ChemGenex discovers five new depression genes

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ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals has announced that it has filed for patent protection for a further five novel depression-associated gene targets discovered by its depression and anxiety research group.

The discovery follows the recent signing of a major partnership with the leading UK biopharmaceutical company Vernalis plc, a deal worth A$2 million in the first year pending milestones.

ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals researchers based at Deakin University in Geelong have identified five genes that are differentially expressed over a period of 8 days as the company’s unique animal model undergoes behavioural changes after separation from littermates. The discoveries take to ten the number of genes that ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals has protected in the field of CNS diseases.

Greg Collier PhD, ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive Officer says the new discoveries reinforce the strength of the company’s depression and anxiety gene discovery program. “This is a timely discovery, coming so soon after we have signed a major partnership deal with a strong international player in the field of CNS disorders. The discoveries include some genes that have never before been reported and a known receptor that has previously not been associated with depression. With the global anti-depressant market worth more than A$24 billion, there is a strong push for novel leads and new therapeutic approaches. We are confident that our novel animal model, linked with outstanding validation technologies and robust human genetics analysis will provide a suite of very attractive leads to Vernalis.”

ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals is a genomics-driven pharmaceutical development company dedicated to improving the lives of patients by developing therapeutics in the areas of oncology, diabetes, obesity, and depression.

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