Tuesday, February 12, 2008

DiaKine Lands Islet Cell Pioneer

Pioneer in Successful Islet Cell Transplants Named to DiaKine Therapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Board

DiaKine Therapeutics, Inc., a developer of drugs designed to treat diabetes and other immune-related diseases by modulating inflammation, today announced the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Lakey to its Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Lakey’s research career is centered on cell and tissue preservation and isolation, with a focus on insulin producing cells from the pancreas for patients with insulin dependent diabetes. His contributions and partnership with surgeon Dr. James Shapiro led towards the improvement of islet isolation techniques and the development of the "Edmonton Protocol" for patients with type 1 diabetes. The Edmonton Protocol is recognized as a major advancement in the treatment of diabetes and a significant step towards curing diabetes.

“I am very enthusiastic about working with Dr. Jerry Nadler and his team at DiaKine as they develop new and exciting treatments for diabetes,” said Dr. Lakey. “I believe that the demonstrated restorative properties of DiaKine’s drugs have the potential to dramatically alter the way diabetes is treated.”

“Dr. Lakey’s superior knowledge of islet cell preservation will serve well as we develop our islet cell protecting and rejuvenating drugs, and I look forward to his contribution to our success,” said Dr. Nadler, DiaKine’s Chief Scientific Officer.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Lakey to our Scientific Advisory Board, and believe that his unique understanding of insulin-producing cells and their preservation will be invaluable as we work to bring our therapies to market,” said Keith Ignotz, President, and CEO of DiaKine.

Dr. Lakey is widely published with over 250 referred papers and 22 book chapters and submitted over 450 scientific abstracts, and has recently published a book on islet isolation. Together with his team, Dr. Lakey has assisted and collaborated with more than 40 clinical islet transplant programs worldwide. Dr. Lakey graduated from the University of Alberta (BSc, MSc, PhD) and received post secondary training in Indianapolis and Seattle before returning to establish his research laboratory at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Lakey joins Dr. Alexander “Zan” Fleming, a well recognized authority in the metabolic and endocrine fields, Dr. Mark Atkinson, an internationally recognized authority on multiple aspects pertaining to type 1 diabetes, and Dr. Raghu Mirmira, a leading authority on beta cell development and function and the study of the regulation of insulin gene expression, on the DiaKine Scientific Advisory Board.

Drugs being developed by Diakine modulate cytokines, part of the body’s immune system, which sometimes mistakenly attack normal organs and tissue and cause diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Research by Dr. Nadler and his collaborators published in 2006 showed that controlling certain cytokines can arrest the progression of, or reverse, type 1 diabetes in an animal model.

About DiaKine --

DiaKine Therapeutics, Inc. is a development-stage company commercializing novel immune modulators initially targeting the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and related complications. These new drugs regulate cytokines, part of the body’s immune system, which mistakenly attack tissue and cause inflammation. The Company designed its first product, IsletLife-LSF Media 1, to improve the viability and insulin producing capabilities of harvested islet cells prior to transplant. IsletLife-LSF Media thus can potentially improve the success rate of the procedure. Additional therapeutics under development by DiaKine include: adjunct therapy to islet cell transplants, halting the progression of type 1 diabetes in newly diagnosed adults, treatment and prevention of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA), treatment and prevention of insulin requiring type 2 diabetic, treatment and prevention of diabetes complications. For more information, visit www.diakine.com.

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