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Harvard Medical School and Lumera to Collaborate on a New Protein Biochip



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Harvard Medical School and Lumera to Collaborate on a New Protein Biochip

BOTHELL, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 9, 2006--Lumera Corporation (NASDAQ:LMRA - News), a leader in the emerging field of nanotechnology, announced today that is has entered into a collaborative agreement with Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, a division of HMS. Under the terms of the agreement, Lumera and HMS will develop a next generation silicon chip substrate that combines Lumera's NanoCapture(TM) technology with HMS's NAPPA(TM) methodology (nucleic acid programmable protein arrays). The resultant 10,000-spot very high density protein arrays are expected to significantly increase the speed of drug discovery and life science research.

"The 10,000-spot biochip is a very important step towards our ultimate goal of producing a whole proteome biochip," said Joshua LaBaer, Director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics. "As we increase spot density, we are able to gather more data about proteins from a single experiment." The new Lumera protein arrays are critical to the bioscience and pharmaceutical markets that need faster methods for drug discovery, biomarker discovery and solving complex problems in systems biology. Using current research methods and materials, array densities of up to about 800 spots are possible. However, with the new, proprietary Lumera array, researchers will be able to analyze high-throughput expression of well over 10,000 discrete proteins, in biologically-active arrays built from available cDNA libraries.

"Professor LaBaer's work on protein arrays at the Harvard Institute of Proteomics has been substantial and we believe is revolutionizing proteomics," said Lumera CEO Tom Mino. "They have shown the NAPPA platform as an extremely useful tool for biomarker discovery in cancer and diabetes, as well as for cutting-edge homeland bio-defense applications. We are very excited to be working with Dr. LaBaer and his team, as this represents a major milestone for Lumera's bioscience technology."

HMS's NAPPA methods provide a simple, cost-effective way to produce, as a single element of a microarray, freshly synthesized protein corresponding to any gene of known sequence. Combined with Lumera's expertise in surface chemistry, the new biochip is expected to increase the sensitivity and throughput of the NAPPA technology by increasing the number of features on the array without sacrificing the amount of protein produced per feature. This avoids the cost and major technical difficulties involved in printing protein arrays one protein at a time.

The Harvard Institute of Proteomics' protein array technology, NAPPA, was first published in the July 2004 issue of the journal, Science. NAPPA starts with a printed cDNA array and generates a self-assembled protein array using a combination of chemistries and biological methods. A cell free expression mix produces proteins from the printed genes. The resulting expression product is immobilized on a surface capture system providing for fresh, easily definable, protein arrays made directly from cDNA libraries, and easily printed with commonly available equipment and methods. The arrays can be stored and easily handled, very much like today's commonly used expression arrays. Protein is produced and captured only when the user is ready to use the array.

Although financial terms were not disclosed, under this agreement, HMS and Lumera will share rights to jointly developed intellectual property.

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