Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers
WILMINGTON, Mass. & RICHMOND, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--July 11, 2001
Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL), through its wholly-owned subsidiary Charles River Laboratories, Inc., and Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO) today announced that they have entered into a technology partnership agreement to apply Sangamo's novel gene regulation technologies to the creation of so-called "transgenic," or genetically engineered, rat research models. Transgenic animal models are expected to offer biomedical researchers a new research tool for use in the discovery and development of drugs to treat human disease. The collaboration will initially involve the application of Sangamo's unique gene regulation technology to the creation of a novel rat model for use in developing new drugs and therapies for cancer.
For several years, the research community has focused on the development of transgenic mouse models to act as a research tool that allows for a more accurate representation of human disease, and in turn a better predictor of the potential success in humans of new drug candidates developed to treat that disease or condition. Charles River is currently focusing its external technology development and commercialization initiatives on the use of rats as a potential alternative to mouse models. In certain research applications, rats may offer practical advantages over mice, principally due to their physiology, and their larger size. New and more targeted rat models may also allow for further "miniaturization" of research typically done in larger animal species. Sangamo's unique gene regulation technology, which uses so-called zinc finger DNA-binding protein (ZFP) transcription factors to recognize genes and control their expression, is expected to lead to a novel and proprietary method for creating a wide variety of gene altered rat models, each specifically constructed to mirror a particular human disease condition.
James C. Foster, chairman and chief executive officer of Charles River commented, "We're very pleased to be working with Sangamo towards the goal of creating commercially available transgenic rat models. This technology partnering agreement reflects our strategy of developing new growth platforms through external R&D alliances with scientific leaders. We believe Sangamo, with its world-class scientific team, is in a unique position to develop what we hope will be the first of many widely available transgenic rat models. We expect the cutting edge work being done by Sangamo and our other scientific partners will lead to significant benefits to researchers who use our research models in their drug discovery and development work."
"Entire companies were founded on the technologies used to develop transgenic mice," said Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's president and chief executive officer. "One of the key advantages of our ZFP technology is its potential application in multiple species, and we believe that it will be an effective approach capable of altering gene expression in transgenic rats. Working with Charles River, the leading research model provider, is an ideal extension of our technology platform."