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Sigma-Aldrich Announces SAGE(TM) Priority Partners Program; Seeks Researchers to Evaluate New Knockout Rat Models
Date:10/20/2009

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich® (Nasdaq: SIAL) today announced the launch of the SAGE(TM) Priority Partners Program, through which the Company plans to build a network of researchers to evaluate the 'knockout' rat models it is developing to support pre-clinical research work across a number of medical fields, including Neurobiology, Toxicology, Cardiology, Immunology and others.

The partner program, managed by Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE(TM)) Labs, a Sigma® Life Science initiative based in St. Louis, MO., effectively aims to validate the Company's portfolio of genetically-engineered rodent research models, developed using Sigma-Aldrich's proprietary CompoZr(TM) Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) gene editing technology, which enables scientists to deactivate or 'knockout' specific genes that are associated with human disease.

Partners will be asked to conduct their own evaluation studies and provide feedback, and in return will be offered a number of benefits, including first access to new knockout models and ordering priority and fulfillment, as well as participating in the establishment of the research and development pipeline for this technology.

"The real value of our knockout rat models will lie in the phenotypes that they display," commented Dr. Edward Weinstein, Director of SAGE Labs. "As a result, we are actively seeking experts in the field who are interested in the initial validation of these animals as part of our exclusive SAGE Priority Partners Program."

Initially, SAGE Labs will be working on knockout rat models that target over 20 genes across a number of research areas. One example is Neurobiology, where knockout rat models are being developed with conditions such as Schizophrenia, Parkinson's Disease, Obesity and Alzheimer's. The initial po
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