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Wilcox & Aceto acts as Intellectual Property Counsel for Cellatope Corporation in Complex Asset Acquisition by Cypress Bioscience, Inc.
Business Wire Press Release:
02.26.09, 09:00 AM EST
Cellatope Corporation Completes Sale of Assets
Cellatope Corporation (formerly StageMark, Inc.), a cell analysis company developing innovative research and diagnostic products and services for autoimmune diseases, announced today that it had completed the sale of certain rights and intellectual property to its technology platform based on cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAPs) to Cypress Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYPB). Cellatope has been developing the technology principally for the diagnosis and monitoring of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or "Lupus"). The technology may have applications in other fields of medicine in addition to Lupus, such as diagnosis and monitoring of other autoimmune conditions and monitoring of rejection in patients undergoing organ transplantation.
In connection with the asset purchase, Cypress has assumed the license held by Cellatope from the University of Pittsburgh and received intellectual property and certain other intangible assets owned by Cellatope, including CB-CAPs assay formats and protocols that were being developed by the Company for commercial use. Cypress plans to complete the development program and add important Lupus personalized medicine services to its Avise(SM) product line, which includes tests for diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring or the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
In March 2007 Cellatope completed a Series B Convertible Preferred Stock "restart" financing totaling approximately $1.6 million in cash and debt conversion. The financing was led by BioAdvance Ventures, a venture capital fund managed by Quaker BioVentures, and the University City Science Center. BlueTree Capital Partners, Meyer Ventures Investments LLC and Innovation Works, Inc. also participated significantly in the offering.
Commenting on the transaction, Dr. Geeta Vemuri, a Cellatope director and partner at Quaker BioVentures, said: "The Board wishes to recognize the collaboration and many contributions of Drs. Joseph Ahearn and Susan Manzi, Co-Directors of the Lupus Center of Excellence of the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Women's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), who are the principal inventors of the technology. We applaud their dedication, creativity, and scientific excellence in the pursuit of innovative new tools for the diagnosis and monitoring of Lupus."
Edward L. Erickson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, of Cellatope, added: "I am very pleased that in less than two years from our restart round of financing we were able to add significant value to this important technology platform and obtain an exit for stockholders in extremely untidy economic conditions. Our board, major shareholders and the University of Pittsburgh have been extremely supportive throughout the Company's history. Recognition is also due Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Corporate Counsel, and Wilcox & Aceto, Intellectual Property Counsel, for their advice and assistance in what proved to be a lengthy and complex deal."
About CB-CAP Technology
CB-CAP technology was developed by Joseph Ahearn, MD, and Susan Manzi, MD, MPH, at the Lupus Center of Excellence (LUCE) at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, to evaluate cell bound fragments of activated complement proteins and their potential utility for improved diagnosis and monitoring of Lupus patients. The LUCE is the premier multidisciplinary center for patients with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Founded in 2001, the Lupus Center now supports patients from 27 states and 10 countries. For more information: www.lupuscenter.org.
Cellatope" and "CB-CAP" are trademarks of Cypress Bioscience, Inc., all rights reserved.