Integrated Diagnostics Licenses “Click Chemistry” From The Scripps Research Institute, Strengthening Partner Network
26 October 2011
Dr. Barry Sharpless, Nobel Laureate and Click Chemistry Pioneer, Joins Integrated Diagnostics as Advisor
SEATTLE — Integrated Diagnostics, an emerging leader in molecular diagnostics, today announced that it has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with The Scripps Research Institute, strengthening its growing network of partners. Under the license, the company will have access to “click chemistry,” a powerful chemical process developed by K. Barry Sharpless, Ph.D. Integrated Diagnostics concurrently announced that it has appointed Dr. Sharpless, who shared in the 2001 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, as an advisor. In a separate release, the company announced that it has used click chemistry in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to create a synthetic class of diagnostic and therapeutic agents, with antibody-like properties.
“Integrated Diagnostics has brought together an unusually compelling group of scientists, institutional partners, and technologies to create a new generation of large-scale diagnostics,” said Dr. Sharpless, W. M. Keck Professor of Chemistry at Scripps Research. “I’m pleased that they have found click chemistry useful for designing a new class of diagnostic and therapeutic agents and for exploring the synthesis of other small molecules. I look forward to working with them on the application of this technology to new diagnostic and therapeutic uses.”
Click chemistry allows scientists to permanently join (“click”) together molecular components with unusual precision and stability. With its relevance to multiple binding agents, click chemistry presents an exciting route for designing different types of therapeutic agents, including antibody therapeutics, peptide therapeutics, and various small molecules. “Click chemistry allows us to craft site-specific binding molecules that neatly ‘click’ onto the targeted protein where they have self-assembled on the target’s surface,” said Albert “Al” A. Luderer, Ph.D., CEO of Integrated Diagnostics. “In this way, the process – which is synthetic and highly scalable – is ‘directed’ by the actual site targeted. The resulting molecule is highly stable, both on the shelf and in vivo. With its elegent, strong bonds, click chemistry also provides a striking analogy with our work to bring together a network of collaborators who share Integrated Diagnostics’ goal of creating a new generation of highly targeted diagnostics and therapeutics. We are very excited that Barry, Scripps Research and click chemistry are part of this process.”
The agreement with Scripps Research allows Integrated Diagnostics rights to use click chemistry for the broad development of PCC technology. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Dr. Sharpless
Dr. Sharpless, one of the world’s leading chemists, is the W. M. Keck Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He has 40 years of experience in organic and bio-organic chemistry research and has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers, patents, and publications. In 2001, Professor Sharpless shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His Nobel citation stated: “Many scientists have identified Sharpless’ epoxidation as the most important discovery in the field of synthesis during the past few decades.” Dr. Sharpless is an elected fellow and member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. He holds a B.S. from Dartmouth College, earned his Ph.D from Stanford University, and conducted post doctoral research at both Stanford University and Harvard University.
About Integrated Diagnostics
Integrated Diagnostics is developing large-scale, blood-based molecular diagnostics that detect important diseases like lung cancer and Alzheimer’s at their earliest stages by simultaneously monitoring tens to hundreds of disease markers. The company, founded in October 2009 by systems biology pioneer Dr. Lee Hood, develops diagnostics using sophisticated informatics for biomarker selection and a novel class of synthetically created diagnostic and therapeutic agents with antibody-like properties: protein-catalyzed capture agents (PCCs). Integrated Diagnostics’ mission is to build a new generation of low-cost, large-scale diagnostic assays for early detection of serious diseases. The company is conceptually based on a systems view of disease where pathophysiology arises from disease-perturbed networks of proteins, genes, and other molecules. Investors include InterWest Partners, The Wellcome Trust, and BioTechCube Luxembourg. Foundational intellectual property is exclusively licensed from the Institute of Systems Biology and Caltech. Learn more at www.integrated-diagnostics.com
About The Scripps Research Institute
The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world’s largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and vaccine development, as well as for its insights into autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, the institute also includes a campus in Jupiter, Florida, where scientists focus on drug discovery and technology development in addition to basic biomedical science. Scripps Research currently employs about 3,000 scientists, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students on its two campuses. The institute’s graduate program, which awards Ph.D. degrees in biology and chemistry, is ranked among the top ten such programs in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu.