Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health





Babraham Institute research results in patent grants for CellCentric

A European patent award has now been received, in addition to recent US grants, that covers a technology for site specific gene demethylation. This technology can be a useful tool in understanding the epigenetic regulation of cells, and the mechanisms used to control cell fate.  This has implications for understanding disease processes and potentially the development of new treatments.

CellCentric is a Cambridge UK, based biotechnology company, with its scientific foundation based on epigenetics.  It has collaborated with leading researchers throughout the world to identify ways of exploiting new knowledge and innovations in this emerging scientific area.

One technology, developed primarily by Professor Wolf Reik at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, is a method to induce site specific demethylation of genes.  This is based on a cytidine deaminase system. Patent grants for this in the US were received earlier this year, and now the European equivalent has been received.

The technology can be used by bioscience and pharmaceutical researchers to investigate the influence of methylation and demethylation on specific gene expression within cells.  This is a key epigenetic control mechanism that helps regulate cell function.  When normal cell function and control is lost, disease can result.  Thus the technology could be a powerful tool for understanding disease, and potentially leading to new treatments.

CellCentric is focused on drug discovery – using epigenetic knowledge to drive novel treatments for cancer. 
The demethylation technology is adjunct to this activity.
The relevant patent numbers are:  EP 2 010 660 B1, US 8,298,529 B2 and US 8,658,393 B2.
Will West CEO, CellCentric Ltd. O: +44 1799 531 130 M: +44 7909 547 950

About CellCentric CellCentric is a biotechnology company, founded with Prof Azim Surani FRS of University of Cambridge, one of the earliest pioneers in epigenetics. Epigenetic mechanisms play a key role in regulating cell fate. When these processes go awry, disease states can be induced, including most notably cancer. CellCentric is focused on drug discovery for prostate cancer, and specifically castrate resistant prostate cancer.  By focusing on epigenetic-related targets, it is possible to modulate the androgen receptor pathway to combat the disease and overcome many of the resistance limitations seen with current approved drugs.  The company’s drug discovery activity is funded privately from investors, coupled with support from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.


21 May, 2014