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Research Agreement Signed with US-based Invitrogen

China's National Centre for Drug Screening (NCDS), the only national centre specializing in screening for new drugs, has reached an agreement with US-based Invitrogen Corporation, a provider of life science technologies for disease research and drug discovery.

Invitrogen Corporation announced its research agreement with China's NCDS yesterday.

The collaborative research agreement calls for the cooperative use of Invitrogen drug discovery technologies, as well as development of new assays and techniques specific to the collaboration.

The NCDS' strength in natural products research and traditional Chinese medicine is expected to help Invitrogen's research into new areas of medical technology, according to the company.

"Collaborating with Invitrogen is a natural extension of our on-going international business strategies. With an equal partnership in this transaction, we will be able to maximize the strengths of both parties in terms of technologies, resources and manpower," said Wang Mingwei, director of the Shanghai-based NCDS.

China's NCDS was jointly set up by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai Municipal Government.

It offers a wide-range of drug screening services and technical consultation to universities, research institutions and commercial entities across China.

"At Invitrogen, we are continually seeking to demonstrate the effectiveness of our bioassay technologies and are especially interested in novel applications," said John Printen, director of drug discovery solutions at Invitrogen.

"We are very excited about working with the NCDS to develop assays and screening technologies for nuclear receptors, an important target disease class that has proven quite productive in drug discovery and development," he added.

The company anticipated that its co-operation relationship with China's NCDS will yield important data about the value of Invitrogen technology for identifying small molecule modulators for nuclear receptor activity.

"By working closely with our colleagues at Invitrogen, we believe that a series of novel nuclear receptor-based bioassays could be quickly validated in a large-scale screening setting, and potential hits identified through this campaign will lead to further co-operations," Wang said.

California-headquartered Invitrogen provides products and services that support academic and government research institutions and pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide.

The company globally employs approximately 4,500 scientists and other professionals and had revenue of more than US$1 billion last year.

(China Daily November 2, 2005)

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