DNA2.0 And MediBIC Announce Joint R&D Agreement For Protein Engineering And Gene Synthesis Distribution In Japan

Menlo Park, CA and Tokyo, Japan
Monday, December 13, 2004

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DNA2.0, Inc. (www.DNA20.com), a leader in custom gene synthesis and protein engineering, and MediBIC (TSE:2369), a Tokyo-based bio-venture company, with consulting and informatics business units, today announced an agreement to collaborate on protein engineering and distribution of gene synthesis in Japan. The news of MediBIC’s agreement with DNA2.0 represents a commitment by both companies to use innovative approaches to cost-effectively accelerate research. The relationship will leverage and integrate the core capabilities of DNA2.0 and MediBIC in the areas of bioinformatics, data analysis, machine learning algorithms and efficient gene synthesis to support the work of genomic drug discovery and research science in Japan.

“Proteins are therapeutic drugs, universal catalysts for chemical reactions, and have great potential in areas such as nanomaterial, molecular computations and synthetic biology. Protein engineering has up until now been plagued by high cost, slow progress and limited success. The protein engineering technology developed by DNA2.0 has the ability to efficiently optimize any protein directly for the commercial application needed using advanced machine learning algorithms,” said Dr. Yasuhiro Hashimoto, president and CEO of MediBIC. “We are delighted to share our expertise in data mining, neural networks and heuristic algorithms with DNA2.0 to leverage our data management tools in the area of protein engineering.”

DNA2.0 has already used computer artificial intelligence to modify the sequence of a protein, resulting in a seven-fold improvement in enzyme activity. "Combining MediBIC’s computational know-how with DNA2.0’s protein engineering technology will further enhance our efficient process for developing proteins with novel commercially valuable properties," said Dr Jeremy Minshull, president of DNA2.0. “MediBIC’s unique data mining tools for genetic and chemical compounds perfectly complement the protein engineering technology developed by DNA2.0. MediBIC has a market-leading position in the high-growth Japanese biotech community. We are extremely pleased to establish this agreement to collaborate with such a prestigious leader and work together on innovations in genomic research,” added Dr. Minshull.

The relationship with MediBIC is a major market entry for DNA2.0. Under the terms of the agreement, MediBIC will collaborate with DNA2.0 in new product research and development, and will also be the sole Japanese distributor for the company’s existing repository of synthesized genes. The Japanese pharmaceutical market is the world’s 2nd largest after the US, with 90% dedicated to prescription drugs. MediBIC was recently named the fastest growing technology company in Japan by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the global professional services organization. MediBIC’s rapid expansion allows DNA2.0 to help meet the needs of Japan’s growing market demand for new approaches in genomic drug discovery.

The two companies will be supporting Japanese life science companies engaged in the synthesis and development of improved enzymes and biomedical products as well as development of proteins with unique properties. To extend the breadth of applied research, the collaboration may evolve to include key internal projects, such as modification of existing bio products and the development of bio products with specialized properties.


About MediBIC.

MediBIC (TSE:2369) is a leading Japanese life sciences and pharmacogenomics consulting company. The company was founded in 2000 with the aim of helping the Japanese pharmaceutical industry to improve its drug development efficiency through strategic integration of technologies. The company has diversified into providing custom informatics solutions and partnering with other technology providers to form an in silico virtual discovery pipeline. The company has been recognized as the fastest growing biotech company in Japan. For more information on MediBIC visit the company's website at http://www.medibic.com .


About DNA2.0, Inc.

DNA2.0 is the developer of two platform technologies, the DNA-2-Go gene synthesis process and DeNovo Genes TM, a protein engineering and sequence optimization technology. The firm’s charter is to exploit the synergy between a highly efficient gene synthesis process and new protein optimization technologies. PlanetGene TM is the recently launched repository of codon optimized human genes which can be accessed through the DNA2.0 website (www.DNA20.com) or directly at www.planetgene.com.

DNA2.0 is applying its DNA-2-Go custom genes synthesis process and its DeNovo Genes platform technology to design and produce information-rich gene variants. These gene variants are synthesized individually and then tested for functional activity. The data is analyzed and mapped as a mega dimensional projection of the correlated sequence-function space. The DeNovo Genes technology is uniquely suited to engineering proteins for commercial applications such as industrial biocatalysis and healthcare products such as therapeutic proteins and diagnostic reagents. For more information please visit www.DNA20.com or email info@dna20.com.