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Thread: Worldwide Licensing and Sponsored Research Agreements Focused on Axon Regeneration

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    Worldwide Licensing and Sponsored Research Agreements Focused on Axon Regeneration

    Worldwide Licensing and Sponsored Research Agreements Focused on Axon
    Regeneration for Functional Recovery in CNS Disorders Should Enhance BLSI's
    Intellectual Property Portfolio

    HOPKINTON, Mass., May 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Boston Life
    Sciences, Inc., (Nasdaq: BLSI), a biotechnology company focused on
    diagnostic and therapeutic products for diseases of the Central Nervous
    System (CNS), today announced that it had entered into exclusive, worldwide
    license agreements and sponsored research agreements with Children's
    Hospital Boston for axon regeneration technologies under development in the
    laboratories of Dr. Larry Benowitz and Dr. Zhigang He.
    "BLSI is focused on developing world-class technologies in axon
    regeneration for functional recovery following severe CNS injury," stated
    Mark Pykett, President and Chief Operating Officer of BLSI. "We believe
    that these agreements extend our existing capabilities in axon regeneration
    by potentially providing multiple avenues for intervention in functional
    CNS recovery. The agreement now encompasses over 70 issued and pending
    patents. As a result, we believe we now have an even stronger foundation
    for a leadership position in the field. We have worked closely with
    Children's Hospital Boston to solidify our position in the science and the
    intellectual property supporting this effort."
    Dr. Benowitz and Dr. He are among the first researchers to identify key
    factors and mechanisms that promote and inhibit axon regeneration.
    Importantly, their studies are focused on differentiating the area of
    functional recovery based on axon regeneration from neuroprotection. We
    believe these cutting edge areas of research hold promise in advancing the
    development of "first-in-field" therapies targeted at restoring a variety
    of sensory and motor functions in patients after stroke, spinal cord, optic
    nerve and traumatic brain injuries.
    Dr. Brenda Manning, Director of Licensing at Children's Hospital
    Boston, commented, "We are pleased to continue and expand our collaboration
    with Boston Life Sciences through this extensive licensing and sponsored
    research arrangement. We believe that BLSI's development team has the
    potential to translate the discoveries and technologies developed by
    investigators at Children's Hospital Boston and produce valuable therapies
    to benefit victims of serious CNS injury."
    Under the research agreements BLSI has agreed to fund three-year
    sponsored research programs for approaches to activate pro-regenerative
    pathways that stimulate axon regeneration led by Dr. Benowitz and for
    approaches to deactivate anti-regenerative pathways that inhibit axon
    regeneration led by Dr. He. The simultaneous implementation of these
    sponsored research programs may open avenues for exploring combination
    therapies for intractable CNS disorders. The research also provides an
    opportunity to continue to enrich the application of the technologies and
    the Company's intellectual property portfolio.
    About Dr. Benowitz and Dr. He
    Dr. Larry Benowitz is noted for his work in the field of axon
    regeneration and his contributions to the discovery of the GAP-43 protein
    along with his recent work with inosine, oncomodulin and mannose, factors
    that up-regulate the expression of genes required for axon growth. Dr.
    Benowitz's research goals are to discover the basic mechanisms that control
    the growth of nerve connections and to apply insights from this work to
    promote regeneration and functional recovery after CNS injury. He received
    his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, where he completed a
    fellowship in biology. He subsequently completed fellowships in psychology
    and brain sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in
    biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School.
    Dr. Zhigang He is most noted for his work with the Nogo receptor
    mediated pathway and identification of factors that inhibit axon
    regeneration. His laboratory is researching the cellular and molecular
    mechanisms that determine the motility and directionality of developing and
    regenerating axons. He aims to use these paradigms to design therapeutic
    strategies to stimulate the outgrowth or retraction of specific axonal
    tracts in human diseases. Dr. He received his Ph.D. from the University of
    Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne at
    UCSF. Dr. He is a Klingenstein Fellow in Neuroscience, a John Merck
    Scholar, a McKnight Scholar, and is a recipient of Ameritec Prize for
    significant accomplishment toward a cure for paralysis in 2005.
    About Axon Regeneration
    When you get a cut on the tip of your finger, new peripheral nerves are
    able to develop and make connections with other nerves restoring the
    feeling to your fingertip. This process is known as nerve regeneration.
    However, this process does not occur in the case of brain or spinal cord
    injury, where useful function is often permanently lost because damaged
    nerve cells are unable to regrow their connections, and uninjured nerve
    cells are unable to form new connections to compensate for ones that have
    been lost.
    For many years researchers have been investigating ways to improve
    outcome following injury to the CNS. Two such strategies are axon
    regeneration and neuroprotection. Neuroprotection strategies in acute CNS
    injuries such as stroke seek to minimize functional loss by preventing
    further tissue damage. Conversely, axon regeneration strategies seek to
    restore functionality lost as a result of injury by reconnecting the neural
    pathways through new axon growth. However, a number of factors prevent this
    nerve growth from occurring.
    Recent evidence shows that mature nerve cells can be stimulated to
    re-establish and grow new connections under certain circumstances. This
    process can be accomplished by activating pathways that are
    pro-regenerative (stimulating) or by counteracting anti-regenerative
    (inhibitory) signals. Axon regrowth can be stimulated by a variety of
    growth factors and other naturally occurring agents.
    Examples of this have been demonstrated by Dr. Larry Benowitz's
    research with inosine (a purine nucleoside), mannose (a simple sugar) and
    oncomodulin (a small protein). Inhibitors of regeneration, present in the
    cellular environment around the injury, are major obstacles to axon
    regeneration, particularly right after the injury. Promoting nerve cell
    growth by turning off or blocking these inhibitory signals could benefit
    patients suffering from strokes or other injuries to the CNS and is the
    focus of Dr. Zhigang He's research. We believe research from the Benowitz
    and He laboratories shows that combining these two approaches gives much
    stronger regeneration than using either one alone.
    About BLSI
    Boston Life Sciences, Inc. (BLSI) is engaged in the research and
    clinical development of diagnostic and therapeutic products for central
    nervous system (CNS) disorders. Its Molecular Imaging Program includes:
    ALTROPANE(R) molecular imaging agent which is in Phase III clinical trials
    as an aid in the diagnosis of Parkinsonian Syndrome (PS) and a Phase II
    clinical trial for the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
    Disorder (ADHD) as well as an active preclinical program for next
    generation imaging agents. The Company's other research and pre-clinical
    CNS programs include: an Axon Regeneration Program aimed at functional
    recovery after stroke, a DAT Blocker program aimed at symptom management
    and modification of disease progression in Parkinson's Disease and an
    Ocular Program aimed at optic nerve injury, wet age-related macular
    degeneration and glaucoma. BLSI's current research collaborations include
    Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston.
    The foregoing release contains certain forward-looking statements
    within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
    Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Boston Life
    Sciences' expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the
    future, including the Company's current and future development programs
    including those programs focused on axon regeneration, licensing and
    collaboration arrangements and intellectual property. Forward-looking
    statements can be identified by terminology such as "anticipate,"
    "believe," "could," "could increase the likelihood," "estimate," "expect,"
    "intend," "is planned," "may," "should," "will," "will enable," "would be
    expected," "look forward," "may provide," "would" or similar terms,
    variations of such terms or the negative of those terms. Such
    forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties
    and other factors including those risks, uncertainties and factors referred
    to in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December
    31, 2005, as amended, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
    under the section "Risk Factors," as well as other documents that may be
    filed by Boston Life Sciences from time to time with the Securities and
    Exchange Commission. As a result of such risks, uncertainties and factors,
    the Company's actual results may differ materially from any future results,
    performance or achievements discussed in or implied by the forward-looking
    statements contained herein. Boston Life Sciences is providing the
    information in this press release as of this date and assumes no
    obligations to update the information in this press release.
    Contact: Sharon Correia -- 508-497-2360 ext 224
    Boston Life Sciences, Inc.
    scorreia@bostonlifesciences.com

  2. #2
    Dr. Larry Benowitz and Dr. Zhigang He are both superb scientists. I am very glad to hear that they have entered into a licensing agreement with Boston Life Sciences. They both are very interested in and working on spinal cord injury. Wise.

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