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Japan's MBL Licenses RIP-Chip to Envoy Therapeutics for Use in Drug Discovery Programs

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By Justin Petrone

Medical & Biological Laboratories has licensed its RIP-Chip technology to Envoy Therapeutics, MBL said this week.

As part of the non-exclusive agreement, Nagoya, Japan-based MBL will receive upfront payments, annual licensing fees, and potential milestone payments. Jupiter, Fla.-based Envoy will use MBL's platform to discover biomarkers related to schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, drug addiction, and epilepsy.

MBL President Katsuhiko Nishida said in a statement that the agreement provides Envoy a "freedom-to-operate condition of our technology as well as a complementary approach to discover novel drug targets."

He added that the RIP-Chip platform can provide Envoy with additional information regarding the toxicological profiles of drug candidates.

MBL's RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation for microarray, or RIP-Chip, platform can be used to identify functionally related mRNAs or other RNAs associated with RNA-binding proteins, according to MBL's website. The platform enables the immunoprecipitation of ribonucleoproteins from cell extracts using an antibody raised against the protein of interest. Arrays are used to determine the sequences of the RNAs following hybridization.

The firm claims the platform "provides insights into new cellular pathway components, potential therapeutic targets, and provides information regarding the effects of drugs on post-transcriptional processes."

MBL maintains the RIP-Chip can be used in variety of applications such as drug screening and research projects in cancer, diabetes, and disease response.

Further details of the deal were not discussed.

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