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Effigene Pharmaceuticals receives NIH STTR Grant

Company will investigate promising adjuvant that could open door for SiRNA-based Huntington’s Diseases treatments

(Atlanta, GA) Effigene Pharmaceuticals and Emory University announced today that the bio-tech startup has been awarded a National Institutes of Health STTR grant. Effigene, a company founded in 2007 in collaboration with Emory University and the Georgia Research Alliance, will use the grant to explore the potential of small molecule compounds to increase the potency of SiRNAs that could form the foundation of a genetic treatment for Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease, a severe neurological disorder impacting more than 30,000 Americans, is currently untreatable. The NIH selection committee was impressed by Effigene’s preliminary in vitro study indicating that EFI001, the company’s proprietary RNAi enhancer, could dramatically enhance the ability of SIRNA to “turnoff” the flawed genes that are known to cause Huntingon’s Disease Effigene will use the grant to confirm it’s initial findings in animal tests that could eventually pave the way for an effective treatment.

“The NIH grant will allow us to validate a technology that could provide relief for thousands of people who just don’t have any good options at the moment,” according to Dr. Mark Ledden, President and CEO of Effigene. “As a company committed to pioneering siRNA and miRNA-based treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, we see the NIH grant as a crucial step forward.”

About Effigene Pharmaceuticals

Effigene Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company t founded based on the research of Dr. Peng Jin, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University. Effigene aspires to be the pioneer and leader in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases using the RNA interference approach by leveraging its expertise in both fields. The core research of Effigene will be published in Nature Biotechnology, August 2008.

About NIH STTR Grant

The STTR program was established in 1992 to support the R&D activities of a startup with a potential for commercialization and public benefit. The grant requires a formal collaboration of the applicant organization with a research institution in early phases.

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