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Geron, Chiroscience Subsidiaries Announce Collaboration on Aging

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LONDON--Subsidiaries of pharmaceutical company Chiroscience Group here will provide bioinformatics support and other services to the biopharmaceutical company Geron, Menlo Park, Calif., under terms of an agreement announced earlier this month. The research collaboration will focus on diseases associated with the process of aging, capitalizing on the discovery by Chiroscience's Darwin Molecular of the gene for Werner's Syndrome, a condition that causes premature aging.

Darwin Discovery, Chirosci ence's drug discovery and development arm, will provide Geron with access to its intellectual property plus ongoing support using its sequencing and bioinformatics capabilities. Geron will receive exclusive licenses in exchange for shares of the company's stock, which will be paid at set milestones. Chiroscience will also receive a share of profits from products that arise from the research.

"We are delighted to team up with Geron to exploit our knowledge and intellectual property in this area," commented David Galas, Darwin Discovery's executive director of discovery research. The Werner's Syndrome gene was cloned and characterized by scientists from Darwin and from Gerard Schellenberg's team at the Seattle Veterans Administration Medical Research Center, which also studied the gene in collaboration with scientists from the University of Washington.

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