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MRC Technology Negotiates License With Bio-Techne For MRC’s GOPAL Protein Synthesis Technology



8/26/2014 8:52:39 AM

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Technology enables production of ubiquitin reagents and other proteins for use in drug discovery

London, UK, 26th August 2014: MRC Technology, a technology transfer organisation, today announced it has negotiated a licence for a protein synthesis technology, Genetically encoded Orthogonal Protection and Activated Ligation (GOPAL), with Bio-Techne, (Techne Corp.), a global life sciences company providing innovative bioactive tools and resources for the research and clinical diagnostic communities. The GOPAL technology was originated at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

The licence will enable Bio-Techne to develop reagent products using GOPAL. GOPAL enables the formation of site-specific isopeptide bonds between proteins. Initially GOPAL will be applied to develop ubiquitin dimers, with the potential to also develop trimers and tetramers. The technology offers an advantage over in vitro synthesis as it allows for the production of a homogenous, high quality product, via the cellular expression of ubiquitin with a protected lysine incorporated at a site-specific, user-defined site. Following purification, the specific isopeptide bond enables creation of a ubiquitin dimer.

The technology has already been validated for ubiquitin, however it may also be applied to other proteins. Boston Biochem (a Bio-Techne company) will be applying the technology to its products to determine its full potential, including investigating its use in introducing post-translational modifications into proteins for structural and functional studies. Dr Ranmali Nawaratne, Senior Business Manager, MRC Technology, said: “We are delighted to have worked with the MRC and Bio-Techne on this license agreement. We have every confidence that the reagents produced will be of great value to researchers.”

Dr Frank Mortari, VP Corporate Development, Bio-Techne, commented: “We are very pleased to have successfully negotiated with MRC Technology the terms on a license for this valuable technology. We look forward to applying GOPAL and realising its full potential in the creation of protein reagents.”

The technology was developed at the at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology by Jason Chin (Programme Leader and Head of the LMB’s Centre for Chemical & Synthetic Biology) and Satpal Virdee (now a Programme Leader at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at Dundee University). The work is described in Virdee et al Nat Chem Biol. 2010 Oct;6(10):750-7.

Notes to Editors:

Contacts:
MRC Technology
Suzy Hargreaves
Marketing & Communications Officer
E-mail: shargreaves@tech.mrc.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)20 7391 2798

Media contact
Katie Odgaard
Zyme Communications
E-mail: katie,odgaard@zymecommunications.com
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 502 947

About MRC Technology
MRC Technology (www.mrctechnology.org) is an independent life science technology transfer charity, offering professional services to organisations within the academic, charity, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors globally. Services include IP management and research and development for diagnostics, small molecules and therapeutic antibodies. MRC Technology bridges the gap between basic medical research and commercialisation, helping early discoveries progress to clinical application.

About Bio-Techne
Bio-Techne, NASDAQ: TECH, is a global life sciences company providing innovative bioactive tools and resources to the research and clinical diagnostic communities. Bio-Techne products assist scientific investigations into biological processes and the nature and progress of specific diseases. They aid in drug discovery efforts and provide the means for accurate clinical tests and diagnoses. With over 250,000 products in its corporate portfolio, Bio-Techne generated approximately $358 million in revenue in FY 2014 and has over 1,300 employees worldwide. For more information on Bio-Techne and its brands, please visit www.bio-techne.com.

About the MRC
The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Twenty-nine MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms. www.mrc.ac.uk

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