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OntoChem GmbH and Priaxon Join Forces to Increase Stress Tolerance of Crops



10/12/2011 7:44:34 AM

Halle a. d. Saale and Munich, Germany, October 12, 2011 / B3C newswire / - Ontochem GmbH ("Ontochem") and Priaxon AG, Munich, Germany ("Priaxon) today announced the entry into a collaboration and commercialization agreement to obtain new superior inhibitors of the plant PARP, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase enzyme. The goal of this collaboration is to increase the intrinsic stress tolerance of agricultural crops and accordingly minimizing growth losses by abiotic stress. Multinational companies are trying to solve the problem by genetically modified crops, requiring extensive development time and approval procedures per plant species. In contrast, the PARP inhibitors of this cooperation shall be applicable to all crop species without causing any health problems to other species. Genetic engineering will not be an issue for the development.

Approximately 40% of all crop losses are induced by abiotic stress, whereas only 20% are caused by insects or weeds. Typical abiotic stress factors are drought, UV radiation and soil loading by salts. The plant enzyme PARP is only being activated under stress conditions. When activated, metabolic PARP processes consume a lot of energy resources of the plant, which are than missing for the normal growth of the plant.

In this Biotech-Biotech cooperation Ontochem will explore and optimize the biological efficacy of novel inhibitors on enzymes and plants. In parallel, the effects on insects and other animals are examined and excluded. Priaxon takes over the planning and syntheses of new potential inhibitors.

"We are delighted to be working with Ontochem whom we recognize as leaders in the biology of plant PARP," said Dr. Jürgen Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of Priaxon.

”Priaxon has developed an efficient toolbox for the design and synthesis of biologically active compounds - we are confident to identify useful products in a rather short time period in this collaboration”, said Lutz Weber, Chief Executive Officer of Ontochem.

About OntoChem

Ontochem was founded 2005 in Halle, Germany. OntoChem develops and applies novel informatics technologies (“chemistry google”) to extract commercially useful knowledge about small molecules out of electronic data bases and published scientific literature for life sciences. OntoChem is the only company using integrated ontological-semantic search tools in the fields of chemistry, biology and medicine. Furthermore OntoChem is developing its own pipeline of patented product candidates for sale and out-licensing.

About Priaxon

Priaxon is an emerging pharmaceutical company building a pipeline of novel drug candidates in different therapeutic fields, but mainly focusing on protein-protein interactions in oncology and other diseases. The goal is to discover and develop candidates for validated but hard-to-drug targets using two orthogonal drug discovery platforms.

Contact:

Jürgen Kolb

CEO

Priaxon AG

Phone: +49-89-452130820

kolb@priaxon.com

Dr. Lutz Weber

CEO

OntoChem GmbH

Phone: +49 345 4780470

lutz.weber@ontochem.com


Read at BioSpace.com

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