BELMONT, Calif., Dec. 7, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A-CUBE Inc. ("A-CUBE") today announced that it has signed a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) and Exclusive Option Agreement for two groups of therapeutic monoclonals to the oncogene c-MET for treating cancer with Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. ("WAKUNAGA") of Osaka, Japan. Under the agreement, A-CUBE will supply lead candidate monoclonal antibodies that were predicted by Rational In Silico Algorithm on c-MET to WAKUNAGA. WAKUNAGA will develop and validate animal models of various cancers using standard-of-care treatments, as well as develop and validate bioanalytical assays. At this point, the in vivo therapeutic potential of the two sets of monoclonals will be evaluated by WAKUNAGA. WAKUNAGA has the exclusive rights to conduct this evaluation in cancer models, and to negotiate for, and enter into exclusive collaborative research agreement with A-CUBE during a six month period following the experimental evaluation. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased with this agreement with WAKUNAGA who have state-of-the art R&D facilities and expertise," said Nobu Ota PhD, Founder and President of A-CUBE. "c-MET is a strong molecular target for cancer treatment." Dr. Ota added, "WAKUNAGA is an excellent partner for these studies, and we have developed a strong relationship between our teams."
A-CUBE is a venture capital backed company, supported by JAIC and yet2.com venture funds, that uses proprietary in silico algorithms to predict and monetize novel drug targets related to blockbuster drugs. It has used this to develop a preclinical therapeutic monoclonal antibody for cancer which has been partnered. It also has a therapeutic monoclonal antibody for eye diseases and various DNA vaccine programs.
"We had developed expertise in animal cancer model for evaluation of Epidermal Growth Factor and its antibody. We believe that this collaboration with A-CUBE will be the ideal opportunity for us to expand our research field into new area," said Mr. Hironobu Wakunaga, Director of R&D division of WAKUNAGA.
WAKUNAGA was founded in 1955 and has its head office in Osaka, Japan. It is one of the medium-sized pharmaceutical companies in Japan in OTC formulations of pharmaceuticals from herbal extracts. Its affiliate, Wakunaga of America Co., Ltd. (Mission Viejo, CA), markets dietary supplements and OTC drugs worldwide. For some years, WAKUNAGA has been expanding its R&D division into molecular diagnostics area for providing the HLA typing reagents to the Japan Marrow Donor Program. The division has also been concentrating on the prescription drug sector, especially in antibiotics with a strategy of out-license after discovery. WAKUNAGA has global licensing agreements with several pharmaceutical companies.
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JAIC America is a venture capital firm based in the Silicon Valley focused on early stage investments in the Mobile/Communications, Digital Media, Life Science and Cleantech sectors. JAIC is part of Japan Asia Investment Co. (JAIC) group, a premier venture capital and private equity firm listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with $1.3 billion assets under management. JAIC America was established in January 1999 and since then, we have actively invested in the U.S. JAIC has successfully created several U.S.-Japan cross-border business models and have the know-how to bring U.S. technologies, services, and business models to Japan. JAIC tries to keep the right "management team-investor" balance to engender a productive outcome. We know when we add value and when we impede progress. For more information, visit .
yet2.com provides intellectual property consulting and licensing services to world-class clients around the globe. Yet2.com Inc. and its online marketplace were founded in 1999 to promote Open Innovation, with original investments from Siemens, Bayer, Honeywell, DuPont, Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, and NTT Leasing. The privately held company has offices in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The web site now has over 120,000 registered marketplace users including many of the Fortune 500 and over 16,000 smaller technology companies. In addition to its core team, yet2.com has created a wide network of Open Innovation partners covering many of the technology-rich countries around the world as well as relationships with open innovation organizations, technical expert networks, SME networks, technical magazines, online technical communities, and technology brokers. These provide market-wide access to technologies and needs in countries such as Russia, China, India, Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, the U.S., and the EU. For more information, visit or contact Tim Bernstein, 1-781-972-0600.
CONTACT: A-CUBE, Inc. Nigel Ten Fleming PhD, Chief Executive Officer (415)-515-7614 Nigel@ACUBEinsilico.com