NascaCell Technologies Announces R&D; Collaboration with AstraZeneca

Date Posted: Monday, September 25, 2006

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NascaCell Technologies AG has announced a broad R&D; collaboration with AstraZeneca in the areas of target validation and drug discovery.

As part of the collaboration, NascaCell will select aptamers against five soluble AstraZeneca protein disease targets.

In addition, the companies will apply NascaCell's aptamer selection technology to identify selective binders/inhibitors against multitransmembrane GPCR and ion channel targets.

Once NascaCell identifies the aptamers, AstraZeneca will characterize and further develop them.

Dr. Michael Blind, CSO and co-founder of NascaCell commented, "GPCRs, ion channels, kinases and proteases all comprise highly attractive disease targets where aptamers can provide both selective tools for target validation, identify novel sites for small molecule intervention and provide a method for HTS screening for small molecules by displacement assays."

"This cooperation in a medically relevant field is an important step in the development of NascaCell."

"The fact that Astra Zeneca, a leading global pharmaceutical company, entered into an R&D; collaboration in this very attractive research area is an indication that they have confidence in our technologies and capabilities."

Dr. Claude Bertrand, VP Respiratory & Inflammation Research, AstraZeneca, adds, "Aptamers offer a powerful technology that can contribute at all stages in the drug discovery process from target identification to small molecule lead optimisation."

"AstraZeneca is keen to apply the aptamers selected by NascaCell in our target validation programs. We look forward to working closely with NascaCell in this promising collaboration."

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