The Company operates a fully-owned subsidiary in Sweden, BioStratum AB.
This affiliate collaborates with the Division of Matrix Biology at the
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, i.e. the laboratory of Dr. Karl
cofounder of BioStratum. BioStratum AB functions as
the Company's primary research/drug discovery pipeline operation outside
the US. Dr. Tryggvason's laboratory is currently staffed with approximately
40 scientists and technicians, and is funded by research grants from Denmark,
Sweden, Finland, the European Union, and the National Institute of Health in the US, as well as research funding
from BioStratum Incorporated.
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The breadth of research ongoing in Dr. Tryggvason's laboratory is truly
staggering. This laboratory has identified the mutated genes responsible
for five genetic diseases, and is currently searching for the gene(s)
that predisposes a diabetic patient to develop kidney disease. The most
recent finding is the discovery of the mutated gene that causes congenital
nephrotic syndrome, named the nephrin gene, which has led to a significant
breakthrough in understanding how the kidney filters blood.
Recently, the laboratory crystallized MMP-2, which is
an important enzyme involved in the spread of cancer,
and scientists are currently using this solved structure
to develop improved anti-cancer drug candidates.
Recent scientific advances that have emerged from
Dr. Tryggvason's laboratory include:
discovery of nephrin, a key component of the kidney's ultrafiltration
barrier, and potentially a new molecular target for kidney disease;
The solved x-ray structures of MMP-2 and its inhibitor TIMP-2, key molecular
targets for a number of anti-cancer drug candidates currently in clinical
development, providing for the rational drug design
of improved MMP inhibitors specific for MMP-2;
A proprietary glomerular gene transfer technology
for the treatment of kidney diseases using
The identification of the laminin g2
chain of laminin-5 as a marker for establishing the metastatic potential
of tumor biopsies (discussed above); and
discovery of MARCO, a protein that participates
in the body's immune defense system by removing bacterial material from the blood.