Billingham, UK, September 2013
Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB), a British company specialising in custom supply of research reagents, principally peptides and antibodies for medical research and the Pharmaceutical industry, today announced that it has licensed the rights to a novel and patentable method for parallel assembly of a large number of peptide-therapeutic cargo combinations. The company aims to launch a service in October to provide both researchers and pharmaceutical companies with custom-made libraries of peptide-cargo conjugates to help accelerate the delivery and development of new therapeutics.
The method originated at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, where scientists have been working to develop cell-penetrating peptides capable of carrying therapeutic drug cargoes into cells. The sorts of diseases that could benefit from such peptide-delivered therapeutics are broad ranging and include muscular dystrophies, cancer and metabolic diseases. In order to develop such therapeutics, it is necessary to test a wide variety of peptide-cargo combinations to determine the optimal peptide for delivery of the drug cargo for the condition being treated. This new technology enhances the speed of the early stage drug screening process and helps those without the necessary chemistry expertise, to more rapidly prepare and test a much greater number of peptide-drug conjugates towards the delivery and development of potential novel therapeutics.
Emily Humphrys, Commercial Director at CRB said: “We are really pleased to be able to provide a long-awaited service for the selection of the most appropriate cell-penetrating peptide for delivery of drugs to both academic researchers and industry. As a company, CRB has extensive peptide chemistry capability and enjoys a longstanding relationship with the MRC-LMB both from the formation of the company in 1980 to the ongoing supply contract for peptides and antibodies in place since 2010. This collaboration marks another accolade from the partnership.”
Dr Mike Gait, the MRC scientist who has directed this work commented: “We are very excited that CRB has taken on our new method and will open it up to a wider number of researchers and to industry, ultimately enabling the development of new treatments.”
The method was licensed to CRB by MRC Technology on behalf of the MRC. MRC Technology provides the MRC with technology transfer services.