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KRIBB and Chemizon Announce Collaboration

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KRIBB (Korean Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology) and Chemizon, the drug discovery services division of Optomagic Co. Ltd. have entered into an agreement whereby Chemizon will collaborate closely with KRIBB to spin out a new biotech company designed to commercialize KRIBB’s diverse portfolio of intellectual property assets.

While all of KRIBB’s technologies will be considered for transfer into “NuCo”, those having the greatest potential for contributing to the discovery of drugs that address unmet medical need will receive the highest priority.

Chemizon, through its recently formed Chemizon-Oakwood Bioventures private equity fund, will serve as the lead investor and work closely with KRIBB to capitalize, build a world-class management team, and incubate the company. In addition, Chemizon, through use of its integrated drug discovery platform, will collaborate scientifically with NuCo to help convert its discoveries into small molecule therapeutics.

“This is an important milestone for KRIBB” said Dr. Sang Ki Rhee, President and CEO of KRIBB. “By working closely with Chemizon, we will create a professionally managed biotech company that will leverage Chemizon’s drug discovery expertise and global networking capabilities. This will allow KRIBB to focus on basic research without distraction, and reduce its considerable dependence on the government for research funding. At the same time, we will ultimately maximize the value of our current and future assets”.

“We are delighted that KRIBB chose Chemizon as its partner for this significant and exciting project” said Dr. Anthony Piscopio, President, CEO and Chairman of Optomagic Co. Ltd. “KRIBB is a world-class research institute with diverse interests. I’m confident that KRIBB’s exciting portfolio of intellectual property will serve as the foundation for important biologic and small molecule breakthrough therapeutics”.

The new company will focus on target discovery and validation, proteomics, biomarker and translational medicine research, stem cell biology, diagnostics and bioinformatics, with the goal of creating a pipeline of novel protein, antibody and small molecule therapeutics aimed primarily at oncology, CNS and infectious disease indications.