LifeMap Sciences, a Subsidiary of BioTime, Announces Release of GeneCards®Version 3.10
New Release Features "Super-Pathways" and Collaboration with Lost Island Labs, Inc.
ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- LifeMap Sciences, Inc., a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc. (NYSE MKT: BTX), announced today the release of GeneCards®, Version 3.10. The new release is available at www.genecards.org. LifeMap Sciences holds the exclusive worldwide license to market GeneCards® from Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd., the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
GeneCards® 3.10 includes several new features and improvements, including novel unified gene pathways and a new collaboration with Lost Island Labs' Utopia, an innovative tool that enables researchers to connect scientific papers in PDF form to the dynamic world of online information. Utopia generated PDFs, currently offered to biomedical researchers worldwide, will feature targeted deep links to GeneCards® information via Utopia's customized PDF reader for published articles.
GeneCards® is a comprehensive online database that provides concise genomic information on all known and predicted human genes. With more than 13 million page visits per year from more than two million unique users worldwide according to Google Analytics, GeneCards® is accessed by professionals in more than 3,000 institutions including academia, research hospitals, patent offices, and leading biotech and pharma companies. GeneCards® was developed, and is continuously enhanced, by ongoing research conducted by the bioinformatics team at the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, with principal investigator Professor Doron Lancet, head of the Crown Human Genome Center, and team leader Marilyn Safran.
The new GeneCards® release includes more than 113,000 gene entries, of which approximately 71,000 genes encode non-coding RNAs. The release debuts GeneCards®' novel unified pathways, an enhancement which is designed to assist in resolving redundancies and inconsistencies in gene pathway representation. For this, a judicious clustering algorithm allows joining together, for every gene, the relevant pathways from 11 sources into "super-pathways", based on gene-sets overlaps. Individual genes now portray the relevant super-pathways and their pathway content, in addition to original source-based lists. This enables more meaningful characterizations of a gene via its pathway affiliation. Another important enhancement is new integrated protein expression images, covering 23 tissues that combine data from both MOPED and also from a new source, PaxDB. Other key enhancements include new functional summaries incorporating expanded information regarding embryonic development-related genes, as well as improved representation of stem cell differentiation, all obtained from LifeMap Discovery™, the database of embryonic development, stem-cell research and regenerative medicine.
Most researchers utilize a single source of pathways in their gene characterization protocols. GeneCards®' super-pathways represent a much more balanced view of the pathway universe," said Professor Doron Lancet, Ph.D., The Ralph D. and Lois R. Silver Professor of Human Genomics, at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
"We are delighted to see the continued improvement of GeneCards®' features and content, including expanded integration with our other product lines, MalaCards and LifeMap DiscoveryTM," stated Yaron Guan-Golan, Head of Marketing at LifeMap Sciences. "We are also looking forward to working with Lost Island Labs' Utopia to provide the research community improved access to GeneCards® via elegant deep links in a wide array of scientific publications."
About LifeMap Sciences, Inc.
LifeMap Sciences' (www.lifemapsc.com) core technology and business is based on its integrated database suite, the discovery platform for biomedical and stem cell research. This platform includes GeneCards®, the leading human gene database; LifeMap Discovery™, the database of embryonic development, stem cell research and regenerative medicine; and MalaCards, the human disease database. According to Google Analytics, the sites have generated more than 2,000,000 unique visitors with more than 13,000,000 page views in the past 12 months. LifeMap Sciences also markets PanDaTox, an innovative, recently developed, searchable database that can aid in the discovery of new antibiotics and biotechnologically beneficial products.
In addition to database offerings, LifeMap Sciences is BioTime's principal marketing subsidiary for research products, including PureStem™ human progenitor cell lines, GMP human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines, ESpan™ growth media for progenitor cell lines, and cell differentiation media for non-therapeutic uses, via its LifeMap BioReagents™ portal. LifeMap Sciences utilizes its databases as part of its online marketing strategy to reach life sciences researchers at biotech and pharmaceutical companies and at academic institutions and research hospitals worldwide.
In a therapeutic discovery collaboration with BioTime, LifeMap's scientists utilize LifeMap's proprietary platform, including LifeMap Discovery™, its stem cell database along with the GeneCards® and MalaCards integrated database suite, to aid in the development of BioTime's proprietary PureStem™ human progenitor cell lines into products for the treatment of human diseases, especially degenerative diseases that might be treatable with cell replacement therapies. The LifeMap Discovery™ platform will be used to select the progenitor cell lines that are most likely to be useful in developing cell-based regenerative medicine therapies for a wide range of diseases.
About BioTime, Inc.
BioTime, headquartered in Alameda, California, is a biotechnology company focused on regenerative medicine and blood plasma volume expanders. Its broad platform of stem cell technologies is enhanced through subsidiaries focused on specific fields of application. BioTime develops and markets research products in the fields of stem cells and regenerative medicine, including a wide array of proprietary PureStem™ cell lines, HyStem® hydrogels, culture media, and differentiation kits. BioTime is developing Renevia™ (formerly known as HyStem®-Rx), a biocompatible, implantable hyaluronan and collagen-based matrix for cell delivery in human clinical applications. BioTime's therapeutic product development strategy is pursued through subsidiaries that focus on specific organ systems and related diseases for which there is a high unmet medical need. BioTime's majority owned subsidiary Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd. is developing therapeutic products derived from stem cells for the treatment of retinal and neural degenerative diseases. BioTime's subsidiary OrthoCyte Corporation is developing therapeutic applications of stem cells to treat orthopedic diseases and injuries. Another subsidiary, OncoCyte Corporation, focuses on the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of stem cell technology in cancer, including the diagnostic product PanC-Dx™ currently being developed for the detection of cancer in blood samples. ReCyte Therapeutics, Inc. is developing applications of BioTime's proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell technology to reverse the developmental aging of human cells to treat cardiovascular and blood cell diseases. BioTime's subsidiary LifeMap Sciences, Inc. markets GeneCards®, the leading human gene database, as part of an integrated database suite that also includes the LifeMap Discovery™ database of embryonic development, stem cell research and regenerative medicine, and MalaCards, the human disease database. LifeMap Sciences also markets BioTime research products and PanDaTox, an innovative, recently developed, searchable database that can aid in the discovery of new antibiotics and biotechnologically beneficial products. Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a new subsidiary being used to acquire the stem cell assets of Geron Corporation, including patents and other intellectual property, biological materials, reagents and equipment for the development of new therapeutic products for regenerative medicine. BioTime's lead product, Hextend®, is a blood plasma volume expander manufactured and distributed in the U.S. by Hospira, Inc. and in South Korea by CJ CheilJedang Corporation under exclusive licensing agreements. Additional information about BioTime can be found on the web at www.biotimeinc.com.
About the Weizmann Institute of Science and GeneCards
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,700 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. and M.Sc. students, and scientific, technical and administrative staff. In addition, visiting scientists and their families - over 500 from 35 countries in 2010 are regularly hosted at the Institute. The Institute was founded in 1934 following a donation to Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a noted biochemist and biotechnologist, who envisioned the establishment of a world-class scientific research center in Israel, and later also became the first President of the State of Israel. Weizmann Institute's Feinberg Graduate School was established in 1958, where about 1000 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students are enrolled in studies covering the Institute's 18 departments, which are grouped into five faculties: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics and Computer Science. The Institute's technology transfer arm, Yeda Research and Development Co. was the first company of its kind in Israel, and is currently one of the most successful worldwide. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment. Particular excellence in bioinformatics and systems biology is manifested, among others, in the GeneCards project, initiated in 1996, under the leadership of Prof. Doron Lancet of the Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Head of the Crown Human Genome Center. A team of 10 led by Marilyn Safran continuously innovates and keeps GeneCards as a world-top human gene compendium, automatically mining and integrating 100 worldwide web resources.
Statements pertaining to future financial and/or operating results, future growth in research, technology, clinical development, and potential opportunities for BioTime and its subsidiaries, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the business of BioTime and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in BioTime's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. BioTime disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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Peter Garcia, 510-521-3390, ext. 367
Chief Financial Officer
Judith Segall, 510-521-3390, ext. 301
LifeMap Sciences, Inc.
Kenneth Elsner, 781-826-7719
KEYWORDS: United States North America California
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