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Thursday, Jun 7, 2005

Najla Aftahi
(858) 677-0466

Neurome Receives Phase I SBIR Grant from the National Institutes of Health to Develop Technologies Aimed at Accelerating the Production of Digital Brain Atlases

Development of tools to display brain gene expression data from different technologies will enable qualitative and quantitative multidimensional display of gene expression profiles within the context of digital brain atlases for any mouse strain

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, June 7, 2005 -- Neurome, Inc. announced today that it has received a Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to develop and validate software which will accelerate the graphical delineation of brain regions on digital images used in the production of three-dimensional digital brain atlases. Additionally, the development of tools to import and display brain gene expression data from technologies such as Neurome’s open-system gene expression profiling technology, TOGA®, and DNA microarrays (gene chips) onto two- and three-dimensional brain atlas templates will provide visual displays of numerical data for a more powerful and comprehensive means of understanding this important information.

"Atlases are an invaluable resource necessary for understanding neuroanatomical variations of the impact of diverse manipulations by providing a standard for comparison,” said Dr. Floyd E. Bloom, M.D., Neurome’s Chairman, Founding Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Scientific Officer. “Using Neurome’s technologies, production of these atlases will take weeks rather than years and will yield a series of brain atlases that will support the necessary mouse inter-strain, comparative analyses critical for effective drug discovery research and development.”

Neurome’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Warren G. Young, Ph.D., commented, “By expanding the capabilities of digital atlases to extract and display gene expression data from a variety of experimental sources, including TOGA®, Neurome will provide a powerful and sophisticated neuroinformatics tool for more efficient and reproducible data analysis, of tremendous value to anyone working on the mouse brain.”

The completion of the mouse genome and the resultant ability to create genetically altered mice has made the mouse the most commonly used animal for brain research. However, limited knowledge of mouse brain connectivity, neurochemistry and physiology, along with existing variations among multiple mouse strains, has presented a clear need for more efficient and coordinated information on the mouse brain. Digital brain atlases can help fill this need by providing a comprehensive neuroanatomical resource while also offering access to a wealth of information that can increase the rate and accuracy of data analysis. Using its proprietary high-throughput technologies, Neurome has developed a high resolution, three-dimensional (3D) digital C57BL/6 mouse brain atlas annotated with all major nuclei, myelinated tracts, and ventricles that is both morphologically precise and accurate. The company plans to utilize its technologies to develop, enhance and create tools to accelerate the production of additional high resolution, 3D atlases for selected mouse strains important in global drug discovery research.

About Neurome

Neurome, Inc. is a discovery stage biotechnology company that seeks therapeutic solutions to human neurodegenerative diseases. The company focuses its efforts on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) – usually fatal neurodegenerative disorders that are currently untreatable and share characteristics which make them particularly amenable to Neurome's expertise and technologies. Neurome is also engaged in the research and development of novel delivery systems for targeted mucosal vaccines.

Since its founding in 2000, Neurome has developed and optimized proprietary technologies to reveal and quantify gene expression patterns and the resultant morphological details of brain structures in normal and pathological brains with an unprecedented level of sensitivity, specificity and resolution. Neurome’s unique technologies to measure and assess neurodegenerative processes at work – at the molecular, cellular and macroscopic levels – are ideally suited to identify the earliest evidence of pathology in models of human diseases of the Central Nervous System, as well as to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of pharmaceutical candidates for intervention. The company dedicates these technologies to discovery and development of drugs to provide effective treatments for diseases characterized by neurodegeneration. Detailed information on the Neurome technologies and the scientific and medical challenges of human neurodegenerative disorders are available at Neurome’s website: www.neurome.com.

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