Euroscreen Awarded U.S. Patent on Human Nociceptin (ORL1) Receptor

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Euroscreen SA today announced that it has been issued an U.S. patent that covers the use of an important human neurology drug target. The receptor, a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) known as the human nociceptin (ORL1) receptor, is implicated in the control of some key neurological processes, such as pain perception, analgesia, and anxiety. Euroscreen’s patent protects any screening process using this receptor in order to find compounds that modulate its activity, and thus may have pharmaceutical potential.

Euroscreen SA today announced that it has been issued an U.S. patent that covers the use of an important human neurology drug target. The receptor, a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) known as the human nociceptin (ORL1) receptor, is implicated in the control of some key neurological processes, such as pain perception, analgesia, and anxiety. Euroscreen’s patent protects any screening process using this receptor in order to find compounds that modulate its activity, and thus may have pharmaceutical potential.

The natural molecule in the body that binds to the human nociceptin receptor (also know as Opioid Receptor-Like-1 receptor, or ORL1) is a small protein called Nociceptin (or Orphanin FQ). Nociceptin has been implicated in many central nervous system processes, in addition to those mentioned above, including control of the cardiovascular system, food intake, airway function, learning, memory and locomotion.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Jean Combalbert, President and CEO of Euroscreen, said: "This new U.S. patent represents a significant addition to our growing portfolio of validated disease-related receptors. It will enable Euroscreen to partner with companies wishing to use the human nociceptin receptor in their search for innovative drugs, through license agreements."

The U.S. patent (7,083,932) relates in particular to screening methods to single out compounds that modulate, either up or down, the biological activity of the human nociceptin receptor. Any screening methods using either membrane preparation or cell line expressing nociceptin receptor are covered by valid claims.

Euroscreen has already obtained a similar European patent and is awaiting the issuance of equivalent patent applications in Japan and Canada, whose pending claims relate to similar subject matter.

For further information, please contact:

Euroscreen s.a. Tel: +32 71 348 500

Al Gray, Ph.D. VP Business Development

Vincent Lannoy, Ph.D. Business Development and Licensing Manager

About Euroscreen s.a. – http://www.euroscreen.com
Euroscreen is a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery, development and partnering of small molecule drugs for unmet medical needs. Euroscreen is developing a pipeline of compounds targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using over 11 years of experience in research and commercialization of this critical class of drug targets in association with the Institute of Interdisciplinary Research (IRIBHM) of the University of Brussels. Euroscreen's AequoScreen(tm) cellular assay platform is used extensively in its screening of GPCRs for candidate drugs which are partnered during preclinical development.

The Company has developed a broad GPCR patent portfolio for licensing to biopharmaceutical companies. Such patents address targets such as CCR5, Chemerin receptor, GPR43, GPR7/8, FPRL2, purinergic receptors (P2Y4, P2Y11 and P2Y13) and SHIP2 for type II diabetes. Euroscreen is able to offer intellectual property rights to companies for the development of therapeutic drugs that act through the above-mentioned targets. For more information regarding the Euroscreen’s portfolio and the associated licensing terms, please contact Dr. Vincent Lannoy.

Euroscreen pursues a dual platform strategy of combining its drug discovery business with its products and services business unit which serves biopharmaceutical companies around the world. Euroscreen focuses on internal targets in the inflammation area as well as several partnered preclinical-stage collaborations with biopharmaceutical partners. The company has research, product distribution and licensing partnerships with Alchemia, Amersham/GE Healthcare, Cephalon, ChemDiv, Evotec, ICOS, Medarex, Merck & Co, Novartis, Pfizer Inc, and Solvay. Euroscreen is a privately held company based in Brussels, Belgium.

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Alfred Gray
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