Roche and Entelos announce collaboration in metabolic disease research

Basel 24 May 2006Roche and Entelos Inc. have signed a two-year collaboration in metabolic disease research. Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will provide R&D funding and milestone payments, and Entelos will conduct biosimulation research using its Metabolism PhysioLab platform, which utilizes a "virtual patient" approach to predict the effects of a drug on metabolic pathways and/or biomarkers. This approach will be useful to Roche in analysing existing preclinical and clinical data in order to optimize future clinical trials. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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"With the increase of diabetes and obesity on a global scale, Roche is dedicated to developing new therapies to treat chronic metabolic disorders", stated Jacques Mizrahi, global head of metabolic and vascular diseases at Roche. "As part of this commitment, we believe Entelos' biosimulation capabilities and disease knowledge will complement Roche's expertise in metabolic diseases and provide us with cutting edge technology that will enhance our drug discovery programmes."

"Entelos is extremely pleased to be expanding our collaboration with Roche, a world leader in the adoption and deployment of systems biology solutions", stated James Karis, president and CEO of Entelos. "With our capability to create virtual patients and simulate human biology, we believe that Entelos brings a deeper understanding of human biology to the R&D process."

The Entelos technology will be applied across several research programmes and is expected to contribute information along the discovery and development path: from compound optimization through to clinical trial design.

The Metabolism PhysioLab platform is a large-scale mathematical model of human physiology that supports research in the areas of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The platform includes the physiology and pathophysiology of metabolic disease, as well as the underlying cellular mechanisms. Processes that the model can simulate include the digestion, absorption, storage, mobilization, and oxidation of carbohydrate, fat, and protein, as well as the hormonal regulation of these processes.

In vivo responses to typical tests, e.g. glucose-insulin clamps, glucose tolerance tests, and mixed meal ingestion, are also included, as are physical activity and available therapies. Due to the heterogeneity of these diseases, over 150 virtual patients have been created that span the disease spectrum, from lean, insulin-resistant to severely obese, severely diabetic subtypes. The platform is capable of simulating human in vivo plasma levels for more than 20 metabolites and hormones.

Entelos has also worked with Roche Diagnostics in type 2 diabetes, and together the companies received the 2004 Bio-IT Best Practices award in recognition of their innovative use of life science and information technologies to accelerate the drug discovery and development process.

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., based in Nutley, New Jersey, is the United States pharmaceuticals headquarters of the Roche Group, a research-oriented health care group with core businesses in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. For more than 100 years, the Roche Group has been committed to developing innovative products and services that address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, thus enhancing people's health and quality of life.

Entelos Inc. is a United States-based life sciences company that applies engineering principles and mathematical modelling approaches to simulate human biology. The company helps its pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers increase the efficiency of the drug discovery, development, and commercialization process by accurately predicting human response to therapeutic intervention.

Entelos' teams of life scientists and engineers use its proprietary computer platforms, called PhysioLab systems, to create "virtual patients" and apply them to test research theories, translate preclinical data into meaningful human results, and optimize clinical trial designs in diseases such as asthma, obesity, type I and type II diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to co-development and internal research programmes, Entelos partners with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide. More Entelos news is available in the VMW February 2006 article Entelos announces United States patent for the development and use of virtual patients.


Leslie Versweyveld

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