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18 Aug 2017

CRB to licence novel fluorescent dyes with the University of Edinburgh

Cambridge Research Biochemicals® (CRB), offering over 37 years of expertise in the custom supply of research reagents, namely peptides and antibodies for life science research and development, today signed a licence agreement with Edinburgh Innovations, the commercialisation arm of The University of Edinburgh.

Under this new agreement, CRB will be permitted to label both custom made and catalogue peptides with novel dyes developed by a research team from The University of Edinburgh, School of Clinical Sciences, led by the Principal Investigator Dr Marc Vendrell. Dr Vendrell worked in collaboration with academic partners at the University of Barcelona and IRB Barcelona (led by Professor Rodolfo Lavilla) and The University of Manchester (Professor Nick Read) to co-invent the technology.

These dynamic activatable fluorophores have been specially developed to enable fluorogenic labelling of peptides for enhanced live-cell imaging. They offer numerous advantages from both a synthesis perspective and for the end-user scientist. The former is due to the dye being pre-conjugated to an amino acid, tryptophan, facilitating direct inclusion into the peptide sequence rather than post purification labelling, minimising the number of reaction steps and therefore the time taken to prepare the labelled product. The latter is due to the high signal-to-noise ratios with increased sensitivity, which enables use of the material in small concentrations, reducing potential adverse effects and facilitating clinical translation.

This agreement is significant to CRB, who have supplied to the University of Edinburgh for many years as a specialist CRO, but now look forward to a more collaborative approach. The agreement will enable CRB to expand its current dye portfolio, offering a greater selection of products and increased flexibility on the labelling strategy to its Customers. It will also permit expansion of the DISCOVERY Peptides® catalogue, officially launched earlier this year, with the inclusion of a new range of pre-labelled antimicrobial peptides.

CRB’s Commercial Director Emily Humphrys said: “This is an important agreement for CRB, as it enables us to expand our product offering both for the custom side of our business and also for the new DISCOVERY Peptides® catalogue. Our Customers really value our technical expertise and also our flexibility and inclination to explore the chemistry methodologies available in order to fulfil their requirements, and this new labelling strategy offers substantial scope to our dye and labelling portfolio.”

Dr Angus Stewart-Liddon, EI’s Licensing Manager, added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB) on the commercialisation of this fluorescent probe technology. The significant experience CRB brings to the table in terms of peptide synthesis and supplying the research market, in particular with labelling-technologies, ideally complements the highly innovative science being undertaken by the Vendrell Group.”