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Fox Chase Cancer Center Joins Dharmacon And International Research Institutes As Newest Member Of The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative

-Global Initiative Is Accelerating Biomedical Discovery Using Genome-Wide siRNA Screening-

Office of Business Development

LAFAYETTE, Colo. and PHILADELPHIA, April 4, 2006 - The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative, an alliance of Dharmacon, Inc. and leading international research centers pioneering the use of whole genome RNAi screening, today announced that Fox Chase Cancer Center of Philadelphia has joined the RNAi Global Initiative. The members of the Genome-wide RNAi Global Initiative are collaborating to advance the productivity of genome-wide RNAi screening - a fundamental breakthrough in discovery biology.

"The addition of leading scientists from Fox Chase Cancer Center adds to the capabilities of the Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative in translational medicine and cellular research and will further strengthen the efforts of our members to apply genome-wide screening to the development of diagnostics and treatments for cancer," said William S. Marshall, PhD, vice president of technology and business development for Fisher Biosciences. "The first human genome-wide siRNA library (developed by Dharmacon) represents unprecedented capabilities for genomic research, and the leading international laboratories that have joined the Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative are working together to optimize the utility of this new capability and develop research standards."

Researchers using Dharmacon siRNA libraries have the ability to silence or turn off specific groups of genes to test their function and the role they play in disease. Genome-wide siRNA libraries have the potential to fundamentally change biological research by dramatically increasing the speed with which scientists can identify disease mechanisms and potential drug targets. This in turn facilitates faster drug discovery and development. The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative provides a forum for member institutions to share research protocols, establish experimental standards and develop mechanisms for exchanging and comparing screening data.

"Translational research is already affecting all phases of drug development, and we believe the novel capabilities provided by genome-wide siRNA libraries will help advance our translational research further and faster," said Louis Weiner, MD, chairman, Medical Oncology and vice president, Translational Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "We are pleased to be among the pioneers working together with other major cancer researchers to utilize these new genome-wide research capabilities."

Added Tim J Yen, PhD , senior member, Basic Science Division at Fox Chase Cancer Center, "Understanding the mechanical and regulatory mechanisms that allow cells to duplicate and separate their genomes is fundamentally important for improving cancer treatment. We are eager to apply genome-wide screening to identify, learn and target the complex genetic interactions in human cancer cells to improve patient care.

The founding members of the Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative encompass a broad spectrum of biomedical research interests and geographic locations. Membership is open to not-for-profit biomedical research institutions across North America, Europe and Asia. More information about the Global Initiative is available at www.rnaiglobal.org.

About the Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative

The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative is an alliance of leading international biomedical researchers, established to increase and accelerate the utility of human genome-wide siRNA libraries. These libraries have the potential to fundamentally change biological research by dramatically increasing scientists' ability to understand disease mechanisms and facilitating faster new drug discovery and development. The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative is providing a forum for member institutions to share research protocols, establish experimental standards and develop mechanisms for exchanging and comparing screening data. Membership is open to not-for-profit biomedical research institutions across North America, Europe and Asia. The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative is being coordinated under the auspices of Dharmacon, Inc.

Members include The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital and Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, both with The University of Toronto; Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funded scientists at the London Research Institute and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR); The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ); UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI); The Scottish Centre for Genomic Technology and Informatics based at the University of Edinburgh Medical School (GTI); University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Yale University; The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Cambridge scientists at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and MRC Cancer Cell Unit and the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

About Dharmacon

Dharmacon is a business unit within the Fisher Biosciences group, and the global leader of reliable, high quality RNA oligonucleotides, small interfering RNA (siRNA) and related RNA-interference (RNAi) products and technologies. The Dharmacon brand is backed by core expertise in chemistry, biology, bioinformatics and production. Dharmacon has pioneered a custom siRNA design service that employs its proprietary technologies for maximizing the efficiency of gene silencing, a powerful and widely used new technology based on siRNA.

Dharmacon's siGENOME™, a comprehensive and flexible siRNA collection, offers guaranteed silencing reagents for all unique human, mouse and rat genes. The company's advanced siRNA modification technologies further enhance silencing specificity, stability, and in vivo performance. For more information about Dharmacon products and services visit www.dharmacon.com or call 303-604-9499.

About Fisher Biosciences

Fisher Biosciences, a unit of Fisher Scientific International Inc. (NYSE: FSH), manufactures and supplies a wide range of products and services across the general-chemistry and life-sciences arenas. From fine and high-purity chemicals, clinical diagnostics, proprietary protein-research and cell-culture products, and sterile-liquid-handling systems, to innovative RNA-interference technology and high content screening, Fisher Biosciences serves scientific-research, healthcare, drug-discovery, and general industrial customers around the world.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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