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ACRI licenses medical technology to Boston area biotech company
New capture tool accelerates minimally invasive diagnostics for Cancer and other diseases

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) has licensed a novel synthetic peptide called VN96 to New England Peptide (NEP), a Boston based biotech manufacturer. "VN96 is a synthetic peptide that was designed to specifically catch surface molecules on microvesicles (MVs). These microvesicles are nano-sized particles shed by human cells in normal and diseased conditions that inform us on the status of the cell of origin." says Dr. Anirban Ghosh, an ACRI researcher working on the project.

"You can think of microvesicles as a facsimile of a diseased cell that contain the same altered genes and proteins that you would find in sample obtained from a surgical biopsy. Microvesicles circulate in blood or urine so important diagnostic or prognostic information can be collected simply and used for either research or clinical analysis. This is a perfect example where you have researchers and entrepreneurs working together to take a discovery from bench to bedside" says Dr. Rodney Ouellette, President and Scientific Director of ACRI.

"Peptides are small proteins that play key roles in biochemical regulation of all life systems, helping to fight diseases as diverse as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, obesity and HIV. Peptides' inherent low toxicity and high potency, coupled with improved drug delivery methods and enhanced manufacturing capabilities, are fueling a surge in research and clinical use" says the CEO and Founder of NEP, Sam Massoni.
NEP is one of the largestresearch grade peptide and antibody manufacturers with over 1000 company clients in 80 countries with customers in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries as well as academia.
ACRI is located at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. Through research ACRI is working to understand cancer and translate discoveries to improve patient care.

"This new relationship is a great example of how investment in research can lead to innovative solutions that improves people lives." says Sophie Theriault, the Director of Commercial Development and Communications at ACRI. "It all started with an interesting lab discovery that led to an exciting new medical technology that has the potential to immediately make a real difference in health care. We are only beginning to explore the potential of this technology beyond the field of cancer and there are countless potential applications in other areas of disease in both humans and animals. We have already begun discussions with other companies to issue licenses in various fields of use and this is a platform that will generate real economic impact in Atlantic Canada and beyond" says Theriault.

"The team at ACRI has been working on the project for several years and has been generously supported mainly by agencies like the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Province of New Brunswick. We would not be proudly announcing this milestone if we did not have the support of our funding partners." says Dr. Rodney Ouellette who also thanks the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and the Dr GL Dumont Hospital Foundation for their long-time support. "It is a great feeling to see this come to fruition as so many team members have dedicated so much time and effort over the years." "The potential for this technology is exciting and are excited to have a company like NEP, a leader in its field, partner with us to bring this discovery to market.

"Innovation is key part of our plan to rebuild our economy, create jobs, and strengthen New Brunswick's tremendous quality of life, said Premier Alward. This partnership is an investment in a healthy and vibrant future for New Brunswick families and communities."

"Our Government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Robert Goguen, MP for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie). "Through ACOA's Atlantic Innovation Fund investments in projects like the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute contribute to greater opportunities in the commercialization of technology, while leveraging further collaboration for the region's research communities."

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Atlantic Cancer Research Institute 
Pavillon Hôtel-Dieu
35, Providence Street
Moncton, NB E1C 8X3 Canada
Tel.: 506-862-7512
Fax.: 506-862-7571

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

 (ACRI) is a non-profit organization founded in late 1998 and housed at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. Thanks to its unique expertise, ACRI has become a true centre of excellence in cancer research.


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