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Blue Sky Biotech and PA Tech Announce Global Exclusive Licensing Agreement

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Blue Sky Biotech, Inc. (Blue Sky) and Protein Attachment Technologies, LLC (PA Tech) announced that they have entered into a global, exclusive license agreement covering PA Tech’s proprietary Template Directed Assembly (TDA™) technology for use in High-Throughput Screening [HTS] of drug candidates against membrane-associated protein targets.

"This license agreement is an aggressive expansion of our initial work together dating back to June 2008 and the more recent collaboration we announced with PA Tech in July, 2009. Blue Sky’s BioProducts Division has been working closely with PA Tech to develop a suite of high quality assay kits and related assay development services that enable our client scientists to more accurately study the function of important disease-relevant membrane targets.

With TDA™ technology we have the potential to enable interrogation of many difficult to assess drugable proteins in a context that was previously unattainable, leading to the rapid discovery of new drug compounds. We will deliver powerful technology to meet growing demand- over the past decade the HTS market has grown to over $7.6B in annual revenues and is growing at over 12% per year. Blue Sky BioProducts will contribute value-added products and novel technology to this large and growing market,” said Paul Wengender, Blue Sky Biotech’s CEO.

Some estimates are that up to 60% of all proteins are integral membrane proteins or membrane-associated. Two-thirds of those are pharmacologically relevant.

“Compounds that are effective in interacting with membrane-associated proteins are coveted for their ability to address enormous unmet medical needs in cancer, diabetes, obesity, central nervous system disorders and a number of other important diseases. Where traditional solution-based HTS fails to present the enzymes in the relevant membrane-proximal context, our TDA™-based Smartscreen™ platform enables Blue Sky to aggressively develop an array of turn-key kits and assay services that can present high value membrane associated proteins in a more native context. All TDA™ reagents are developed to readily adapt to standard industry processes in HTS,” said Dr. Scott Gridley, Director of Blue Sky’s BioProducts Division.

Blue Sky BioProducts has demonstrated that the catalytic activity of membrane associated enzymes, including receptor tyrosine kinases such as the insulin receptor, IGF1R and c-MET, is greater when bound to our TDA™ lipid scaffold than as isolated catalytic domains in vitro.

Furthermore, substrate specificity also changes, with improved selectivity for peptides derived from the known in vivo substrates. It is believed that the shift in substrate selectivity will correlate with a change in pharmacological profile that will enable the identification of novel small molecule drugs.