FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 20, 2000
Floyd E. Bloom, M.D.
Founding Chief Executive Officer
NEUROME RAISES $9 MILLION IN PRIVATE
FINANCING ROUND, ANNOUNCES RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP WITH ELAN
LA JOLLA, CA – Neurome, Inc., a neuroscience company,
announced today that it has raised $9 million in initial financing
and, separately, established a commercial collaboration through
a research partnership with Elan Pharmaceuticals, a division
of Elan Corporation, plc ("Elan").
Investors in the $9 million financing include Digital Gene
Technologies (DGT), Elan, and a group of prominent private
biotech investors organized by the company. As part of the
initial round of financing, DGT is providing a $1 million
investment, together with in-kind services related to incubation
and administrative support of Neurome in the DGT facility
in La Jolla. Initial shareholders also include The Scripps
Research Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and company
founders Dr. Floyd E. Bloom, Dr. John H. Morrison and Dr.
Warren G. Young.
"The enthusiasm represented by this oversubscribed offering
together with the immediate commercial partnership established
with Elan, indicates strong support for the Neurome business
model and provides the potential for significant revenues
even while we are in an early phase of development,"
said Dr. Floyd E. Bloom, Neurome's chief executive officer.
"The application of Neurome's advanced informatics tools
to Elan's gold standard model system for brain pathology will
offer further validation of Neurome's pioneering approach
to brain research."
The research partnership with Elan has an initial term of
3 years and may generate up to $4 million in service revenue
for Neurome, together with shared ownership of the diagnostic
and therapeutic applications of the genes, circuits and mechanisms
identified in the research.
The partnership will utilize Neurome's technologies to analyze
a mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease with the goal of identifying
and exploiting molecules and pathways relevant to diagnosis
and treatment of the disease. The partnership will analyze
Elan's proprietary mouse model of amyloid deposition in an
attempt to answer a variety of scientific questions regarding
"Exploration of gene expression patterns in the mouse
brain as they relate to cellular specialization and circuit
characteristics is important to a better understanding of
molecular and cellular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease
and other neurodegenerative disorders," commented Ivan
Lieberburg, Ph.D., M.D., chief scientific & medical officer
of Elan. "The combination of Neurome's remarkably sophisticated
tools for integration and interpretation of biological data
together with our mouse model will allow us to accelerate
the research process and enable a valuable step in functional
characterization of the genes of the brain."
Neurome's founders, Dr. Floyd E. Bloom and Dr. Warren G.
Young, both of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla,
California, and Dr. John H. Morrison, of Mount Sinai School
of Medicine, New York City, New York, are leading computer-based
neuroscientists and pioneers in the modern applications of
Dr. Bloom recently retired as the editor-in-chief of Science
and is the chairman of the department of neuropharmacology
at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Morrison is the Johnson
Professor of Geriatrics and Adult Development at the Mount
Sinai School of Medicine, where he is also director of the
Kastor Neurobiology of Aging Laboratories and director of
the Fishberg Research Center for Neurobiology. He will serve
as Neurome's chief scientific officer. Dr. Young is the director
of neuropharmacology computing at The Scripps Research Institute
and the managing editor of Brain Research Interactive. He
will serve as Neurome's chief technology officer.
The founders have jointly developed the "Neurome Technologies"
which include: MiceSlice™ for standardized
preparation of brain section tissues, the foundation material
for development of standardized experimental protocols; NeuroZoom™
for precise, computer-aided extraction, analyses, and display
of quantitative data from microscope images of brain; BrainArchive™,
an electronic brain "atlas" for archiving, integration
and comparison of brain structure and circuitry data; and,
BrainPrint™ for automated comparison
of quantitative, spatial, and volumetric data from mice, whether
genetically-manipulated, wild-type, or control.
Neurome, Inc., develops standardized, quantitative databases
that accurately depict and integrate gene expression patterns
in the 3-dimensional context of the brain?s structures, circuits
and cells, and deploys these databases in primary research
directed toward the discovery and development of gene targets
for enhancement of brain function and treatment of brain-based
disease. Neurome performs contract brain research for pharmaceutical
and biotechnology companies while at the same time pursuing
its own in-house and collaborative research protocols. The
data collected from these efforts will populate an evolving,
comprehensive database available by subscription and useful
on a broad level for analyses of mouse models of brain function
and disease. In this regard, the application of the Neurome
Technologies will provide rigorous, quantitative data that
are optimally suited to the measurement of subtle cell-type
specific shifts in gene expression, as well as progression
and prevention of degenerative events affecting specific cell
classes and brain regions.
For more information, please visit the Neurome, Inc., Web
site at www.neurome.com or contact the Company at: Neurome,
Inc., 11149 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037-1031.
Telephone: (858) 677-0466; Fax: (858) 677-0458.