22 Feb 2011

Patent Transfer Strengthens Molecular Imaging at OIST

Okinawa, Japan, February 22, 2011 — The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and Sidec Technologies AB, a Swedish company providing research collaborations based on molecular electron tomography (MET) for the pharmaceutical industry, have entered into a patent portfolio transfer agreement that will strengthen OIST’s position in the fast developing area of molecular imaging technology.

The portfolio was developed on the basis of Dr. Ulf Skoglund’s research in MET, while he was Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. MET, which is a combination of electron microscopy techniques and fast computation methods, is used to visualize molecules and cellular sub-structures in 3D. The MET technology was explored earlier by Sidec Technologies AB in numerous collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry to visualize the molecular details of antibody-antigen binding, protein-protein complexes, virus structures and various receptor interactions in cellular membranes. Dr. Skoglund is now Principal Investigator of the Structural Cellular Biology Unit at OIST. OIST intends to further develop the potential of MET in collaboration with academic and industrial institutions active in biological research, biomedical developments and drug discovery.

This is a very exciting development.,” said Dr. Skoglund. “This patent portfolio and on going developments will contribute to establish OIST as a significant actor in the interdisciplinary field of molecular imaging technology and could lead to setting up related business opportunities here in Okinawa.

Image

3D reconstruction of a single, individual molecule using Molecular Electron Tomography - four smaller constituents
(Ig-domains) of the molecule are revealed. The molecule is 5 nanometers long.

About OIST
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) is a new graduate university. The purpose of OIST is to conduct world-class research and education in science and technology in Okinawa, to contribute to the self-sustaining development of Okinawa and to the advancement of science and technology worldwide. OIST currently has 27 research units (more than 170 researchers) carrying out multi-disciplinary research in neuroscience, molecular sciences, mathematical and computational biology, and environmental science. It has launched a program of international courses and workshops that have already achieved worldwide recognition. An application for an accreditation as Graduate University by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is scheduled for March 2011.

Press Release (PDF)