ACRI Licenses Medical Technology To Boston Area Biotech Company

Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) has licensed a novel synthetic peptide called VN96 to New England Peptide (NEP), a Boston based biotech manufacturer. “VN96 is a synthetic peptide that was designed to specifically catch surface molecules on microvesicles (MVs). These microvesicles are nano-sized particles shed by human cells in normal and diseased conditions that inform us on the status of the cell of origin.” says Dr. Anirban Ghosh, an ACRI researcher working on the project. “This new relationship is a great example of how investment in research can lead to innovative solutions that improves people lives.” says Sophie Theriault, the Director of Commercial Development and Communications at ACRI. “It all started with an interesting lab discovery that led to an exciting new medical technology that has the potential to immediately make a real difference in health care. We are only beginning to explore the potential of this technology beyond the field of cancer and there are countless potential applications in other areas of disease in both humans and animals. We have already begun discussions with other companies to issue licenses in various fields of use and this is a platform that will generate real economic impact in Atlantic Canada and beyond” says Theriault. “You can think of microvesicles as a facsimile of a diseased cell that contain the same altered genes and proteins that you would find in sample obtained from a surgical biopsy.  Microvesicles circulate in blood or urine so important diagnostic or prognostic information can be collected simply and used for either research or clinical analysis. This is a perfect example where you have researchers and entrepreneurs working together to take a discovery from bench to bedside” says Dr. Rodney Ouellette, President and Scientific Director of ACRI. “Peptides are small proteins that play key roles in biochemical regulation of all life systems, helping to fight diseases as diverse as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, obesity and HIV. Peptides’ inherent low toxicity and high potency, coupled with improved drug delivery methods and enhanced manufacturing capabilities, are fueling a surge in research and clinical use” says the CEO and Founder of NEP, Sam Massoni. NEP is one of the largestresearch grade peptide and antibody manufacturers with over 1000 company clients in 80 countries with customers in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries as well as academia. ACRI is located at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. Through research ACRI is working to understand cancer and translate discoveries to improve patient care.