New Enzyme Property Offers Possible Assistance in Alzheimer Treatment

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CzechInvest, the Investment and Business Development Agency of the Czech Republic, today announced that researchers have discovered a new property in a critical group of enzymes that could potentially enhance prescription drugs and agrochemicals. These compounds may also be able to serve as key intermediates of several potential anti-Alzheimer drugs.

CzechInvest, the Investment and Business Development Agency of the Czech Republic, today announced that researchers have discovered a new property in a critical group of enzymes that could potentially enhance prescription drugs and agrochemicals. These compounds may also be able to serve as key intermediates of several potential anti-Alzheimer drugs.

According to Dr. Zbynek Prokop, scientist at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, certain enzymes, called dehalogenases, can be used to produce optically active compounds that could dramatically improve pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

This cutting edge biotechnology is currently being patented in the Czech Republic, which has a progressive legal and patent environment. Because of membership to critical multilateral European treaties, the Czech Republic’s patent protection system is highly advanced. The Czech Republic was among the first EU member states to implement the EU Act on Protection of Biotechnological Inventions in 2000.

In the five years since its adoption, the Czech Republic has worked to solidify the legal framework and interpretive practices of the country’s legal system to support the growth of emerging and leading edge industries.

Scientists from the Protein Engineering Group at Masaryk University for years have studied a key group of enzymes frequently used in the synthesis of fine chemicals.

"One such enzyme was obtained from a micro-organism which lives in tight symbiosis on the roots of the soya bean plant, providing nitrogen as a fertilizer,” said Dr. Prokop. “During the characterization of this particular enzyme a new property was detected. This property has not been observed with any other enzyme of this family even though a number of research groups have been studying them for more than 20 years."

Dr. Prokop and his team believe the technology is close to being available for commercial applications.

"The technology is currently in the stage of patenting and further development. The Czech national patent application was submitted by Masaryk University last December and at the present time, we are looking for a company which would be interested to use our technology for production of fine chemicals."

About CzechInvest

CzechInvest, the Investment and Business Development Agency, is an agency of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Established in 1992, the agency contributes to attracting foreign investment and developing domestic companies through its services and development programs. CzechInvest promotes the Czech Republic abroad and acts as an intermediary between the EU and small and medium-sized enterprises in implementing structural funds.

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Melissa Anthony