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Generex Biotechnology and Amarantus BioSciences Announce Oral-lyn-Focused Collaboration Program

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Generex Biotechnology, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company developing oral drug delivery technologies and Amarantus BioSciences, Inc., a California-based biotechnology company developing first-in-class proteins, today announced that the companies have selected the development of a MANF-based biomarker test to diagnose diabetic patients likely to respond to Oral-lyn treatment as the lead program for their joint research collaboration announced on May 31, 2011. This effort will be advanced through Amarantus’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Amarantus MA. Additionally, Amarantus also announced the change of its ticker symbol from “JKIK” to “AMBS,” which became effective at the open of the market today.

“The development of a diagnostic test for beta-cell stress in diabetes would represent a major step forward in the treatment of this debilitating disease,” said Generex Scientific Advisor Dr. James Anderson. “If successful, Generex will greatly benefit from the in-licensing of such a diagnostic test, as it will provide a compelling therapeutic-diagnostic combination product in the pre-diabetes field targeting a population estimated at over 70 million patients.”

Concurrently with this announcement, Amarantus announced that it has executed an Exclusive Option Agreement with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (“UMMS”) to license intellectual property recently developed at UMMS to advance Amarantus’ diabetes diagnostic development and commercialization program using Amarantus’ lead protein MANF as a biomarker for beta cell stress.

“The commercial potential for MANF as a diagnostic test that could identify patients who would most greatly benefit from Oral-lyn represents a significant market opportunity,” said Gerald Commissiong, Amarantus’ co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. “Unlike therapeutics, diagnostics can be commercialized in a relatively short period of time. This collaboration significantly improves Amarantus’ development pipeline, targeting a key medical need in a multi-billion dollar market with no commercial-stage competition.”

“The joint efforts of many players, starting from the discovery of a new use of MANF at UMass Medical School for diabetes, and the synergies of two highly committed organizations, has allowed us to generate a unique opportunity to launch a commercial development program for MANF as a biomarker of cellular stress and stressed beta cells in diabetes,” said Dr. Fumihiko Urano, associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who identified MANF’s role in this area.

Source: Generex Biotechnology