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Interferon Beta DNA Treatment Delivered with Ichor Technology,Reduces Atherosclerosis Progression in Mice

Summary: Proprietary DNA delivery technology enables sustained Interferon-beta production from muscle cells - reduces atherosclerosis progression in mouse model of heart disease

NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 26, 2007 - Research conducted at Cleveland Clinic and presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session showed that a single administration of DNA encoding the anti-inflammatory protein interferon-beta (IFN-beta) using Ichor Medical System's TriGrid Delivery System (TriGrid) reduced the development of plaque formation in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.

"The sustained production of this protein reduced the atherosclerotic lesion size and tissue-damaging inflammation that characterize the blood vessels of these mice with atherosclerosis," said Marc S. Penn, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator from Cleveland Clinic.

While preliminary, these results broaden the support for the use of the electroporation-based TriGrid as an enabling platform technology to provide continuous endogenous production of therapeutic proteins from a patient's own muscle. Previous studies done in collaboration with Dr. Vince Tuohy's lab at Cleveland Clinic demonstrated that one-time delivery of the IFN-beta gene intramuscularly with the TriGrid in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), resulted in sustained production of IFN-beta and a similar reduction in the severity of clinical disease as compared to a separate group of mice dosed every other day with recombinant IFN-beta (Molecular Therapy 14(3): 416-422 (2006)). This study suggests that in vivo gene transfer of the IFN-beta gene may provide a convenient and viable alternative to constant life-long dosing of the recombinant form of IFN-beta for patients with MS.

Together, these data demonstrate both the potential therapeutic and economic value of Ichor's technology.

"The TriGrid platform makes treatments like interferon-beta more reasonable because a single administration of the gene using the TriGrid results in consistent production of the therapeutic protein in muscle for extended periods of time resulting in a vastly reduced cost," said Ichor CEO Bob Bernard.

The TriGrid is also being used to enable endogenous protein production for DNA-based treatments of HIV, Hepatitis B and C, malaria, avian flu and various forms of cancer in pre-clinical and clinical trials worldwide.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2005, there were 2.9 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. There were nearly 54,000 hospital admissions to Cleveland Clinic in 2005. Cleveland Clinic's Web site address is

About Ichor Medical Systems

Ichor Medical Systems, a privately-held biotech company, is developing products based on the in vivo application of electroporation to enhance intracellular delivery of DNA drugs encoding therapeutic proteins or antigens for vaccines. Ichor's proprietary TriGrid(TM) Delivery System (TriGrid) is the first and only integrated and fully automated system for electroporation-mediated DNA administration. This system allows the site of DNA injection, placement of electrodes, rate of DNA administration and timing of electrical pulse application to be consistent among different operators and patients. As a result, Ichor's TriGrid enables safe, effective and reproducible clinical application of electroporation in a manner capable of supporting development and commercialization of DNA-based products. The Ichor system is currently being used on three continents in a wide range of pre-clinical and clinical studies for potential treatments of melanoma, HIV, Hepatitis B, Avian Flu and Multiple Sclerosis.


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Erin Koch
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Tom Gable
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