Euroscreen Awarded US Patent Covering High-Throughput Screening Method Using Aequorin

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Euroscreen SA, a world leader in G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), today announced the issue of a US patent which further protects its useful high-throughput screening platform called AequoScreenÂ?. The claims are related to a widely used diagnostic and screening method of modulators for any GPCR, calcium-coupled channel or any other calciumÂ?coupled protein.

Euroscreen SA, a world leader in G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), today announced the issue of a US patent which further protects its useful high-throughput screening platform called AequoScreen™. The claims are related to a widely used diagnostic and screening method of modulators for any GPCR, calcium-coupled channel or any other calcium–coupled protein.

The US patent 6,872,538 relates in particular to a screening method for modulators for calcium-coupled proteins by measuring the intracellular calcium. The order of addition of reagents is reversed compared to what is classically done. In this new method, cells expressing apoaequorin and calcium-coupled protein are incubated with a cofactor (coelenterazine) needed for the detection of intracellular calcium. Subsequently, aliquots of cells to be assayed are added to the compounds expected to be modulators for the target proteins. Finally, the activity of modulators are measured via an aequorin signal, a unique tool for the search of natural or surrogate ligands for any calcium coupled-protein.

Euroscreen already has the worldwide exclusive license on additional patents which cover aequorin gene for use in cell-based assays from the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF).

The combined license of the above-mentioned UGARF and Euroscreen patent rights allows licensees to obtain a complete licensing rights both on aequorin composition of matter and HTS technology using aequorin to support their screening efforts during the next decade.

The equivalent patents in Europe and Japan are already granted with claims relating to the same subject matter as in the US patent .

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Vincent Dupriez, Head of Molecular Biology and co-inventor of this method, said: “This protocol permits higher throughputs, saves in the cost of reagents, plastic ware, and greatly decreases the handling time. It also eliminates the need to grow adherent cells on assay plates, consequently eliminating the need for damaging wash procedures prior the assay, and therefore offers clear advantages in terms of the requirement for incubators for cell culture.”

About Euroscreen s.a.

Euroscreen is a world leader in G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). The company integrates its research expertise in this area with its patented high-throughput AequoScreen™ cellular assay platform to patent new GPCR targets and drug candidates.

The company is building a patent portfolio of GPCR targets and novel drug leads for licensing to biopharmaceutical companies, and to date has agreements with Cephalon, CyBio, EvotecOAI, GE Healthcare, ICOS, Merck & Co, Pfizer Inc, Solvay, Syngenta and UCB. Euroscreen has also established collaborations with numerous academic centers for access to licenses to help in making available its broad menu of GPCR-based products (recombinant cell lines and membrane preparations) and services (custom screening and cloning).

Euroscreen has grown significant and strong patent positions to protect many key drug targets for licensing. Such patents include CCR5, GPR7/8 involved in metabolic defects and adult-onset obesity, purinergic receptors (P2Y4, P2Y11 and P2Y13), ORL-1 and the non-GPCR SHIP2 for type II diabetes. Euroscreen is able to offer rights to companies which are developing therapeutic drugs that act through the above-mentioned key targets mode of action. For more information regarding the Euroscreen’s portfolio, please contact Dr. Vincent Lannoy.

Euroscreen is a privately held company based in Brussels, Belgium with 80 employees of which 50 are in R&D. More information can be found at http://www.euroscreen.com

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Alfred Gray