April 6, 2004 - Research Triangle Park, NC and Taipei, Taiwan - Norak Biosciences, Inc. (Norak) announced today the signing of a non-exclusive license agreement with the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) in Taiwan. Norak licensed DCB certain rights to practice the Transfluor® technology for high content screening of a defined number of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets of interest to DCB against its own compound libraries in Taiwan. Financial terms were not disclosed.
DCB is a government funded, non-profit, research organization founded in 1984 to facilitate development of a biotechnology industry in Taiwan. DCB is mainly funded by the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs with a mission of guiding Taiwan industry to integrate into the international biotechnology research community. The Taiwan government and private sector plan to invest $5 billion in its biotechnology industry over the next five years.
"DCB has amassed world-class drug discovery capabilities that will benefit substantially from the addition of Transfluor” commented Dr. Roger D. Blevins, Norak's president and CEO. “The DCB collaboration, combined with our Japanese pharmaceutical company agreement earlier this year, gives Transfluor an important presence in Asia from which to grow in the future.”
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to collaborate with Norak about Transfluor. This will enable DCB to expand the market and creates many more business opportunities in drug discovery service. In addition, we are looking forward to entering the worldwide market by this drug discovery center” commented Dr. Huang Jui-Lien, CEO of DCB.
Norak's Transfluor® technology is a patented, universal GPCR drug discovery technology designed to be the most direct and accurate method for screening potential drug candidates against GPCR targets, whether known or orphan. Transfluor was licensed in 1999 by Norak from technology developed at Duke University Medical School and represents the combined research into GPCR signaling pathways over several decades by Norak's scientific founders, Drs. Marc Caron, Robert Lefkowitz, and Larry Barak.
DCB has state of art preclinical drug research capabilities (strong medicinal chemistry, animal disease models, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics, animal toxicology) to support the development of biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry in Taiwan. To promote a full-scale preclinical drug discovery service in Taiwan, DCB initiated a collaboration with Norak Biosciences Inc. to include Transfluor GPCR drug screening technology in its current drug research service platforms. Transfluor GPCR technology platform enables DCB to provide a brand new package of drug discovery services from new chemical entity to preclinical animal model validation.
For nearly 50 years, pharmaceuticals and scientific communities in Taiwan have collected thousands of chemical compounds through their research efforts in medicinal chemistry research and natural products isolation. Transfluor technology platform will enable DCB systematic and efficient screening of these compounds for different families of pharmacological targets, which is lacking in Taiwan currently.
Norak Biosciences, Inc., headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, is a private biotechnology company. Norak is utilizing its proprietary Transfluor technology to become a world leader in the discovery and development of drugs that regulate G protein - coupled receptors. For more information about Norak Biosciences, Inc., please visit the Company's website at www.norakbio.com .
The Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB), partially supported by the Government of the Republic of China on a contract basis, is an autonomous, non-profit research and development organization established in March 1984 for the purpose of promoting and upgrading biotechnology industry in Taiwan, R.O.C . Please visit the its website at www.dcb.org.tw .
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