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February 14, 2005

Roskamp Institute Receives Grant from National Institute of Health for Cancer Research Project

Bradenton, Florida - The Roskamp Institute is pleased to announce that its research scientists have received a major five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund continued research on angiogenesis, a cancer research project that resulted from the Institutes work on Alzheimer's disease.

Roskamp scientists, while doing Alzheimer's research in recent years, made a surprising discovery that may lead to significant advances in cancer treatment. Their work revealed the same protein known to cause Alzheimer's disease can also stop the growth of malignant brain, lung and melanoma cancers. That discovery, announced by Roskamp researchers in June 2004, has received funding from NIH to continue research. The continued work could result in new treatments for cancer.

The cancer-controlling factor in the Roskamp research is a naturally occurring protein called amyloid beta found in all humans. The discovery that the amyloid beta can stop or halt the growth of blood vessels in malignant tumors (thereby starving the tumors) was a surprising, but major result of the Alzheimer's research. These findings were the result of several years of research at the Roskamp Institute.

It is anticipated that this continued research, will help determine how effective the treatment of tumors with amyloid beta will be. Researchers are excited by the prospect, but also vigilant. They anticipate it will be many years before there will be human clinical trials. All research, to this point, has been with laboratory mice. And, though the focus for this grant's research will be cancer, it is still hoped that the results will have great promise for Alzheimer's treatment.

Dr. Michael Mullan and Dr. Fiona Crawford along with Roskamp's Senior Scientist, Dr. Daniel Paris, headed the Roskamp team that led the Alzheimer's research. They and the scientists on the Roskamp staff also worked closely with Doctor Steven Brem, a neurosurgeon at Moffitt Cancer Center and NeuroOncology Center in Tampa. This team will also lead the new NIH funded project. Doctors Mullan and Crawford's prior work also led to the discovery of the gene associated with early onset Alzheimer's Disease when they were working in London.

Manatee County's Roskamp Institute is devoted to understanding the causes of and finding cures for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions. The institute has devised a broad range of scientific approaches to understanding the causes of and potential therapies for these disorders with an emphasis in Alzheimer's disease. The Institute was founded by the philanthropic vision of Robert and Diane Roskamp of Sarasota, FL. The Institute is located in Sarasota, Florida and, since November 03, Roskamp researchers have been housed in a state-of-the-art 41,000 square foot research facility off of Whitfield Avenue in Manatee County, Florida.


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