TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 13, 2011) - The Structural Genomic Consortium (SGC) announced today that SGC and Cerep, a world- leading biotechnology company, will enter into a collaboration to develop open access biochemical and cell-based assays for the discovery of small molecule chemical probes and drug candidates on epigenetic targets. As part of the collaboration, Cerep will open a laboratory in Toronto from which it will offer its screening and profiling services.
The field of epigenetics is one of the most dynamic areas of biological research, spurring an increasing number of drug discovery programs in cancer, inflammation, metabolic and neuro- psychiatric diseases. In the collaboration, the SGC and Cerep will produce epigenetic proteins and develop assays suitable for rapid and robust high throughput screening and profiling of compounds on these targets. Cerep will in turn offer these services to the entire community of scientists in the public and private sectors.
Thierry Jean, CEO of Cerep declared: "We are delighted to be given the opportunity to collaborate with the SGC to ensure that their scientific discoveries in epigenetics are made commercially available to support the discovery of new and efficient medicines."
Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation said: "Ontario is thrilled to welcome Cerep, a world leader in drug profiling. We're pleased that Cerep will partner with SGC to build an advanced lab, hire scientists and spur new innovation and discovery in our province. What brought them here is our government's commitment to an open innovation environment, which allows us to develop medicines more quickly and strengthen our life sciences sector."
Notes to Editors
The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is a not-for-profit organization formed in July 2004 to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins of medical relevance, and place them in the public domain immediately and without restriction. The SGC's 180 scientists work out of the Universities of Oxford and Toronto and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
The SGC receives funding from Canadian, Swedish and British sponsors representing both the public and private sectors: the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute, Karolinska Institutet, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Government of Ontario, the Wellcome Trust, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Novartis.
Cerep SA is a service provider to the international biotech and pharma industry (headquarter in Poitiers, France). Focussing on in vitro pharmacology and ADME-Tox, Cerep provides solutions allowing cost effective drug discovery by identifying at early stages the most promising drug candidates and eliminating compounds likely to fail in development. Cerep's technologies benefit to about 500 companies worldwide including most of the top pharmaceutical firms.