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BioServe Selected for Study on Thoracic Aortic Disease

BioServe Selected by Specialized Clinical Center of Research for Study on Thoracic Aortic Disease

June 18, 2007

Novel genetic study to identify genes predictive of the development and progression of thoracic aortic disease

Laurel, MD, June 18, 2007 – BioServe today announced that it has been selected by Houston-based Specialized Clinical Center of Research (SCCOR) for a novel study aimed at identifying the genetic cause of thoracic aortic disease. The SCCOR is a collaborative program by University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas Medical Branch. Under terms of the agreement, BioServe will provide the SCCOR researchers with access to certain unique sample sets from its Global Repository of over 600,000 human DNA, tissue and serum samples linked to detailed clinical and demographic data to assist in identifying genes that are predictive of the development and progression of thoracic aortic diseases. Thoracic aortic disease is the 15th leading cause of death in the United States, with aortic dissections being the 13th leading cause of death in people between the ages of 55 and 64.

“Through this landmark study we hope to define DNA sequence variants in a few target genes and their interacting environmental risk factors that are responsible for a significant proportion of the thoracic aortic diseases. By identifying the underlying and specific genetic causes of thoracic aortic disease we will provide doctors with the ability to predict which patients are at higher risk of aortic rupture, and treat them earlier,” said Xin Li Wang, a professor and director in the cardiothoracic research laboratory in the division of cardiothoracic surgery of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Wang added, “BioServe is an ideal partner for this important study. They provide us with a comprehensive Biobank linked to extensive clinical and demographic data against which to run our diseased case samples and a team highly experienced in running large scale genetic studies. This unique combination of capabilities will enable us to accelerate our research to find genetic markers predictive of the disease.”

Kevin Krenitsky, Chief Executive Officer of BioServe, said, “We are excited to partner with the Houston SCCOR on this significant genetic study of thoracic aortic disease. Our work with the Houston SCCOR will contribute to the genetic understanding of a debilitating disease, and provide the foundation for improved risk assessment and early intervention, taking us a step closer to a personalized medicine regimen.”

The study is underwritten by a 5-year inter-institutional grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and is being carried out at Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research in Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections in the Texas Medical Center. The center is directed by Dr. Dianna Milewicz from University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSCH), and co-directed by Dr. Joseph Coselli from Texas Heart Institute, Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Hazim Safi from UTHSCH. Other participating institutions are The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).