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Sigma-Aldrich Licenses From NeuroSurvival Technologies a Leading Marker for Molecular Imaging of Apoptosis in Vivo

The marker, Apo-TRACE(TM), offers a breakthrough in advancing apoptosis-related research in a range of fields in biology and medicine

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich(TM) (Nasdaq: SIAL) and NeuroSurvival Technologies Ltd. (NST) announced today that they have signed a licensing agreement for a leading marker, developed by NST, for molecular imaging of apoptosis in vitro and in vivo in animals. The marker, developed by NST, will be manufactured and marketed by Sigma-Aldrich under the commercial name Apo-TRACE(TM) ( Apo-TRACE(TM) is a member of a family of proprietary small molecules developed by NST that target apoptosis. Another molecule of the family, ApoSense(TM)-PET, is in clinical trials for imaging apoptosis in vivo in humans with PET (positron emitting tomography) and is not part of this agreement.

Apoptosis (programmed cell death) is a fundamental biological process of cell "suicide", inherent in every cell in body, and its discovery is regarded as one of the major recent revolutions in biology and medicine. Apoptosis has an important role in almost any medical disorder, and its control may hold the promise for substantial advances in medical care for a wide array of medical disorders, ranging from cancer, myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke, to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

Respectively, extensive scientific work is continuously being performed in the field of apoptosis worldwide, involving thousands of research groups, and generating over 17,000* peer-reviewed scientific papers in 2006 alone. Apo-TRACE is a unique and novel solution to the need of researchers for imaging of apoptosis in vivo, in the living organism. As such, it may substantially contribute to advancing preclinical research in variety of fields. Upon a simple intravenous administration, Apo-TRACE selectively targets cells undergoing apoptosis from the early stages of the death process, and, through its fluorescent properties, marks the apoptotic cells, thus enabling easy and accurate detection in vivo of this important cell death process. Thus, by substantially facilitating apoptosis research in vivo, Apo-TRACE offers a breakthrough in advancing apoptosis related research in a range of fields in biology and medicine. Apo-TRACE is available for purchase from Sigma-Aldrich as of January 2008. Once the ApoSense(TM)-PET molecule also becomes commercially available from NST, apoptosis research in vivo will continue into the clinic and become a valuable biomarker for development and testing of new therapeutic agents.

* Based on PubMed database search.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and as key components in pharmaceutical 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 36 countries and has 7,900 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at

About NST: NST NeuroSurvival Technologies is a clinical stage molecular imaging and drug development company, focused on the introduction of novel agents based on the identification and targeting of cells undergoing apoptosis (programmed cell death). NST has developed the ApoSense(TM) technology -- A set of proprietary compounds with demonstrated ability to identify, bind and accumulate within apoptotic (dying) cells in vivo. This technology addresses a huge market of unmet research and clinical need across a range of molecular imaging and therapeutic applications. ApoSense(TM)-PET, NST's lead compound for clinical molecular imaging of apoptosis in vivo, using the PET modality, is currently in phase II clinical studies.

Cautionary Statement: This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future performance, goals, strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Companies' expectations, goals, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding the Companies' operations and conditions in the markets the Companies serve. The Companies do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Apo-TRACE is a trademark of Sigma-Aldrich

ApoSense is a trademark of NST NeuroSurvival Technologies Ltd.

SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich
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