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Clontech Laboratories, Inc. And Bayer HealthCare AG (BAY) Sign Licensing Agreement For Novel High-Throughput Screening Technology



7/26/2006 10:34:08 AM

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Clontech, a division of Takara Bio Inc., together with Bayer HealthCare, today announced the completion of a commercial licensing agreement covering the sale of reporter assay kits that use a novel secreted luciferase isolated by Bayer scientists from the marine copepod, Metridia longa. Under the terms of the agreement, Clontech was granted a worldwide exclusive license to sell its Ready-To- Glow(TM) Secreted Metridia Luciferase Systems directly to academic and commercial accounts for use in research and high-throughput screening. Bayer HealthCare and its affiliates retain the rights to use the technology for in- house screening and diagnostic applications.

This novel, naturally-secreted Metridia luciferase was initially cloned by Bayer scientists for use in drug screening. It quickly became the perfect choice at Bayer for ultra high-throughput reporter assays, since the cells do not need to be lysed prior to use in a screening assay. This proved to be a simple and effective way to monitor gene expression or measure reporter gene activity. The benefits include live cell sampling repeatedly at different time points, high signal intensity and excellent signal stability. Applications at Bayer include studying the effects of drug/target interactions on signal transduction cascades (1). "The key benefits of this novel reporter are that it combines the advantages of a live cell assay with the sensitivity of an enzyme-based system -- all in a one-step reaction -- by detecting the activity of the secreted reporter enzyme in the media supernatant of transfected cells without the need for cell lysis. The utility of this system for high- throughput screening has been effectively demonstrated by Bayer scientists. We are very happy to be able to work with Bayer HealthCare on the commercialization of this exciting technology," said Carol Lou, General Manager of Clontech Laboratories, Inc.

The products that commercialize this technology are to be sold under the Ready-To-Glow(TM) family and join an extensive range of products that Clontech provides, including Fluorescent Proteins and other Luminescent Reporter Systems.

Bayer HealthCare is a leader in the development of novel reporter gene technologies for the drug discovery process. Reporter genes, including luciferases, photoproteins, and fluorescent proteins, allow the easy detection of drug action in cells and in vivo. The luciferase Lu164, a highly active luciferase, is particularly suitable for ultra high-throughput screening and research. This novel luminescent protein is secreted, allowing ultra-sensitive detection without cell lysis in a multiple readout approach.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Clontech Laboratories, Inc. develops, produces, and markets innovative biological products to the life science market worldwide. Clontech has over 2,000 products that enable life science researchers to study genes, their products, and their cellular function through the use of innovative and powerful tools for gene cloning, labeling, and expression; as well as for elucidating protein: protein interactions; isolating and purifying DNA and proteins; and conducting a wide variety of PCR experiments. Clontech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Takara Bio Inc. For more information visit www.clontech.com.

Takara Bio Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Shiga, Japan. As a world leader in biotechnology research and development, Takara Bio was the first company to market PCR technology in Japan and is also the developer of the RetroNectin® reagent, which is a world-standard in gene therapy protocols. In addition to providing research reagents and equipment to the life science research market, Takara Bio has active research and product development activities in the fields of gene and cell-based therapy, and agricultural biotechnology; and is committed to preventing disease and improving the quality of life for all people through the use of biotechnology. Through strategic alliances with other industry leaders, the Company aims to extend its reach around the world. More information is available at http://www.takara-bio.com .

About Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer HealthCare generated sales amounting to some 9.4 billion euros and employed 33.800 people worldwide in 2005.

The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The new Pharmaceuticals division was established on January 1, 2006, and comprises the former Biological Products and Pharmaceutical divisions. Pharmaceuticals now has three business units: Hematology/Cardiology, Oncology and Primary Care.

Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. The products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

1. Markova, S.V., Golz, S., Frank, L.A., Kalthof, B., and Vysotski, E.S. (2004) Cloning and expression of cDNA for a luciferase from the marine copepod Metridia longa. A novel secreted bioluminescent reporter enzyme. J. Biol. Chem. 279(5):3212-7.

Source: Clontech


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