Emerald and SomaLogic announce collaboration to image SOMAmer-protein complexes



Emerald BioStructures and SomaLogic Enter Strategic Collaboration

Emerald to Apply its X-ray Crystallography Platform to SOMAmer-Target Complexes

Bainbridge Island WA and Boulder CO, September 3, 2010

Emerald BioStructures, a leading provider of integrated structural biology services, and SomaLogic, Inc., a diagnostics and biomarker discovery company, today announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration for the structure-based design of chemically modified DNA aptamers (“SOMAmers”) and small molecule therapeutics, based on crystal structures of important protein targets bound to high affinity SOMAmers. The research collaboration will leverage Emerald’s high-throughput X-ray crystallography expertise with SomaLogic’s proprietary SOMAmer technology. The characterized SOMAmers, due to their exquisite affinity for protein drug targets, will have a broad range of potential uses in diagnostics and pharmaceutical research and development.

“Emerald BioStructures has a world-class track record in structure determination of complex protein-nucleic acid assemblies. As such, Emerald is the ideal partner for elucidating the secrets of multiple SOMAmer-target structures,” said Nebojsa Janjic, Chief Science Officer of SomaLogic. “Emerald’s structural insights will drive rapid optimization of new SOMAmers for both diagnostics and drug discovery.”

This multi-target, multi-year collaboration builds on a successful collaborative achievement between the two companies in 2009, which led to the unravelling of the first X-ray structure of a novel, high-value SOMAmer bound to its protein target. “This structure allowed us to see for the first time several novel structural themes that can be achieved with SOMAmer technology, which explains the very high affinity and unique properties of our chemically modified DNA aptamers for their protein targets,” noted Larry Gold, Chief Executive Officer of SomaLogic. “Our ongoing relationship with Emerald gives us the advantage of structural insight to design improved SOMAmers for both diagnostic and drug discovery applications.”

Lance Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald BioStructures, said, ” Emerald has a track record of investing in technology developments that help unlock structural insights into allosteric mechanisms in high value protein targets. SomaLogic’s powerful aptamer reagents are having a great impact in the field of biomarker discovery and diagnostics. We are confident that the elucidation of SOMAmers bound to their protein targets will enable structure-guided design of novel small molecule modulators of protein structure.” Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the collaboration will support work on multiple targets.