Finding cures for children's genetic diseases

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World first toolkit of dynamin inhibitors

17/Mar/2011  


Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and The University of Newcastle today announced a licensing agreement with Ascent Scientific, which will allow scientists to access a toolkit of dynamin inhibitors – the first of its kind in the world - for research use.

Dynamin is a protein needed for endocytosis – a process used by the cell to take up molecules located outside the cell’s surface.  Endocytosis is important for many cell functions, including cell division and nerve cell signalling.  When dynamin is blocked or inhibited, endocytosis can no longer happen.

The dynamin toolkit comes from collaboration between CMRI’s Professor Phil Robinson (pictured left) and The University of Newcastle’s Professor Adam McCluskey (on right) who have been working together on dynamin for more than 10 years and have used their knowledge to design a series of dynamin inhibitors.

These inhibitors are the first to rationally target dynamin, blocking different parts of the molecule, and affecting endocytosis in different ways.

Professor Robinson said, “The toolkit of inhibitors included in the licensing agreement will enable researchers to better understand dynamin and its role in endocytosis.  As endocytosis is involved in many different cellular processes, this toolkit may lead to new uses of dynamin inhibitors to treat a broad range of conditions including epilepsy, infectious diseases, and cancer.”

Professor McCluskey added, “We are very pleased that these dynamin inhibitors will now be available to researchers worldwide through Ascent Scientific.”

Ascent Scientific is a UK-based company with expertise in synthetic chemistry, making a range of molecules for research use.  The licensing agreement allows Ascent Scientific to supply and distribute the toolkit of dynamin inhibitors to scientists worldwide.

The agreement was facilitated by Bio-Link Australia, a life sciences commercialisation company.  Bio-Link Australia specialises in developing partnerships with biopharma and diagnostic industries.