Enzymes and Antibodies Play Key Role in New Drug Development

Monday, April 26, 2010

ROCHESTER, NY—Thirty-five medical entrepreneurs and researchers attended this year’s fourth BioVenture Luncheon on April 14 at the Rochester BioVenture Center for two presentations about current drug research using enzymes and antibodies.
With the number of incurable diseases that are currently plaguing the planet, there has been an increased market demand for drugs that address gaps left by today’s pharmaceuticals. As a result, the development of tomorrow’s pharmaceuticals focuses on the chemistries around enzymes and antibodies, specifically to develop drugs with limited interactions and low or no side effects.
The luncheon featured presentations by Dr. Jan Kostecki, postdoctoral scientist at Vybion, Inc. and Dr. Harold Smith, CTO and founder of Oyagen, Inc. Both Vybion and Oyagen have received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research. 
“Enzymes are the ‘work horses’ in our bodies,” said Dr. Smith. “It makes sense to use the key features of what makes an enzyme work as a part of how drugs are identified.” 
OyaGen has developed procedures that can identify new chemistries for drug development to help prevent HIV infection.
Kostecki discussed Vybion’s ProCode platform technology—a stand-alone technology representing a unique approach to screening a synthetic antibody library. Vybion is a leading developer of human monoclonal antibody drugs for unmet needs with large markets.
The BioVenture Luncheon series is free and open to the public, with topics aimed at early-stage medical products companies, entrepreneurs and researchers. Visit the MedTech website for further information about upcoming BioVenture Luncheon events.
For more information about the BioVenture Luncheon Series, contact Jill Zimmerman, (315) 410-7180. 
About MedTech
MedTech is a not-for-profit trade association comprised of Upstate New York technology manufacturers, research institutions, allied professional services and economic development organizations. We promote the commercialization of medical products by providing educational and networking events, organizing certification opportunities and facilitating collaborations among members to bring tomorrow’s technologies to the healthcare marketplace. For more information, visit http://www.medtech.org.  

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