Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Medical Research Council Announce Key Collaboration

25 Apr 2007
Small molecular drugCollaborate
NEW HAVEN, Conn. and LONDON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the Medical Research Council (MRC) today announced they have entered into a research collaboration in the area of ribosome and antibiotic structure and function. Under the terms of the collaboration, Rib-X and the MRC will jointly explore the high resolution crystal structure of the full 70S ribosome recently discovered by the MRC's world-renowned ribosome scientist, Venki Ramakrishnan, Ph.D. The ribosome is a macromolecular machine composed of protein and RNA whose function is to convert genetic information into proteins essential for life. The bacterial ribosome is composed of two major components, a large (50S) and a small (30S) subunit, which together comprise the 70S form. Rib-X has previously exclusively licensed the high resolution structures of the 30S from the MRC, and the 50S from Yale University. "Rib-X is very pleased to be able to collaborate with Dr. Ramakrishnan and the MRC in this important research area," says Dr. Susan Froshauer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rib-X. "We are excited about the prospect of building on our knowledge to further our insights into how antibiotics interact at the atomic level with disease producing bacteria." Rib-X was originally founded to use high resolution crystal structures of the 50S ribosome subunit and proprietary structure-based drug design approaches to efficiently design and synthesize new classes of antibiotics effective against drug-resistant bacteria. The ribosome, found in all cells, is a complex of protein and RNA which promotes protein synthesis, and its 50S subunit has long been known to be a valuable, clinically proven antibiotic target. Rib-X's expert knowledge of the 50S structure has provided its scientists an unprecedented and proprietary understanding of how antibiotics bind to the ribosome to block its function. Rib-X is using these insights to build a pipeline of differentiated products which overcome the resistance of pathogenic bacteria to existing classes of antibiotics, which poses a serious threat to public health. "It is a pleasure to be able to work with people who have such a high level of commitment to the utilization of the ribosome as a drug discovery target," said Dr. Ramakrishnan. "Rib-X has made remarkable strides in the relatively short life of the company and I am confident their extraordinary technology will serve an instrumental role in our collective quest for a new class of antibiotics." Notes to editors: About Dr. Ramakrishnan Dr. Ramakrishnan is currently a Group Leader in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. He has published approximately 50 research papers pertaining to ribosomal studies. His achievement in determining the atomic structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit and its complexes with several antibiotics won him international recognition. He used neutron diffraction to map the arrangement of proteins in the 30S subunit and solved X-ray structures of individual components and their RNA complexes early in his career. Dr. Ramakrishnan earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Baroda University in India and his Ph.D. in Physics from Ohio University. He pursued further post-graduate studies at The University of California, San Diego. More recently, Dr. Ramakrishnan also received the high honor of election to the Royal Society. He is a member of the Rib-X scientific advisory board. About Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Rib-X Pharmaceuticals is a product-driven small molecule drug discovery and development company focused on the structure-based design of new classes of antibiotics. The company's underlying drug discovery engine capitalizes on its proprietary high-resolution crystal structure of the 50S subunit of the ribosome, which performs an essential role in the fundamental process of protein synthesis. Many known, commercially valuable antibiotics bind to the 50S, including those used to treat both community-acquired and hospital- acquired pathogens. The company's integrated research strategy, which combines state of the art, proprietary computational analysis, x-ray crystallography, medicinal chemistry, microbiology and biochemistry, allows it to rapidly synthesize new agents designed to avoid typical antibiotic resistance mechanisms. Rib-X's iterative intelligent engine has yielded several distinctive new antibiotic classes. The Company currently has two programs in Phase 1, the RX-01 program as an oral/IV agent to treat serious hospital Gram- positive infections and the RX-03 program a next generation fluoroquinolone, active against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. For more information on the ribosome and the Rib-X mission, please visit the Company website at . About the Medical Research Council The Medical Research Council is dedicated to improving human health through excellent science. It invests on behalf of the UK taxpayer. Its work ranges from molecular level science to public health research, carried out in universities, hospitals and a network of its own units and institutes. The MRC liaises with the Health Departments, the National Health Service and industry to take account of the public's needs. The results have led to some of the most significant discoveries in medical science and benefited the health and wealth of millions of people in the UK and around the world. For more information about the Medical Research Council, visit . Contacts Rx Communications Group Rhonda Chiger 917-322-2569 Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc. CONTACT: Rhonda Chiger of Rx Communications Group, +1-917-322-2569 Web site:
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