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BellBrook, Reaction Biology Partner on Epigenetic-based Assays for Drug Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BellBrook Labs and Reaction Biology today announced a deal to develop a methyltransferase assay solution for inhibitor screening and profiling.

The two companies will develop kits that combine required methyltransferase enzyme reaction components from Reaction Biology with BellBrook's Transcreener detection reagents.

"By eliminating the need for sourcing and testing of reagents from different vendors and troubleshooting to optimize assay performance, the new Transzyme kits should accelerate the pursuit of promising epigenetic therapeutic strategies for cancer and other diseases," BellBrook said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to BellBrook, methyltransferase enzymes are crucial in controlling gene expression and have become the targets of intensive drug discovery work, but identifying specific inhibitors for target enzymes "has been plagued by problems in getting methyltransferase enzymes to function correctly in the [high-throughput screening] assays used to detect their activity."

Humans have more than 50 methyltransferases, each with unique requirements, and developing an assay can take months "with time often wasted testing poorly characterized enzymes and conflicting published methods," BellBrook added. The kits being designed by it and Reaction Biology seek to overcome this obstacle.

The kits will contain Transcreener Epigen detection reagents, as well as Reaction Biology's methyltransferase enzymes, peptide, protein, or DNA substrates, highly purified S-adenosylmethionine, and buffers optimized for each methyltransferase enzyme, BellBrook said.

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