News Article

Zen-Bio, Signs With Nautilus Biotech To Identify Novel Genes Involved In Adipose Metabolism
Date: Sep 04, 2001
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Featured firm in this article: Zen-Bio Inc of Research Triangle Pa, NC

Paris, France -- September 4, 2001 -- Zen-Bio, Inc. signs with Nautilus Biotech to identify novel genes involved in adipose metabolism.

Paris, France / Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA September 4 - Zen-Bio, Inc located in Research Triangle Park, NC has signed an agreement with Nautilus Biotech located in Evry, France with the aim of collaborating on the discovery of novel therapeutics and therapeutic targets by employing functional genomics to human cultured adipocytes. With this alliance Zen-Bio will combine their adipocyte cell technology with Nautilus' platform technology in high-throughput directed evolution and viral vector systems in order to look for new candidate genes which may serve as potential drug targets for human metabolic disorders. "We believe that the combined approach of using functional genomics with primary human adipocytes will be a powerful tool in drug discovery," said Peter Pieraccini, President of Zen-Bio, Inc. Nautilus Biotech CEO & President Manuel Vega confirms this belief by stating "Nautilus Biotech's proprietary technology platform, which integrates high-throughput and automation with viral vector technology and bio-modeling, is an ideal platform for performing such complex systems screening."

Adipocytes have long been known to be storage depots of energy in the form of lipid. Recent discoveries such as the fat-specific secreted hormone leptin and resistin have shed a new light on adipose tissue and adipocytes as active regulators of energy homeostasis. Zen-Bio, Inc. is focused on the understanding of human adipocyte biology to identify new therapeutics and therapeutic targets in the areas of obesity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Zen-Bio, founded in 1996, has commercialized a human cultured adipocyte cell system and has developed a panel of assays that closely reflect human adipose cell biology. "Nautilus' viral vector technology in combination with our human adipocyte system will permit identification of novel therapeutics in the post-genome era" mentioned Zen-Bio's Dr. Anindita Sen, vice president of research and development. "We are excited about the prospect of working with Zen-Bio to unlock additional doors of human adipose tissue biology and its interaction with other tissues of the body," comments Nautilus Biotech's director of corporate development Dr. Abderrahim Mahfoudi. Nautilus Biotech's CSO Lila Drittanti adds: "This exciting collaboration with Zen-Bio affords an unique opportunity for identifying new pathways or targets that may lead to better therapeutics."

About Zen-Bio Zen-Bio has developed a novel technique for isolating and culturing human adipocytes (fat cells). Our mission is to provide the highest quality cells, reagents and contract services relating to adipocyte biology to the biomedical research community; to develop and commercialize research tools; and to leverage our expertise in this field into treatments for metabolic diseases through research and development and strategic alliances.

About Nautilus Biotech: Nautilus Biotech is the high-throughput company for performing directed evolution, functional genomics, target identification and validation, and cell line engineering and cloning for complex systems. Founded in December, 1999, Nautilus Biotech has developed powerful proprietary technology that uniquely blends viral vectors, genetic diversity and bio-modeling technologies with miniaturization & high-throughput screening for the directed evolution of bio-molecules, for functional genomics, for target identification and validation and for cell line engineering and cloning.