Biofilm BUSINESS question - Quorum Sciences Inc.

Rook, Tony Tony_Rook at steris.com
Fri Jun 22 07:16:56 EST 2001


To: Dr. S. Shapiro
cc: Biofilms newsgroup members
Please find several articles about Quorum Sciences Inc. Hope this helps you=
=20
to differentiate this company from Quorex Pharmaceuticals. They are=20
definitely two seperate companies.
Best regards,
Tony A. Rook
Scientist
STERIS Corporation
5960 Heisley Road
Mentor, OH 44060 USA
tony_rook at steris.com
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #1
CONTACT: GEORGE MCCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: george-mccrory at uiowa.edu <mailto:george-mccrory at uiowa.edu>
CONTACT: DOUG FARRELL
Senior Director, Investor Relations &
Corporate Communications
Aurora Biosciences Corporation
11010 Torreyana Road
San Diega, Calif., 92121
(858) 404-6767
FAX: (858) 404-6714
ir at aurorabio.com <mailto:ir at aurorabio.com>
Website: <http://www.aurorabio.com%20>
Release: Oct. 20, 2000
TIC Tenant 'Quorum Sciences' To Be Acquired By Aurora Biosciences
CORALVILLE, Iowa =97 UI Technology Innovation Center (TIC) tenant Quorum=20
Sciences Inc. will be acquired by Aurora Biosciences Corporation of San=20
Diego, Calif., enabling Quorum to further expand its business and research=
=20
prospects while remaining in Iowa.
The merger announced today with the San Diego-based Aurora will allow=20
Quorum to allocate more resources for additional scientific and managerial=
=20
staff and expansion on the UI's Oakdale Research Park (see announcement at=
=20
<http://www.aurorabio.com/newsroom/press/>)
Quorum, a biotech "spin-off" at the TIC, was established in April 1998=20
based on research in the laboratory of E. Peter Greenberg, Ph.D., Virgil L.=
=20
and Evalyn Shepperd, endowed professor of molecular pathogenesis and=20
professor of microbiology in the UI College of Medicine.
"We believe that Aurora is the best choice for us," said Greenberg, who is=
=20
also chief scientific officer of Quorum Sciences. In evaluating the merger=
=20
decision, Greenberg was impressed with Aurora's world-class drug-screening=
=20
technology. "This technology is so respected that they license it to many=20
of the biggest drug companies. Quorum will now have access to that=20
technology to use in conjunction with our biofilm and bacterial signaling=20
research. I am really excited about the potential of this merger."
After the merger, Greenberg will remain as a UI professor. "To keep a small=
=20
biotech company like Quorum functioning, I was asked to wear many hats, not=
=20
just that of a scientist. I feel that this merger with Aurora will provide=
=20
Quorum Sciences with technology and infrastructure. I am best suited to be=
=20
a college professor, and this will allow technology development without=20
putting other demands on me," he added.
Greenberg pointed out that "Aurora intends to leave the Quorum operation=20
here in Iowa for the foreseeable future. This will mean new jobs and=20
technology for Iowa. In fact, we are already looking to hire scientists and=
=20
it is likely we will also hire managers and continue to expand."
The company was built on the research discoveries in Greenberg's lab and in=
=20
the labs of collaborators around the country. The plan is to ultimately=20
turn those discoveries into commercial products. In particular, Quorum=20
Sciences has been using knowledge of bacterial cell signaling pathways as a=
=20
basis for the development of a new class of antibacterial therapeutics and=
=20
industrial products.
Recently, Greenberg has been working to develop novel anti-microbial=20
compounds to treat infections caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas=20
aeruginosa which cause lung damage in patients with cystic fibrosis and=20
cause serious infections in other susceptible people.
Greenberg received a B.A. degree from Western Washington University, an=20
M.S. from the UI, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. He=20
joined the UI faculty in 1988. He co-founded Quorum with Stephen Turner of=
=20
Gaithersburg, M.D., a long-time biotechnology entrepreneur.
The merger also means new growth at the Oakdale Research Park, according to=
=20
Bruce Wheaton, executive director of the Oakdale Research Park and the UI=20
Research Foundation. "We are delighted at the prospect of growth at Oakdale=
=20
as a result of Aurora Biosciences' acquisition of Quorum Sciences. We will=
=20
do our utmost to encourage that expansion," he said.
Quorum Sciences has licensed intellectual property from the University of=20
Iowa Research Foundation, Rochester University, Ithaca College and Montana=
=20
State University.
Quorum currently occupies laboratories and office space in the UI=20
Multi-Tenant Facility at the Oakdale Research Park under a lease agreement=
=20
with the TIC made possible by the UI College of Medicine.
Since it was founded in 1984, the TIC has accepted approximately 55 new=20
technology-based business ventures. There are presently 13 incubator=20
tenants, while 16 companies have successfully met their business objectives=
=20
and "graduated" from TIC. A dozen other companies remain in business after=
=20
leaving TIC.
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #2
Quorum Sciences, Inc.

100 Oakdale Campus
#B164 MTF
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-5000
Phone: (319) 626-8938 - Fax: (319) 335-4347
Overview
Quorum Sciences, Inc., (QSI) has been established with leading researchers=
=20
in bacterial cell signaling to commercialize recent significant advances in=
=20
the field. The Company has exclusively licensed key technology that defines=
=20
specific biochemical signaling pathways between bacterial cells.
Quorum's mission is to lead in the discovery and application of bacterial=20
signaling pathway technology, the chemical language of bacteria, for use in=
=20
the development of novel anti-infective therapeutic and industrial=20
products. The Company believes that its leadership position in the=20
technology of how individual bacterial cells form into biofilms, both in=20
vivo (e.g. in lungs in cystic fibrosis) and in industrial processes=20
(biofouling) will provide a revolutionary basis for developing the next=20
generation of anti-infective technology.
Background
Over the past several years, there has been an increasing appreciation=20
among microbiologists, that bacteria can perceive and respond to other=20
bacteria. Bacteria monitor their own abundance in a local environment=20
(Quorum Sensing).
In Gram-negative bacteria, the signal components in quorum sensing are=20
autoinducers, acylhomoserine lactones (AHSLs). These highly=20
membrane-permeable compounds diffuse out of and into the cells and=20
accumulate in localized environments, as the growing population of bacteria=
=20
increases. At a threshhold concentration, the autoinducers trigger gene=20
transcription in the localized population of bacteria, coordinately=20
activating biochemical pathways and physiological functions appropriate for=
=20
survival and growth of the bacteria in that environment.
Since 1993, autoinduction mechanisms have been identified in well over 30=20
Gram-negative bacterial species many of which are of medical and industrial=
=20
importance. Of major clinical importance, e.g., is the AHSL signaling=20
pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen of humans=20
which colonizes lung tissues of immunocompromised individuals and those=20
with cystic fibrosis, and infects tissues at wound and burn sites.
Other areas of commercial interest in the inhibition of signaling pathways=
=20
include the following:
=B7       Medical devices (biofilms on catheters, implants)
=B7       Agriculture (plant disease, plant symbiosis)
=B7       Environment (biofouling)
=B7       Food processing (biofilms)
=B7       Industrial water treatment (biofilms)
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #3
Quorum Sciences Receives CFF Grant To Advance Novel Approach For The=20
Treatment And Prevention Of Cystic Fibrosis

Contact: Steve Turner, CEO
Ute M=FCh, Ph.D., Laboratory Director
Phone (301) 662-6959
Fax (301) 662-3206
www.quorumsciences.com <http://www.quorumsciences.com>

Frederick, Md., April 27, 2000. Quorum Sciences, Inc. announced today that=
=20
the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Bethesda, Md.) has awarded nearly $1=20
million to the company to fund the development of a new antibacterial=20
treatment for the leading cause of chronic lung infections in patients with=
=20
cystic fibrosis (CF).

"Quorum Sciences is clearly a pioneer in the field of bacterial=20
cell-to-cell signaling," said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D, president and CEO of=20
the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "By identifying drugs that interrupt the=20
ability of the pseudomonas bacteria to function properly, individuals with=
=20
cystic fibrosis may look forward to the exciting possibility of strategies=
=20
that defeat the most common source of cystic fibrosis lung infections."

"Quorum Science's approach of inhibiting bacterial signaling provides a new=
=20
line of attack against Pseudomas aeruginosa (PA), the most prevalent=20
pathogen in cystic fibrosis lung infections. Inhibition of bacterial=20
signaling should render PA more susceptible to treatment, either directly=20
through the host immune response or in combination with traditional=20
antibacterial agents," stated Stephen Turner, CEO of Quorum Sciences. "We=20
will utilize this grant to optimize novel antibacterial drug candidates to=
=20
not only treat but prevent infections that have become resistant to current=
=20
therapies."

More than 30,000 children and young adults in the United States battle=20
cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that primarily affects the lungs. The=
=20
annual treatment cost of cystic fibrosis patients in this country exceeds=20
$1 billion. By their mid-20's, more than 80 percent of people with cystic=20
fibrosis have PA in their lungs. Although traditional antibiotic therapy is=
=20
beneficial, it does not adequately control PA infections. The median=20
survival age for people with CF is 32 years, with PA infections being the=20
leading cause of death. PA forms a biofilm (bacterial surface growth) in=20
the lungs that is resistant to current antibiotic treatment. Formation of=20
biofilms is controlled by bacterial signaling. Quorum Sciences has=20
identified novel antibacterial drug candidates that inhibit bacterial=20
signaling, and plans to optimize these compounds to allow the treatment of=
=20
persistent bacterial infections such as those in cystic fibrosis lungs.

Quorum Sciences, Inc. was founded in 1998, and is a leader in the=20
development of new antibacterial technology that is based upon the=20
disruption of chemical signaling that occurs between bacterial cells.=20
Quorum Sciences is developing novel antibacterial agents that interrupt=20
this bacterial cell-to-cell signaling ("quorum sensing"), thereby blocking=
=20
their expression of pathogenic factors, and their formation into biofilm.

The CF Foundation grant to Quorum totals $970,000. Under terms of the=20
funding, upon approval by the Food and Drug Administration, Quorum=20
reimburses the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for its grant support, and pays a=
=20
royalty of 2 percent on sales of the therapeutic product. This grant was=20
awarded through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Therapeutics Development=20
Program that was created to facilitate and expedite the pipeline of new=20
cystic fibrosis drugs. The program offers grants to leading biotech and=20
pharmaceutical companies to support drug discovery, as well as both=20
preclinical and early stage clinical research. For more information on=20
cystic fibrosis, call (800) FIGHT CF or visit our Web site at:
www.cff.org <http://www.cff.org >
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #4
AURORA BIOSCIENCES ACQUIRES QUORUM SCIENCES - EXPANDS DISCOVERY=20
CAPABILITIES TO INCLUDE ANTIMICROBIALS
SAN DIEGO (October 20, 2000) -- Aurora Biosciences Corporation (Nasdaq:=20
ABSC) and Quorum Sciences, Inc. today announced that Aurora has acquired=20
Quorum Sciences for 81,287 shares of Aurora common stock. The merger will=20
be accounted for using the pooling-of-interests method.

Quorum Sciences is a leader in understanding the basis for microorganism=20
defenses and infection, such as the rapidly emerging area of biofilms.=20
Quorum Sciences has significant expertise in the discovery of novel targets=
=20
from bacteria and the ability to identify lead compounds that inhibit=20
chemical signaling pathways between microorganisms for therapeutic and=20
industrial applications. Quorum has ongoing research agreements with the=20
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a well-known commercial entity.

"The acquisition of Quorum Sciences and its proprietary technologies=20
positions Aurora as a leader in the important area of biofilm inhibitors=20
and antimicrobial target identification," said Stuart J. M. Collinson,=20
Ph.D., Aurora's chairman, chief executive officer and president. "Our=20
expansion into this emerging area is particularly exciting in light of our=
=20
own drug discovery efforts with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation focused on=20
respiratory diseases. We believe this acquisition fits nicely with our=20
overall strategy of expanding our discovery capabilities while focusing on=
=20
technologies that already have a proven scientific, and more importantly,=20
commercialization record."

"The combination of Aurora and Quorum Sciences represents a unique=20
opportunity to make a significant impact in the area of antimicrobial=20
therapeutics," said E. Peter Greenberg, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of=
=20
Quorum Sciences and a professor at the University of Iowa. Dr. Greenberg is=
=20
a recognized expert in biofilms. He continues, "Combining Quorum Science's=
=20
expertise in biofilms with Aurora's discovery capabilities, ranging from=20
assay and screening technologies to its 500,000 compound library, will=20
create an unique process for identifying novel targets, and screening and=20
discovering antimicrobials. This is great news for pharmaceutical companies=
=20
wishing to fill their pipelines with antimicrobial therapeutics." Following=
=20
the merger, Dr. Greenberg will be an exclusive consultant for Aurora.

Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Cystic=
=20
Fibrosis Foundation, commented, "Aurora's acquisition of Quorum Sciences,=20
coming within six months of our major cystic fibrosis alliance with Aurora,=
=20
demonstrates Aurora's ability to rapidly integrate new, innovative=20
technologies into their discovery alliance model in order to attack a=20
disease area from different target and therapeutic angles. Ultimately,=20
their multi-pronged approach will increase the probability of success in=20
expanding therapeutic pipelines for significant diseases, such as cystic=20
fibrosis, regardless of the specific types of targets involved."

Quorum Sciences is a leader in assay development for quorum sensing and=20
biofilms in microorganisms. Quorum sensing is the ability of microorganisms=
=20
to organize in the presence of signals secreted by such microorganisms. A=20
biofilm is a protective coating formed by organized microorganisms to=20
shield themselves from antibiotics and the host's natural defenses.=20
Biofilms are commonly found in infections, particularly in cystic fibrosis,=
=20
and infections associated with medical devices, such as catheters.

Aurora designs, develops and commercializes advanced drug discovery=20
technologies, services and systems to accelerate the discovery of new=20
medicines. Aurora's core technologies include a broad portfolio of=20
proprietary fluorescence assay technologies, including its GeneBLAzer=99 and=
=20
VIPR=99 technologies, its functional genomics GenomeScreen=99 program, its=
=20
automated master compound store, the AMCS, and its ultra-high throughput=20
screening system (UHTSS=99 Platform) and subsystems to miniaturize and=20
automate drug screening and profiling assays derived from those=20
technologies. Aurora's technologies have been commercially validated by=20
over 15 major life sciences companies and research organizations, including=
=20
American Home Products, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Cystic Fibrosis=20
Foundation, Eli Lilly & Co., Families of SMA, Glaxo Wellcome, Genentech,=20
Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc., NV Organon Laboratories,=20
Pfizer, Inc., and Warner-Lambert Company, in the form of commercialization=
=20
agreements for discovery services, licenses or systems. For additional=20
information on Aurora's services and products, please contact Sales and=20
Marketing via email at marcom at aurorabio.com.

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are=20
"forward-looking" statements which involve a high degree of technological=20
and competitive risks and uncertainties that exist in Aurora's operations=20
and business environment. Such statements are only predictions and Aurora's=
=20
actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in such=
=20
forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to=20
differences include risks associated with Aurora's new and uncertain=20
technology, dependence on pharmaceutical and biotechnology collaborations,=
=20
and the development or availability of competing systems. These factors and=
=20
others are more fully described in Aurora's Annual Report on Form 10-K/A=20
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1999, and subsequent Form 10-Qs, as=
=20
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Aurora assumes no=20
obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For additional=20
corporate information, visit the Aurora website at http://www.aurorabio.com.

GeneBLAzer=99, GenomeScreen=99, UHTSS=99 and VIPR=99 are trademarks of=
 Aurora=20
Biosciences Corporation.
Contact:
Aurora Biosciences Corporation
Doug Farrell, Senior Director, Investor Relations and Corporate=
 Communications
Telephone: (858) 404-6767
Fax: (858) 404-6714
Email: ir at aurorabio.com






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