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Rohm and Haas Donates RheoGene Assets to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

NEW YORK, Feb. 17 (GenomeWeb News) - Specialty chemical company Rohm and Haas has donated the intellectual property and material assets of gene expression firm RheoGene -- worth approximately $30 million -- to The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, UPMC said today.

The donation includes RheoGene's intellectual property, equipment, compounds, biological materials, research, and commercial agreements and licenses. The company -- founded in 1999 as a joint venture between Rohm and Haas and Upstate Inc. -- will maintain key business and technical personnel at its Norristown, Pa., location following the acquisition.

The company said it also plans to open a clinical laboratory in Pittsburgh during 2004 to facilitate collaborations with UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh, and other life sciences institutions in western Pennsylvania.

RheoGene has developed technology called RheoSwitch to manage gene expression via small-molecule mediators that can up- or down-regulate genes "in a manner analogous to a rheostat control on a light switch," according to the company. RheoGene said that it has just begun pre-clinical testing of the technology.

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