Ipsen partners with IMCB to advance understanding and research of botulinum neurotoxin biology


Ipsen, a global specialty-driven pharmaceutical company, and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), a research institute under the aegis of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, today announced the signature of a research partnership to study the intracellular trafficking of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) within neurons.

By combining Ipsen’s leading expertise in BoNT recombinant engineering and biology with IMCB’s extensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of membrane and toxin trafficking and RNA interference screening, as well as in RNA interference screening, the collaboration aims to work on the key components of intracellular trafficking involved in the biological action of BoNTs. This work could potentially facilitate the design of new therapeutic toxins for addressing neurological disorders.

Professor Hong Wanjin, Executive Director, IMCB, said: “IMCB is very proud of this first, significant research partnership with Ipsen. The collaboration highlights how IMCB’s research capabilities in the area of system biology of membrane trafficking can be leveraged by large pharmaceutical companies such as Ipsen to develop new therapeutics. I am confident that this collaboration will lead to more meaningful partnerships between Ipsen and IMCB.”

Claude Bertrand, Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Scientific Officer of Ipsen, commented: “Ipsen is delighted to enter into a partnership with the IMCB which has an outstanding record of excellence in biological research. Ipsen’s leading recombinant toxin expertise combined with the extensive knowledge at IMCB in respect to endomembrane biology and toxin intracellular trafficking expands our research capabilities towards innovative therapeutic solutions in neurology.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Ipsen will support IMCB’s expertise to advance knowledge on BoNTs. The partners will work closely together to move the project forward for the development of new BoNT-based therapeutics.


About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead public sector agency that spearheads economic oriented research to advance scientific discovery and develop innovative technology. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit society

As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by contributing to societal benefits such as improving outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability.

We play a key role in nurturing and developing a diversity of talent and leaders in our Agency and Research Institutes, the wider research community and industry. A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis.

For more information on A*STAR, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.


About A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB)

The Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) was launched on 23 January 1985, with its official opening ceremony held on 2 October 1987 at the National University of Singapore (NUS). It subsequently became an autonomous research institute (RI) of A*STAR, moving to Biopolis in 2004. IMCB’s vision is to be a premier cell and molecular biology institute which addresses the mechanistic basis of human diseases and its mission is to conduct cutting-edge discovery research in disease pathways; to groom early career researchers to be future leaders in research; and to collaborate with medical and industry communities for research impact. IMCB plays an important role in training and recruiting scientific talents, and has contributed to the development of other research entities in Singapore. Its success in fostering a biomedical research culture in Singapore has catalysed Singapore’s transformation into an international hub for biomedical research, development and innovation.

Funded primarily by the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) of A*STAR, IMCB’s current discovery research includes cell biology in health and disease; animal models of development & disease; cancer & stem cell genetics & genomics; and structural biology & drug discovery. IMCB’s translational research includes humanised model organisms for human diseases; systems approach for disease target identification & validation; and protein engineering & antibody development for diagnostics & therapeutics. Research activities in IMCB are supported by cutting edge infrastructure and facilities including quantitative proteomics; humanised mice; mouse models of human cancer; protein crystallography X-ray; zebrafish for drug metabolism & toxicology; advanced molecular histopathology; imaging & electron microscopy; and DNA sequencing.

For more information about IMCB, visit www.imcb.a-star.edu.sg.


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