More MS news articles for June 2001

Tularik Announces Immune Disorders Initiative; Collaboration with ChemoCentryx Yields Promising Drug Leads

http://finance.individual.com/display_news.asp?doc_id=BW20010611BW0566&page=news

Monday June 11  4:23pm
Source: BusinessWire

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--June 11, 2001-- Tularik Inc. (Nasdaq:TLRK) today announced promising results in a drug discovery and development initiative in the area of immune disorders. In collaboration with ChemoCentryx, a California-based company dedicated to chemokine drug discovery, Tularik is optimizing drug-like lead compounds with potential to treat a range of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), organ transplant rejection, psoriasis and asthma.

Chemokines are a family of proteins that play key roles in the regulation and trafficking of leukocytes (white blood cells), which are crucial to the body's immune response. Chemokines are essential for the recruitment of leukocytes in normal immune reactions and are also implicated in overactive immune system responses in "autoimmune" diseases such as RA and MS.

The drug candidates that have been identified in the Tularik-ChemoCentryx collaboration act by blocking receptor sites on the surface of white blood cells to which specific chemokines are known to bind. By selectively preventing these chemokines from binding, the candidate drugs are designed to reduce inappropriate immune responses that occur in several disease states.

"Chemokine biology is fascinating because it lies at the interface between normal immune function and immune-related disease," said Thomas J. Schall, Ph.D., CEO of ChemoCentryx and a pioneer in chemokine research. "Because of the diversity of the chemokine family -- over 40 have been identified in humans so far -- and the exquisite specificity of the relationship between chemokine secretion and leukocyte recruitment, we're able to very precisely target unwanted or inappropriate immune responses by blocking specific chemokine receptors."

"There are tremendous complementary strengths in this collaboration. ChemoCentryx's target validation and drug discovery engine, based on our deep understanding of the intricacies of the chemokine system, has generated a number of new targets, assays and chemical leads. In the collaboration, some of these leads have been optimized via Tularik's superb medicinal chemistry and development efforts. We're very pleased with the progress to date."

"The importance of chemokines as mediators of the autoimmune diseases is clear, and ChemoCentryx is a leader in chemokine biology," said David V. Goeddel, Ph.D., Tularik's chief executive officer. "The ChemoCentryx collaboration has given Tularik's immune disorders initiative an excellent boost and moves us closer to the nomination of an IND candidate for this program."

Blocking individual chemokine receptors is believed to be therapeutic for a number of disease states. In addition, a promising feature of the Tularik-ChemoCentryx approach is that, in animal testing to date, global suppression of the immune response has not been seen. This suggests a potential safety advantage of Tularik's lead compounds over some currently available therapies.

Tularik is engaged in the discovery and development of a broad range of novel and superior orally available drugs that act through the regulation of gene expression. Tularik programs address cancer, viral diseases, inflammation, immune disorders, lipid disorders, diabetes and obesity. Tularik has established strategic partnerships with Japan Tobacco Inc., Roche Bioscience and Knoll AG. For more information, visit Tularik's Internet website at www.tularik.com.

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements. For this purpose, any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," "intend," "promising," "potential," "hope" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause the results of Tularik to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, risks detailed from time to time in Tularik's SEC reports, including its Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2001.

Tularik is engaged in the discovery and development of a broad range of novel and superior orally available drugs that act through the regulation of gene expression. Tularik programs address cancer, viral diseases, inflammation, immune disorders, lipid disorders, diabetes and obesity. Tularik has established strategic partnerships with Japan Tobacco Inc., Roche Bioscience and Knoll AG. For more information, visit Tularik's Internet website at www.tularik.com.

Contact:

Tularik Inc.
Andrew J. Perlman, M.D., Ph.D. (Executive Vice President)
Corinne H. Lyle, 650/825-7000 (VP, CFO)
  or
Connections Corporation
Michael A. Whitehouse, 650/740-1786 (Media)
  or
Stern Investor Relations
Lilian Stern, 212/315-0145 (Investors)