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Mount Sinai School of Medicine and MRC Technology to collaborate on monoclonal antibody production and humanization

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(New York – April 2, 2012)  The Mount Sinai Medical Center and MRC Technology (MRCT), the technology transfer organization for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Medical Research Council,  have reached an agreement to collaborate on the development of monoclonal antibodies that can be commercialized as drugs to control infection and treat diseases.  As a government institution, the MRC aims to improve human health through medical research in all major disease areas.

The agreement calls for MRC Technology to humanize mouse antibodies that are created by Mount Sinai’s Center for Therapeutic Antibody Discovery (CTAD). Through humanization, a mouse antibody’s molecular structure is altered to make it compatible for therapeutic use in humans without changing its binding specificity.

The two-year agreement with MRC Technology marks the first time Mount Sinai has entered into a collaboration of this kind.  To date, the collaboration between Mount Sinai and MRCT centers on monoclonal antibodies that can be used to control infections, and treat drug addiction and autoimmune disease.

“We are very excited to bring together MRC Technology’s expertise in antibody humanization with Mount Sinai’s distinguished antibody facility,” said Teri F. Willey, Vice President, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Technology and Business Development, “This unique cooperation puts us in a stronger position to impact development of new therapies, diagnostics, and biomedical research reagents.”

Dave Tapolczay, CEO of MRC Technology, said, “MRC Technology has a great deal of experience in antibody humanization, and has already successfully humanized the drugs Tysabri® and Actemra®. We are hopeful that this agreement with Mount Sinai will allow us to translate research more efficiently which will deliver much needed treatments to patients. Our dedicated antibody assessment team makes us well-placed to identify the best targets for development.”

Mount Sinai will make protein and antigens, and generate monoclonal antibodies against targets that have successfully been through MRCT’s antibody review process. MRCT reviews all targets at regular triage meetings throughout the year before selecting which targets should enter into development. MRCT acquires antibody targets from universities and charities around the world through its on-going Call for Targets campaign (www.callfortargets.org).

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