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Sigma-Aldrich® Receives National Institutes of Health Funding for Cardiovascular Disease Research

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich® (Nasdaq: SIAL) today announced it has entered into an agreement with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, and Boston University (BU) to develop methods to measure several potential biomarkers of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) using plasma samples from the NHLBI's Framingham Heart Study (FHS), one of the most prestigious clinical studies in medicine.  Funding for the project is provided by the NHLBI to Sigma-Aldrich under a research subaward agreement with BU.

The FHS began in 1948 as a study of more than 5,000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts, to identify the factors that increase the risk for CVD.  Since then, it has expanded to include over 14,000 participants from three generations within families.  Using the results of FHS, researchers have identified a host of risk factors, including high blood cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and obesity.  The FHS is funded by the NHLBI and conducted in collaboration with BU's School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

Sigma® Life Science, the innovative biological products and services business of Sigma-Aldrich, plans to work with NHLBI and BU to provide for the analysis of plasma samples from 7,000 participants to investigate 180 potential biomarkers for CVD.  Over the course of this five-year project, Sigma Life Science expects to develop antibody reagents for each identified target biomarker and incorporate the reagents into a multiplexed, high-throughput platform to measure the proteins of interest.

"Through this project, Sigma Life Science, the NHLBI and BU are furthering insight into a number of important CVD targets," said Dave Smoller, president of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech Business Unit.  "By embarking on this exciting effort, we believe we will help to develop the next generation of biomarker technologies for life science research and therapeutic applications, and provide greater understanding into the genetics and biological pathways of heart disease.  The project is expected to facilitate the development of diagnostic tools for the early detection and prevention of CVD, as well as therapies for early treatment.  We are hopeful that establishing valid surrogate biomarkers will also be useful in the development of more individualized treatments for patients."

The new project is part of a major FHS initiative called the Systems Approach to Biomarker Research in Cardiovascular Disease (SABRe CVD), which expects to identify and validate new CVD biomarkers, which in turn could ultimately lead to the development of blood tests to identify individuals at high risk of heart disease and stroke.  Only information from FHS participants who have consented to sharing their specimens and data for genetic research will be used, and no shared information will be attributed to a specific participant to protect participants' privacy.  Data from these studies will be accessible to other scientists through dbGAP (Database for Genotype and Phenotype), in accordance with data-sharing policies.

"We believe this research will accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments for common life-threatening conditions," said Karen Antman, M.D., dean of Boston University School of Medicine.  "Our faculty takes great pride in being part of this exciting research which may improve the lives of millions of people globally for the better," she added.

The identification of antibody reagents specific to CVD biomarkers is expected to further expand Sigma Life Science's growing portfolio of over 38,000 monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies.  In addition, the Company offers 8,300 highly validated Prestige Antibodies®, covering over 6,900 human protein targets identified by the Human Proteome Resource.  More information can be found online at:

Cautionary statement: The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "plans to," "expects to develop," "are hopeful," "we believe," "will help to develop," "expected to facilitate" or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding the FHS research collaboration described herein and the 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 the Sigma Life Science/NHLBI/BU collaboration will identify any useful biomarkers or antibodies. Nor can there be any guarantee that should products be derived from the Sigma Life Science/NHLBI/BU collaboration, that they will achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding the Sigma Life Science/NHLBI/BU collaboration 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 that is committed to enabling science to improve the quality of life. Its biochemical and organic chemical 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. Sigma-Aldrich 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 7,600 employees providing excellent service worldwide. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning website at

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

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