RheoGene Grants Xenogen Biosciences a License to Develop RheoMice™ Transgenics

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Collaboration objective to optimize and validate regulated gene and RNAi expression in customized animal research models.

RheoGene, Inc announced today that it has granted a license to Xenogen Biosciences Corp. to use RheoGene's proprietary RheoSwitch® System to develop and distribute RheoMice™ Transgenics as animal research models. The companies will also collaborate on several projects aimed at controlling delivery and regulating expression of RNAi to address the problems of timing and localization of active RNAi products to various target sites in vivo.

"We are excited about the opportunity to work with Xenogen Biosciences, a leading developer of transgenic and gene targeted animal models," said Thomas Tillett, RheoGene President and CEO. "The objective of this research collaboration is to establish and validate the RheoSwitch® technology within the transgenic mouse setting through the creation of genetically-modified animal models, RheoMice™ Transgenics which demonstrate tight, inducible gene regulation through the use of safe, non-pharmacologically active ligands."

RheoMice Transgenics are conditionally regulated animal models for functional genomics, target validation and drug development in which the timing and level of gene expression are controlled by varying the dose of a proprietary, small molecule RheoChem™ inducer administered to the animal through oral or intraperitoneal delivery. RheoGene has developed single vector systems that introduce the modular elements of the RheoSwitch® system as well as the gene of interest in a single step for time- and cost-efficient animal research model development.

Xenogen Biosciences holds a comprehensive suite of intellectual property in the genetically modified production industry and represents a single-source solution for accessing critical intellectual property required for certain gene addition, deletion, modification and analysis (both ex vivo and in vivo via biophotonic imaging) in transgenic and gene knockout animal models. Leading pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., Schering-Plough Corporation, Boehringer-Ingelheim Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck & Co. are using Xenogen Biosciences' technology.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

About RheoGene

RheoGene Inc. is the source for targeted, regulated products and technologies for the development of safe and effective therapeutics. RheoGene delivers customized inducible gene expression products for pharmaceutical discovery and development, human therapeutics and biotherapeutics production. RheoGene's proprietary RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) offers safe, regulated cell and gene therapies that deliver the right dose- to the right place- at the right time- to improve the lives of patients with serious medical conditions for which there are no effective treatments or cures today. RheoGene Inc. is a wholly owned affiliate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with operations in Norristown, PA and Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit http://www.rheogene.com.

About Xenogen Corporation

Xenogen combines systems biology and low-light optical imaging to create powerful new biophotonic imaging technology that advances the ability of scientists to explore genes, proteins, pathogens and tumor cells in living animals in real time, providing predictive data that is designed to substantially improve the success rate in drug development. Xenogen incorporates into living animals the bioluminescent gene that makes a firefly glow and captures the resulting light using an ultra-sensitive camera and sophisticated software. This biophotonic imaging technology creates images and analyzes the data generated on cellular activity, gene expression, spread of disease or the effect of a new drug candidate. Xenogen's biophotonic imaging technology is used by leading academics and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to provide more accurate and previously unavailable data intended to result in the ability to make more timely and cost-effective decisions at every step in the drug development process.

Xenogen Biosciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xenogen, offers more than 15 years of experience in the transgenic field, providing reliable, genetically modified custom mouse models in short timelines. The company has completed more than 2,500 transgenic and 650 gene targeting projects, with a greater than 97 percent success rate in delivering transgenic founder or gene knockout lines to customers.


For RheoGene:

Thomas Tillett, CEO

RheoGene, Inc.


For Xenogen:


William A. Albright                    

Xenogen Corporation                    



Kelly McKenna

Manning Selvage & Lee


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