CARLSBAD, Calif., AND SEATTLE — Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIP) and the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine. have announced today that Isis has joined UW’s Cell Systems Initiative (CSI). CSI is a research and educational program whose mission is to understand the dynamic information systems in cells.
By understanding disease processes at the cellular level, using the resources available to CSI members like Isis, CSI will be able to capitalize on genomic information and incorporate this information into novel and precise drug discovery processes.
CSI includes industry and academic participants in collaborative research studies, focused on integrating genomic and functional information, powerful bioinformatics and novel experimental techniques to expand our understanding of human disease.
Isis brings to CSI its expertise in genomics and RNA. By using highly selective antisense inhibitors, Isis has already demonstrated its ability to rapidly functionalize and validate potential therapeutic targets. In addition, Ibis, a division of Isis that focuses on identification of key regulatory structures in RNA, will contribute its understanding of key regulators and its novel RNA-focused bioinformatics tools. Isis? technologies will play a key role in CSI?s multidisciplinary effort to dissect key molecular and cellular control systems that regulate the immune system. These contributions will add to data generated by other CSI members to create a robust source of information. This information will play an important role in Isis? genomics-based antisense drug discovery by identifying key genes involved in cellular processes associated with disease. This information will also be a highly valuable part of Isis? gene functionalization by adding even more data to Isis? pathwa!
y analysis database to understand and exploit the role of particular genes in human disease.
CSI is a unique research environment where diverse academic and industrial scientists and engineers collaborate by applying their individual technologies and expertise to obtain fundamental scientific knowledge advancing their respective business and academic scientific objectives. Prior to the establishment of CSI, scientists from Isis and UW jointly developed the fundamental computational infrastructure required to integrate and interpret diverse data and knowledge. In February, CSI announced that Immunex has also joined CSI, contributing substantial funding and scientific expertise to the program.
“Isis is pleased to be participating in the formation of this novel initiative provided by CSI,” said Dr. Stan Crooke, chairman and CEO of Isis Pharmaceuticals. “We are confident that the technologies that we bring will integrate effectively with the great foundation of publicly available information created by CSI, ensure the success of this pioneering research program, and will further demonstrate the key role that antisense and RNA-focused bioinformatics have in the genomic revolution. We anticipate that this work will yield fundamental insights that will facilitate our RNA-focused drug discovery efforts and yield novel drugs for important human diseases.”
This is a three-year agreement in which Isis will actively participate and contribute funding and technologies in functional genomics and bioinformatics.
“The collaboration with Isis is a cornerstone in CSI?s fundamental approach to understanding the dynamics and regulation of gene expression,” said Dr. Bob Franza,
project director of CSI and and a research professor in the School of Medicine’s <A HREF="http://www.mbt.washington.edu/