Vita Genomics Collaborates with Hepatitis Research Center, National Taiwan University Hospital
Taipei, Taiwan December 24, 2001
Today, Vita Genomics, Inc., announced a collaboration with the Hepatitis Research Center, National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital. Both parties will work together on an innovative hepatitis C pharmacogenomic project to correlate variations in patients' DNA with their response to drug treatment.
Currently the major treatment for hepatitis C is a cocktail of interferon alfa-2b and an antiviral agent called ribavirin. The market for this therapy is about 10 billion dollars annually. However, this combination therapy is expensive, and patients who take it suffer serious adverse drug reactions.
Under the contract announced today, Vita Genomics will access the clinical resources in the Hepatitis Research Center, NTU Hospital and carry out experiments to determine the DNA sequence of hepatitis C patients. The results will be used to identify which individual nucleotides, called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, can predict a positive patient response. The results will be stored in a database to help physicians prescribe appropriate treatment for future hepatitis C patients. As a longer-term goal, the extensive information in the database will facilitate new drug development not only for hepatitis patients but also for various cancer patients as well.
The Hepatitis Research Center, NTU Hospital is directed by Ding-Shinn Chen, M.D. and Pei-Jer Chen M.D., Ph. D., both leading researchers with excellent reputation in hepatitis research.
About Vita Genomics
Vita Genomics, Inc. (VG), a business entity established by Taiwanese investors, plans to set up its operations initially in Taiwan. The company is organized and managed by a group of renowned American scientists and senior biotechnology /pharmaceutical executives of Chinese descent. VG's business objective is to become a premier genomics-based biotechnology and biopharmaceutical company focused on improving biological products and understanding diseases prevalent in the Asia Pacific region. VG intends to achieve its objective in the following manner: 1) establish a state-of-the-art gene and drug discovery infrastructure; 2) develop a proprietary set of databases relevant to Asian-specific genotypes; 3) conduct highly-focused research efforts in major diseases prevalent among the Asian population; and 4) leverage infrastructure to meet needs for large-scale genomic analysis and product adaptation and improvement for Asian-specificmarkets. News releases by Vita Genomics will be available on the company's web site at www.vitagenomics.com.
About National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "believe," "expect," and "should," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Vita Genomics's current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Vita Genomics notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties that may affect the operations, performance, development, and results of Vita Genomics' businesses include but are not limited to (1) operating losses to date; (2) a unique and expanding business plan; (3) uncertainty of revenue growth; (4) unproven use of genomics information to develop products; (5) intense competition in the evolving genomics industry; (6) dependence on customers in and subject to the risks of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; (7) lengthy sales cycle; (8) dependence on the unique expertise of its scientific and management staff; (9) dependence on computer hardware, software, and internet applications; (10) access to biological materials; (11) legal, ethical, and social issues affecting demand for products; (12) disruptions caused by rapid growth of the business; (13) government regulation of its products and services; (14) risks of future acquisitions; and (15) uncertainty of outcome of stockholder litigation.