IPSWICH, Mass., April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- New England Biolabs (NEB®) announces that it has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) to fund a collaboration with Transgene, a French biopharmaceutical company developing innovative immunotherapies for oncology and infectious diseases.
The collaboration between NEB and Transgene involves an innovative approach to enzymatically digesting, or degrading, DNA impurities in the manufacture of viral vectors.
The award, part of the MLSC's International Collaborative Industry Program (ICIP), aims to accelerate partnerships between overseas companies and unique expertise in Massachusetts, for innovative research and development endeavors. Concurrently, Transgene has received funding from Alsace BioValley to further support this collaboration.
"Transgene has assembled a viral vector production platform that enables the next wave of cancer immunotherapies. NEB is excited to contribute their expertise in enzymology and epigenetics to enhance this ambitious project," said Bill Jack, Executive Director of Research at NEB.
"We are very pleased to be collaborating with NEB," said Edwige Bonfils, Ph.D., Head of Analytical Development at Transgene. "NEB's know-how in enzymology will be invaluable as we work to improve our manufacturing platform for oncolytic virotherapies, an exciting new area of cancer drug development."
This project originated from discussions between NEB's subsidiary in France, and Transgene, which is located in the Alsace BioValley region of the country.
The basic research laboratories at NEB regularly collaborate with academic and commercial labs around the world, publishing landmark papers in peer-reviewed journals, and developing the basis for breakthrough new technology platforms.
"The partnership between New England Biolabs and Transgene will help bring new health technologies to the market along with economic benefits for both the Alsace region of France and Massachusetts," said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. "We were also excited to recently announce the second year of the ICIP Program, including two new partner regions in Israel and Medicon Valley. No one country or region can address on its own the urgent health challenges that still face our global community, and we are pleased to be partnering with some of the world's leading regions in life sciences innovation."
About New England Biolabs Established in the mid 1970's, New England Biolabs, Inc. is the industry leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications and now offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. NEB continues to expand its product offerings into areas related to PCR, gene expression, sample preparation for next generation sequencing, cellular analysis, epigenetics and RNA analysis. Additionally, NEB is focused on strengthening alliances that enable new technologies to reach key market sectors, including molecular diagnostics development. New England Biolabs is a privately held company, headquartered in Ipswich, MA, and has extensive worldwide distribution through a network of exclusive distributors, agents and seven subsidiaries located in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. For more information about New England Biolabs visit www.neb.com.
About Transgene Transgene (NYSE-Euronext: TNG), a member of the Institut Merieux Group, is a publicly traded French biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and manufacturing targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of oncology and infectious diseases. Transgene's programs utilize well-tolerated viruses with the goal of indirectly or directly killing infected or cancerous cells. The Company's two lead clinical-stage programs are: TG4010 for non-small cell lung cancer and Pexa-Vec for liver cancer. Transgene has concluded corporate strategic agreements for both of these product candidates: an exclusive option agreement with Novartis for the development and commercialization of TG4010 and an in-licensing agreement with U.S.-based Jennerex, Inc. (now a wholly owned subsidiary of SillaJen) for the development and commercialization of Pexa-Vec in certain territories. The Company has several other programs in clinical and pre-clinical development that are based on its core viral vector technology. Transgene is based in Strasbourg, France, and has additional operations in Lyon, as well as satellite offices in China and the U.S. Additional information about Transgene is available at www.transgene.fr.
About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, research, development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a 10-year, $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation's most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.