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Aug 15, 2013
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

Translational tidbits

Scripps' Sigma factor

Academic and industry researchers eager to use new tool compounds typically must reproduce synthetic schemes published in academic journals or wait months for reagent makers to list new compounds in their catalogs. To speed up the process, The Scripps Research Institute has partnered with Sigma-Aldrich Corp. to fast-track access to new research reagents from Scripps chemistry labs.

The deal gives the reagent maker exclusive, early access to tool compounds from six of the institute's chemistry labs. The agreement initially covers IP from labs led by professors Phil Baran, Jin-Quan Yu, Benjamin Cravatt, Carlos Barbas, Philip Dawson and K. Barry Sharpless.

The goal is to have commercial batches of the compounds available from Sigma-Aldrich as soon as a paper describing the compounds is published online.

"Today, when a paper gets published, the reagents aren't necessarily commercially available until 6 to 12 months later," said Amanda Halford, VP of academic research at Sigma-Aldrich. "We want to cut that timeline and make the reagents available exactly at the time of publication."

Scott Forrest, VP of business development at Scripps, said the deal builds on previous collaborations between individual Scripps researchers and Sigma-Aldrich and gives the reagent maker broad and early access to composition of matter IP.

"Traditionally, a tech transfer office signs a series of one-off reagent deals, but this is time and labor intensive," said Forrest. "We were highly interested in finding a reagent partner of choice" to replace the individual deals covering specific reagents.

Under the deal, key compounds in peer-reviewed papers from the six labs will be assigned Sigma-Aldrich catalog numbers at the time of publication. Papers will include hyperlinks to Sigma-Aldrich's ordering website.

It takes up to half a year to scale up and synthesize commercial quantities of most research reagents, but Halford said the deal's early-access terms will give the company sufficient lead time to deliver the compounds by the publication date.

"To scale up the synthesis, we need to work out the process development," said Halford. "The goal is to do this as quickly as possible so there is no delay in the publication."

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The agreement does not give Sigma-Aldrich access to IP for therapeutic candidates and covers only tool compounds and reagent platforms that do not have direct biomedical applications.

"This agreement is focused on reagents that are used in the discovery process," said Halford, adding that...

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