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Blue Sky Biotech and Protein Attachment Technologies Announce Global Exclusive Licensing Agreement


1/22/2010 11:33:25 AM

Blue Sky Biotech, Inc. (Blue Sky) and Protein Attachment Technologies, LLC (PA Tech) announced today 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. The license agreement extends the collaboration announced in July 2009 between the two companies. Additional terms are undisclosed.

“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.” —Paul Wengender, Blue Sky Biotech’s CEO

According to some estimates, 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.” —Dr. Scott Gridley, Director of Blue Sky’s BioProducts Division

The Blue Sky BioProducts Division 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.

“We are very pleased to partner with Blue Sky to ensure that the capital and human resource investments required to fully develop and commercialize our TDA™ technology platform will be made. We are confident that Blue Sky’s track record of aggressive revenue growth combined with the highest levels of customer service will result in an unrivaled array of assays and support services based on TDA™ technology. The addition of Dr. Esposito and Mr. Zolnay to the Blue Sky team gives us great confidence that the TDA™-based products and services will be aggressively developed and sold by Blue Sky.” —Tim Shrout, Managing Member of PA Tech.

Dr. Norman Garceau, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Blue Sky, asserts, “The merger of TDA™ technology and the collective reagent production expertise at Blue Sky BioProducts is expected to transform the way our colleagues study membrane-associated protein targets.”

The Companies

Blue Sky Biotech, Inc. is an integrated service provider of “Gene To Screen” discovery biologicals. Blue Sky is organized into two Divisions: BioServices and BioProducts. Currently, Blue Sky BioServices offers three linked laboratory service segments: Molecular Biology, Tissue Culture/Fermentation, and Protein Sciences (including biochemistry). This pre-clinical contract service bundle offers research-based drug discovery clients a convenient source of pharma-grade research tools. Services include Gene Synthesis, Vector Construction, Recombinant Protein Expression (bacterial, yeast, mammalian, insect), Stable Cell production, Protein Purification, and Assay Development. Blue Sky’s premium baculoviral (insect cell recombinant protein expression) service boasts a proprietary process technology (IKM®) that significantly improves turnaround time and enhances reproducibility. Blue Sky BioProducts offers therapeutically-focused assay solutions, in addition to the highest quality enzymes and reagents designed to simplify research and drug discovery relevant to the diseases which cause metabolic syndrome. The company is a privately held corporation with 32 staff members. It is located in Worcester, MA.

Protein Attachment Technologies, LLC is the world leader in Template-Directed Assembly (TDA™) for membrane associated proteins. Compounds that are effective at interacting with membrane associated proteins are being sought to address enormous unmet medical needs in cancer, diabetes, obesity, central nervous system disorders, and a number of other important diseases. Through the application of our proprietary technology, our clients are able to replicate biologically relevant cell activity in a highly reproducible and predictable fashion, at very attractive economics for use in drug discovery HTS in vitro assay systems. Using our proprietary TDA™ Nanospheres, clients have quickly created better and more reliable biochemical assays using full length cytoplasmic proteins and better substrates for this difficult class of target proteins. The company is privately held and is located in Amherst, MA.


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