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Entelos and MIT to Study Causes of Immune and Inflammatory Diseases

Team to Employ Computational and Systems Biology Methods

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/07-17-2003/0001984065&EDATE=

July 17, 2003
PRNewswire
SOURCE Entelos, Inc

Entelos, Inc., the leader in biological modeling, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), today announced a collaboration to better understand how and why communication signals in certain immune system cells break down, a situation that can cause numerous widespread immune and inflammatory diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

The cross-disciplinary scientific team will include Entelos immunologists and dynamics engineers, and the laboratories of Luk Van Parijs, Ivan R. Cottrell Career Development Assistant Professor in Immunology in MIT's Center for Cancer Research, and Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Uncas & Helen Whitaker Professor of Bioengineering and Co-Director of MIT's Biological Engineering Division. This team will create sophisticated mechanistic models of cells driving key responses within the human inflammatory and immune system. Scientific researchers will create these biological models by combining wet-lab experiments with computational methods derived from Entelos' systems biology approach to in silico biosimulation. This approach creates understanding of human biological functions by taking into account the intricate interactions between proteins, cells, tissues and organs.

The Entelos and MIT collaboration will study the key intracellular communication hubs of T lymphocytes to quantitatively map intracellular pathways that respond to different stimuli and then regulate response by these cells. Entelos will then integrate these cell signaling models within its Immunology PhysioLab (R) Platform, a series of interrelated models of immunology and inflammation. Entelos' Immunology PhysioLab Platform, which includes the Asthma PhysioLab and Rheumatoid Arthritis PhysioLab systems, is currently used to conduct in silico research in drug discovery and development.

"Unraveling the genetic and molecular basis of intracellular signaling controlling responses of T cells as they respond to stimuli in their environment is fundamental to understanding how these biological systems work in health and disease, " stated Van Parijs. "What is unique about this effort is that we will be using a systematic approach to understanding the in vivo context of these critical human biological systems, why signaling goes awry, and what it will take to close the gap on developing drugs for common immune diseases."

"By collaborating with Entelos scientists, we can leverage their industry experience and expertise in modeling biological systems," said Lauffenburger. "This collaboration will help us further understand T cell function in normal and inflammatory states and add focus and context to our own research efforts. We are looking forward to collaborating with Entelos on this project and believe our combined results will be significant."

Entelos' PhysioLab modeling technology has already modeled organ, tissue and cell-to-cell interaction for numerous major pharmaceutical clients. Entelos modeling technology recently predicted the outcome of two clinical trials.

"Given our successes with the PhysioLab technology, we felt it was time to extend our expertise in modeling intracellular communications with directed experimental approaches," said James Karis, President and CEO of Entelos. "Through this collaboration, we will expand upon our ability to demonstrate causative relationships and direct links between intracellular signaling and human clinical outcomes. We expect to identify new targets for immune and inflammatory disease through this collaboration. We are very pleased to be working with MIT to deliver this additional expertise to the drug research and development community."

Entelos, Inc.

Entelos, Inc. (http://www.entelos.com) is revolutionizing pharmaceutical R&D by conducting in silico drug discovery and development. Our breakthrough PhysioLab (R) systems biology platforms employ sophisticated mathematical models to integrate information from diverse scientific and clinical sources to represent the complex and dynamic relationships within human biological networks. By combining our scientific and therapeutic expertise in metabolism, immunology, and inflammation with our patented PhysioLab (R) systems we identify and validate targets; develop compound screening assays for lead identification and candidate selection; identify human biomarkers for patient screens, diagnostics and prognostics; and identify appropriate patient inclusion/exclusion criteria, dose and dose regimen for human clinical trials. We have PhysioLab (R) systems biology platforms in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and diabetes and are currently developing new platforms in cardiovascular, CNS and oncology.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.
 

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