieberman's laboratory is also working in the emerging field of miRNAs by developing their potential as diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

Professor Patrice Courvalin, M.D., is head of the Antibacterial Agents Unit at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, where he directs the French National Reference Center for Antibiotics. He is an internationally recognized expert in the genetics and biochemistry of antibiotic resistance and in the transfer and heterologous expression of genetic information. He received master's degrees in sciences and in human biology from the University of Sciences in Paris and his doctorate in medical sciences from the Medical School in Paris. His research has led to a revision of the dogma describing natural dissemination of genes. In particular, he and his colleagues demonstrated that a wide variety of bacteria can promiscuously exchange genetic material and they proved that conjugation could account for dissemination of genes between phylogenetically remote bacterial genera. Because of his long-term interest in horizontal gene transfer among bacteria, Dr. Courvalin has been a thought leader in the area of using bacteria as intracellular vectors for delivery of DNA or proteins into mammalian cells. His laboratory was the first to describe the combination of invasin and listeriolysin to enable Escherichia coli as a gene therapy tool.

About Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (http://www.cequentpharma.com)

An early-stage biopharmaceutical company, Cequent is pioneering the development of novel therapeutics to prevent and treat a wide range of human disorders - from inflammatory disease to cancer - based on the company's proprietary technology, TransKingdom RNA interference (tkRNAi). Cequent's first products, now in pre-clinical development, are drug candidates targeting colon-cancer prevention and inflammatory bowel disease. The company designed its powerful tkRNAi technology to deactivate specific disease-causing genes safely and effectively, using non-pathogenic bacteria as an engine to produce and deliver RNAi directly into cells. It is based on ground-breaking scientific research originating at the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France) and at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. A privately held company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cequent was established in 2006.


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