Edinburgh Innovations has signed a licence agreement with Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB).

CRB has more than 37 years of expertise in the custom supply of research reagents, namely peptides and antibodies for life science research and development.

Under the agreement, CRB will be permitted to label both custom made and catalogue peptides with novel dyes developed by a research team from Edinburgh Medical School, led by Principal Investigator Dr Marc Vendrell. Dr Vendrell worked in collaboration with academic partners at the University of Barcelona and IRB Barcelona, led by Professor Rodolfo Lavilla, and Professor Nick Read at the University of Manchester to co-invent the technology.

Synthesis and science benefits

These dynamic activatable fluorophores have been developed to enable fluorogenic labelling of peptides for enhanced live-cell imaging. They offer numerous advantages from both a synthesis perspective and for the end-user scientist.

The dye is pre-conjugated to an amino acid, tryptophan, facilitating direct inclusion into the peptide sequence rather than post purification labelling, minimising the number of reaction steps and therefore the time taken to prepare the labelled product. The technique also benefits from high signal-to-noise ratios with increased sensitivity, which enables use of the material in small concentrations, reducing potential adverse effects and facilitating clinical translation.

Strengthening relationship

This agreement is significant to CRB, a supplier to the University of Edinburgh for many years as a specialist CRO now aligned for a more collaborative approach. The agreement will enable CRB to expand its current dye portfolio, offering a greater selection of products and increased flexibility on the labelling strategy to its customers. It will also permit expansion of the DISCOVERY Peptides catalogue, launched this year, with the inclusion of a new range of pre-labelled antimicrobial peptides.

CRB’s Commercial Director, Emily Humphrys, said: “This is an important agreement for CRB, as it enables us to expand our product offering both for the custom side of our business and also for the new DISCOVERY Peptides catalogue. Our customers really value our technical expertise and also our flexibility and inclination to explore the chemistry methodologies available in order to fulfil their requirements, and this new labelling strategy offers substantial scope to our dye and labelling portfolio.”

Dr Angus Stewart-Liddon, EI’s Licensing Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Cambridge Research Biochemicals on the commercialisation of this fluorescent probe technology. The significant experience CRB brings to the table in terms of peptide synthesis and supplying the research market, in particular with labelling technologies, ideally complements the highly innovative science being undertaken by the Vendrell Group.”