Buck Institute and Q Therapeutics Form Stem Cell Collaboration to Combat Parkinson's Disease

Novato, CA and Salt Lake City, UT April 14, 2008  The Buck Institute for Age Research and Q Therapeutics, Inc. announced today an agreement to collaborate on novel routes to combat Parkinson’s disease.

The Buck Institute and Q Therapeutics will use their expertise in differentiating stem cells to provide key cell types needed to study Parkinson’s disease. These neural-lineage cell lines will be used to further research aimed at the use of various stem and progenitor cells as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

“I am very enthusiastic about this agreement with Q Therapeutics; our research will benefit from this collaboration in many ways,” said Buck faculty member Xianmin Zeng, PhD, who runs both an Institute laboratory focusing on embryonic stem cell research and the Buck Institute’s CIRM Shared Resource Facility. “Differentiating stem cells is a very involved process. This agreement will help move Parkinson’s research forward in a faster, more efficient manner.”

"We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with the Buck Institute", stated Deborah Eppstein, PhD, President and CEO of Q.  "We look forward to furthering development of cell therapy products to treat Parkinson's Disease by leveraging the expertise of both the Buck Institute and Q Therapeutics."

About the Buck Institute:
The Buck Institute is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to extending the healthspan, the healthy years of each individual’s life.  The National Institute of Aging designated the Buck a Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Biology of Aging, one of just five centers in the country. Buck Institute scientists work in an innovative, interdisciplinary setting to understand the mechanisms of aging and to discover new ways of detecting, preventing and treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, cancer, stroke, and arthritis.  Collaborative research at the Institute is supported by genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics technology.

About Q Therapeutics
Q Therapeutics, Inc., is an emerging biopharmaceutical company, venture-backed and privately held, located in Salt Lake City, Utah.   The Company has exclusive rights to 16 patents arising out of work done by Mahendra Rao, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Utah and NIH, and is developing products to treat debilitating diseases of the central nervous system.  The Company’s first product, Q-Cells® , is a cell-based therapeutic intended to replace the insulating myelin on damaged neurons as well as provide trophic support, thereby restoring or preserving normal function of neurons.   Q-Cells® are applicable to a wide range of demyelinating diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), transverse myelitis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and white matter stroke; as well as other neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Parkinson’s Disease.  Clinical trials are anticipated to commence in 2009 in Transverse Myelitis, a rapidly paralyzing, inflammatory demyelinating spinal cord injury related to MS.  Q’s pipeline includes other cell products for treating diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease and peripheral neuropathies.

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