Celera and Collaborators Identify a Five-Gene Genetic Risk Score That Predicts Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 15, 2007 - Celera (NYSE:CRA), an Applera Corporation business, today announced the publication of results from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and two independent case-control studies describing the development of a Genetic Risk Score(TM) (GRS) based on five gene variants that predicts risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). These variant genes were KIF6, MYH15, PALLD, SNX19, and VAMP8. The GRS of each ARIC participant depended on how many of these risk variants an individual had. After adjusting for traditional risk factors, those individuals with a high risk GRS had a 57% increased risk of incident CHD, which is similar to the magnitude of risk for CHD associated with smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or obesity.

This publication is scheduled to appear in the October 2007 edition of Genetics in Medicine, and is expected to be available on the journal's website at http://www.geneticsinmedicine.org today. The lead author was Lance Bare, Ph.D., Associate Director of Cardiovascular Disease at Celera, and the collaborators on the work were investigators from the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Texas Heart Institute, the University of Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and the University of San Francisco, CA.

"Physicians need a better assessment of an individual's risk for coronary heart disease than that obtained using traditional risk factors alone," said James T. Willerson, M.D., President of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and President-elect Texas Heart Institute, and a co-author on the study. "Applying the results of this research study towards the development of a diagnostic test to determine genetic risk for coronary heart disease could lead to more effective prevention and treatment for patients."

"The identification of this Genetic Risk Score is a result of a broad collaboration over the past several years involving multiple large studies," said Thomas J. White, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Celera. "Celera is committed to bringing personalized disease management to the cardiovascular arena, and following our recent acquisition of Berkeley HeartLab, we think this Genetic Risk Score could complement current clinical practices used to identify individuals at elevated risk for coronary heart disease."

About Celera's Genetic Risk Score

For each of the five variants, the participant's GRS was increased by 1 if the participant was homozygous (had two copies of the variant) for the risk variant, unchanged if heterozygous (one copy), and decreased by 1 if the individual did not carry the risk variant. Therefore, individuals carrying all 10 possible risk variants were assigned a GRS of 5 and those carrying no risk variants were assigned a GRS of -5. A high GRS was defined as a GRS of 3 or higher. Approximately 4 percent of the Caucasian cohort in the ARIC study was classified as high risk, and this high risk group had a 52 percent higher CHD event rate compared to the rest of the individuals. A similar trend was observed for African American participants in the study.

About Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease includes acute myocardial infarction (MI), other acute ischemic coronary heart disease, and angina pectoris (AHA, 2006). This year an estimated 700,000 Americans will have a new coronary event, and about 500,000 will have a recurrent event. It is estimated that an additional 175,000 silent first heart attacks occur each year. Coronary heart disease caused 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States in 2002, and is the largest killer of American males and females. Every 26 seconds an American will suffer a coronary event, and every minute someone will die from one. About 41 percent of those who experience a coronary event will die within a year.

About Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC)

The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is a large-scale, long-term prospective study with 13 years of follow-up that is being conducted to investigate associations of established and suspected coronary heart disease risk factors with CHD in men and women from four American communities. The project has two components: community surveillance of morbidity and mortality and repeated examinations of a representative cohort of men and women in each community. The community surveillance involves abstracting hospital records and death certificates and investigating out-of-hospital deaths. The 15,792 members of the cohort include African American and Caucasian males and females, who were 45 to 64 years old at baseline.

About Applera Corporation and Celera

Applera Corporation consists of two operating groups. Celera is primarily a molecular diagnostics business that is using proprietary genomics and proteomics discovery platforms to identify and validate novel diagnostic markers, and is developing diagnostic products based on these markers as well as other known markers. Celera maintains a strategic alliance with Abbott for the development and commercialization of molecular, or nucleic acid-based, diagnostic products, and it is also developing new diagnostic products outside of this alliance. Through its genomics and proteomics research efforts, Celera is also discovering and validating therapeutic targets, and it is seeking strategic partnerships to develop therapeutic products based on these discovered targets. The Applied Biosystems Group serves the life science industry and research community by developing and marketing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries and develop new pharmaceuticals. Applied Biosystems' products also serve the needs of some markets outside of life science research, which we refer to as "applied markets," such as the fields of: human identity testing (forensic and paternity testing); biosecurity, which refers to products needed in response to the threat of biological terrorism and other malicious, accidental, and natural biological dangers; and quality and safety testing, such as testing required for food and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of nearly $2.1 billion during fiscal 2007. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at http://www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800.762.6923. Information about Celera is available at http://www.celera.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "believe," "expect," "should," "anticipate," and "intend," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Applera Corporation's current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Applera Corporation notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: (1) uncertainty in obtaining intellectual property protection for inventions made by Celera; (2) unproven ability of Celera to discover, develop, and commercialize diagnostic products based on findings from its disease association studies; (3) unproven use of genomics information to develop diagnostic products; (4) uncertainty as to whether Celera will be able to obtain any required regulatory approval of its diagnostic products; (5) uncertainty of market acceptance of its products, including the risk that its products will not be competitive with products offered by other companies, or that users will not be entitled to receive adequate reimbursement for its products from third party payors such as private insurance companies and government insurance plans; and (6) other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.

Copyright 2007 Applera Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Celera is a registered trademark and Applied Biosystems and Applera are trademarks of Applera Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or certain other countries.

Contact

Celera
David Speechly, Ph.D., 510-749-1853
David.Speechly@celera.com

Posted: October 2007

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