Yokogawa and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases Sign Agreement on Joint Development of Drug Discovery Support System

Bonn/Tokyo, 20. Oktober 2010. Yokogawa Electric Corporation and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) announce the signing of an agreement to cooperate in research and development activities to enhance the functions of the CellVoyagerTM CV6000 drug discovery support system, which is used to screen candidate compounds for new drugs. This cooperative agreement brings together the DZNE’s knowledge and expertise in research on new targets in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and the advanced drug discovery support system technology developed by Yokogawa. With DZNE’s strong translational focus and an intense cooperation with universities and their clinics at all DZNE sites, the collaboration is expected to bring forward the translation of knowledge from fundamental discoveries into clinical applications. This will accelerate the discovery of new targets and the transfer of research results to clinical applications.

Also the pharmaceutical industry is striving to increase the speed and efficiency of new drug development. To accomplish this, it is necessary to automate and accelerate the process of screening candidate compounds, which can number in the millions. This as well applies to advanced molecular research at academic institutions like the DZNE. The cooperation gives the DZNE the opportunity to carry out large-scale complex experiments, which in the past has been possible mainly in an industrial environment.

Yokogawa’s CellVoyager CV6000 is the world’s fastest cell function imaging screening system, and it produces clear images that are of the highest resolution. This high-throughput drug discovery support system boosts the efficiency of new drug development.

The DZNE’s mission is to understand the causes and risk factors that predispose to neurodegeneration and to develop new therapeutic and health care strategies. The DZNE is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the governments of the DZNE sites. Today, approximately 300 researchers work at the DZNE. "At the DZNE we are focusing our effort on building a scientific environment that fosters translational science in the field of neurodegeneration" says Dr. Eugenio Fava, DZNE’s Head of Research Services and Facilities. "In this context we have developed a state of the art assay development and screening facility that includes the CellVoyager CV6000. Working with Yokogawa to develop new technologies in the field of high-content screening provides unique opportunities to make new discoveries for neurodegenerative diseases. We are glad to be working with Yokogawa and we are looking forward to a highly productive collaboration."

Under the terms of this agreement, Yokogawa will acquire know-how on the development of sophisticated cellular assays that might find application in drug development processes and will use this to enhance certain functions in the CellVoyager CV6000 that will better meet the needs of researchers and improve ease of use. At DZNE, it will also give demonstrations of the CellVoyager system to potential clients. Through the use of the most sophisticated equipment and software, the DZNE will be able to more efficiently conduct research using, for example, primary neuron based cellular assays.

Toshiyuki Suzuki, head of Yokogawa's Life Science Headquarters, says, “We feel honored and have high hopes for this joint development. Combining CellVoyager CV6000’s imaging and analysis technologies with the DZNE’s neurodegenerative disease research know-how will surely make significant progress in illuminating disease mechanisms and identifying potential cures. We look forward to working with the DZNE researchers.” Yokogawa is pleased to have been selected by DZNE, and this agreement helps pave the way for Yokogawa to become No.1 in the drug discovery support system market.

About CellVoyager
The CellVoyager drug discovery support system consists of a confocal scanner unit that is capable of observing live cells in real time, a high-precision positioning mechanism for the observation of multiple samples at high speeds, and an incubator for culturing sample cells.

About the DZNE
The DZNE is a research institute within the Helmholtz Association that studies neurodegenerative diseases. Its mission is to understand the causes and risk factors that predispose to neurodegeneration and to develop new therapeutic and health care strategies. In order to promote high quality research in the field of neurodegeneration, the DZNE closely collaborates with its cooperation partners at universities and university clinics at its sites in Bonn, Göttingen, Rostock/Greifswald, Magdeburg, Munich, Tübingen, Witten, and the partner institute in Dresden. For more information about the DZNE, please visit www.dzne.de/en.

About Yokogawa
Yokogawa's global network of 25 manufacturing facilities and 80 companies spans 54 countries. Since its founding in 1915, the US$3 billion company has been engaged in cutting-edge research and innovation, securing more than 7,200 patents and registrations, including the world's first digital sensors for flow and pressure measurement. Industrial automation and control, test and measurement, information systems and industry support are the core businesses of Yokogawa. For more information about Yokogawa, please visit our web site at www.yokogawa.com.

Sonja Jülich-Abbas
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Head Public Relations (prov.)
Phone.:  +49-(0)228-43302-260
Mobil:     +49-(172)-2838930
Mail:       sonja.juelich-abbas(at)dzne.de

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