PVLSI Announces Licensing Agreement of Intellectual Property to Seahorse Bioscience, Inc.

August 15, 2012

Seahorse Biosciences has licensed a patent ,entitled “Methods, Compositions and Kits for Assaying Mitochondrial Function”, developed in the laboratory of Dr. Nagendra Yadava, the John Adams Investigator at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLSI) and Dr. Alejandro Heuck, PhD, an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

The patent describes a new method for creating small apertures in the cellular membrane, which will allow scientists to examine and better understand the inner mechanics of the cell and how it is using and making energy. A key element of this invention is the ability to now make assessments of mitochondrial bioenergetics in an environment that more closely mimics real physiological conditions, and eliminates the need for isolating mitochondria from cells. This discovery will be an integral component of a new reagent kit being developed by Seahorse, for use with the Seahorse XF Extracellular Flux Analyzer, an analytical tool for measuring cellular bioenergetics, in real-time, in a microplate.

Dr. Paul Friedmann, executive director of the PVLSI stated that, “2012 has been a productive and important year for the PVLSI. We are now realizing the commercialization of institute-derived research, which is enabling further industry collaborations both within the state of Massachusetts and globally”.  In addition to this licensing agreement with Seahorse, the PVLSI has also entered into agreements with two other companies to sell an antibody-based research tool.

“This licensing agreement with Seahorse exemplifies the importance of the PVLSI as a cornerstone for biomedical research and economic development in Western Massachusetts”, said Patrick Larkin, Director of the John Adams Innovation Institute, at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. “MassTech supports and invests in high-quality research initiatives throughout the Commonwealth, such as those at the PVLSI and throughout all of Massachusetts.”

David Ferrick, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Seahorse stated, “The collaboration with the PVLSI has helped Seahorse meet some of its most important strategic growth initiatives, and allows us to continue to provide scientists with tools that enable easier and more accurate ways to measure cellular bioenergetics, and progress important advances in biomedical research.”

About Seahorse Bioscience

Seahorse Bioscience provides industry-leading analytical instruments, cell based assay kits, and consumable lab ware products for biological research and drug discovery. Scientists worldwide use these tools to advance their research in understanding the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer, neuroscience, immunology, obesity, diabetes, ageing, cardiovascular function, and safety toxicity.  . Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, Seahorse Bioscience maintains its manufacturing facilities in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and European and Asian Headquarters in Copenhagen and Shanghai respectively. For more information visit: www.seahorsebio.com  

About the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is a public, economic development agency based in Westborough that is focused on strengthening the Commonwealth’s innovation economy. The Innovation Institute, at MassTech works to enhance to improve Massachusetts’ competitive edge supporting industry clusters and institutions in efforts to stimulate new job creation and job retention in knowledge-and technology-based companies. For more information visit: www.masstech.org

About the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute

PVLSI was created in 2002 as a joint venture of Baystate Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Amherst with the dual missions of biomedical research and economic development.  Drawing on each of the founders as well as its own researchers, the Institute brings together physicians, scientists, and engineers to create interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams focused on the molecular mechanisms of disease and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools. For more information visit:  www.pvlsi.org

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