Valentis Licenses Geneswitch Technology To Wyeth-Ayers

Valentis, Inc. has granted a non-exclusive license of the Company’s GeneSwitch gene regulation technology to Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.

The GeneSwitch system allows researchers to control the level and duration of selected genes in transgenic animals and cell cultures, aiding in the identification and characterization of a gene’s function.

Valentis is currently developing the GeneSwitch system as a component of a regulated erythropoietin gene medicine that it expects to take into human clinical testing.

The non-exclusive license is for research purposes only and consists of an up-front payment and annual maintenance fees.

No financial terms were disclosed.

Valentis maintains all rights to clinical gene therapy applications of the GeneSwitch technology.

“GeneSwitch technology will enable and enhance our efforts to mine the human genome for novel drug discovery targets,” states Dr. Charles W. Richard, Assistant Vice President of Genomics for Wyeth- Ayerst Research, the research unit of Wyeth-Ayerst.

“In deciding to license the GeneSwitch technology to pharmaceutical companies, Valentis has identified another business opportunity for its broad technology portfolio,” stated Michael P. Fons, Valentis’ Director of Business Development.

“The GeneSwitch system was initially made available to the academic research community through a license to Invitrogen. The license to Wyeth Ayerst represents the first commercial license of this technology to a major pharmaceutical company. We expect to conclude a number of similar licenses over the next year.”

Valentis, Inc. is a leader in the field of biopharmaceutical delivery.

The Company develops a broad array of products, proprietary technologies and intellectual property and applies its preclinical and early clinical development expertise to create novel therapeutics and improved versions of existing marketed biopharmaceuticals.