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MHC tetramer reagents and infectious disease, cancer antigen epitope identification reagents: worldwide business transfer for development, manufacturing and distribution

Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, December 4, 2012- Medical & Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd. (hereinafter MBL, Head office: Nagoya, Aichi; President & C.E.O. Mr. Jun Sasaki) announces it concluded a comprehensive agreement with Beckman Coulter, Inc. (Head office: California USA hereinafter BCI) to transfer BCI's worldwide business of development, manufacturing, and distribution of MHC tetramer reagents and infectious disease, cancer antigen identification reagents (hereinafter iTopia products) to MBL.

BCI and MBL already concluded an exclusive agreement dated March 2002 for the development, manufacturing and distribution of MHC tetramer reagents for the territory of Japan and this time, this original agreement has been extended to cover worldwide development, manufacturing and distribution for the worldwide market.
This new agreement grants the following business and information.

・For BCI's manufactured MHC tetramer reagents (170 products), existing market and customer information in US, Europe.
・Manufacturing method of MHC tetramer products, technology of new product development, and related patents exploitation.
・Technological know-how and Technical support materials or documents of BCI's MHC tetramers.

This new agreement also provides MBL with license of developing, manufacturing and distributing iTopia products for which BCI's MHC tetramer technology is applied.

MHC tetramer reagents are only reagents by which antigen specific cytotoxic T cells which play a major role for cellular immunology in immune reaction, can be directly detected and quantitated.

Recently, at "Cancer vaccine" taking attention as the 4th treatment of cancer, trial for therapeutics have been tried by identifying peptide sequence which efficiently activate cytotoxic T cells from cancer specific antigen of several types of cancer.
MHC tetramer reagents enable direct detection and quantification to see if cancer peptide vaccine expected to be a target for drug discovery, actually proliferates cancer specific cytotoxic T cells in cancer patients.

Besides, iTopia products are reagents which intend to be used to identify which peptide sequence of target cancer antigen is easy to be recognized by cytotoxic T cells, and this is expected to be an important tool for drug discovery companies targeting cancer vaccines.

MBL established its US subsidiary; MBL International (hereinafter MBLI) near Boston in 1993 then in 2008, acquired BION Enterprises Ltd. (Head office: Illinois US) for MBLI to manufacture and market autoimmune disease related diagnostic reagents for global business development. MHC tetramer reagents and iTopia products MBL have this time from this new agreement for global business should be used worldwide in the field of cancer vaccine by taking advantage of experience, knowledge and expertise MBL and its group companies has had so far for MHC tetramer reagents development, manufacturing and distribution.
In addition, MBL hopes they will be used for research purpose of cellular immunology, transplant immunology, autoimmune diseases as well as infectious diseases and cancer vaccine treatment, targeting potential in vitro diagnostics in the future.

MBL, by this new business development transferred from BCI, will further strengthen its presence of personalized medicine related business in the field of biomarker, companion diagnostics, cell therapy, antibody medicine seeds it aims for, in addition to global development of research reagents.

Medical & Biological Laboratories, Co., Ltd.

MBL was established in 1969 as the first antibody maker in Japan and since then, involved in research, development and marketing diagnostic reagents and basic research reagents.
For basic research reagents, MBL has marketed in the world more than 5,000 kinds of antibodies together with original developed and introductory antibodies as well. Also MBL accepts customized antibodies. Besides, MBL is engaged in marketing kits used for mRNA identification, synthesis of nucleic acid, artificial gene, and contract analysis of glyco chain.
For diagnostic business, MBL is engaged in developing diagnostic reagents for autoimmune diseases, cancer, metabolic diseases etc. and is positioned as leading maker of autoimmune disease test field, contributing to these fields having incurable diseases with varieties of product portfolio. For cytology related business, MBL markets specimen preparation system, brush for cervical cancer.
MBL will focus on research and develop therapeutic antibody by leveraging expertise as antibody marker.

Beckman Coulter, Inc.

Beckman Coulter, Inc., based in Orange County, Calif., develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical tests. More than 275,000 Beckman Coulter systems operate in both diagnostics and life sciences laboratories on six continents. For more than 75 years, Beckman Coulter products have been making a difference in peoples' lives by improving the productivity of medical professionals and scientists, supplying critical information for improving patient health and reducing the cost of care. For more information, visit website at

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