Collaboration on Peptide Array Synthesizer
News Aug 16, 2005
Acacia Research Corporation has announced that its CombiMatrix group and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University are collaborating toward the development of a peptide array synthesizer utilizing CombiMatrix's virtual-flask technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Biodesign Institute's Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology is purchasing CombiMatrix equipment and funding development of the synthesizer.
CombiMatrix is granting technology rights and contributing expertise related to CombiMatrix technology, and CombiMatrix and the Institute will share revenue from commercialization of the peptide array synthesizer, peptide array products, and intellectual property that are developed.
The collaboration is aimed at developing a peptide synthesizer that will build arrays of polypeptides on CombiMatrix CustomArrays™. According to CombiMatrix, such polypeptide arrays are useful in a variety of areas including immunology research, drug discovery, and diagnostics.
"This agreement with CombiMatrix is an important catalyst in our quest for proteomic-based innovations. Our goal is the development of personalized medicines to fight disease and better sensors for environmental monitoring or biodefense," said George Poste, Director of the Biodesign Institute at ASU.
"The CombiMatrix technology will literally put us years ahead of where we would have been pursuing this work ourselves," stated Mr. Neal Woodbury, Director of the BioOptical Nanotechnology Center in the Biodesign Institute.
He adds, "The concept of joining CombiMatrix's ultra-high-throughput synthesis with the principles of rational design and molecular evolution holds tremendous promise for the development of catalysts, sensors, and smart drugs."
Further he said, "Here one has a platform where it is possible to make tens of thousands of peptides of known structure and test them directly for functionalities that go well beyond simple ligand binding interactions that are the traditional realm of molecular evolution techniques."
Through AzTE and CombiMatrix, the center will pursue commercialization of these technologies. "CombiMatrix is a serious player in the bioanalytical marketplace," noted Andrew Wooten, V.P. of Health Science Ventures at AzTE.
He adds, "The deal will leverage CombiMatrix's market position to get a new technology platform into the marketplace." According to Peter Slate, CEO of AzTE, "The platform developed under this agreement will serve as the basis for a number of new product opportunities and potentially a new venture to commercialize catalysts, sensors, and other valuable compounds created on the platform."
"We are impressed by the Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology's team at the Biodesign Institute. They have great insight into industrial uses of polypeptides, expertise in peptide synthesis, and valuable screening technologies," said Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of CombiMatrix.
He adds, "Combining that with CombiMatrix technology is powerful. This is an area of great commercial potential, and it fits well with our strategy of partnering to expand use of CombiMatrix technology into multiple market segments."
In treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), physicians can have a hard time telling which newly diagnosed patients have a high risk of severe inflammation or what therapies will be most effective. Now researchers report finding an epigenetic signature in patient cells that appears to predict inflammation risk in a serious type of IBD called Crohn’s disease.