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New England Peptide Licenses Peptide Compounds from ACRI

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – New England Peptide today announced a licensing agreement covering peptide compounds from Atlantic Cancer Research Institute.

NEP has acquired the worldwide rights to Vn96 and other peptide compounds for the research grade enrichment of microparticles, microvesicles, and exosomes. NEP said it plans on releasing a research grade enrichment kit next quarter, and it and ACRI, the co-inventors of Vn96, are looking for collaborators for the clinical use of the synthetic peptide that was designed to catch surface molecules on microvesicles.

"We believe that Vn96, coupled with advancing genomic and proteomic biomarker research, will lead to a promising array of diagnostic applications for disease detection," NEP President and CEO Sam Massoni said in a statement. "Our goal is for it to be the first step of a simple blood test that could provide early detection of hundreds of specific diseases … each with its own protein or nucleic acid profile, all performed as part of a routine physical in the doctor's office."

Other exosome capture methods such as ultracentrifugation "could leave a lot to be desired in regards to time, effort, and accessibility of equipment," while Vn96 attaches specifically to circulating exosomes, resulting in easy, simple, and quick enrichment and faster research, Scott Lewis, director of the antibody division at NEP, added.

"This is a perfect example where you have researchers and entrepreneurs working together to take a discovery from bench to bedside," ACRI President and Scientific Director Rodney Ouellette said in a separate statement.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, ACRI seeks to discover the genetic origins of cancer. NEP is headquartered in Gardner, Mass., and designs and manufactures peptides and polyclonal antibodies for drug and vaccine discovery organizations.