RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- Integrated systems biology company Icoria, Inc. announced that it has been granted U.S. Patent No. 6,852,484, Methods for the Identification of Inhibitors of Asparagine Synthase as Antibiotics, covering the discovery of a novel gene target for antibiotic development in a biochemical pathway by which fungi produce asparagine, a nutrient necessary for fungal growth. The patent also covers methods enabling the discovery of chemicals that inhibit protein target activities within this critical pathway. These methods potentially increase the probability that fungicides could be found that affect this pathway.
Chemical compounds identified using this patented methodology may lead to the development of new fungicides with low toxicity profiles, said Keith Davis, PhD, vice president of Agricultural Biotechnology. Because of the increasing rate of resistance to existing products, the development of new fungicides represents a promising opportunity for Icoria.
Since 2001, Icoria has filed for patent protection on 37 fungicide gene targets in more than 20 recognized biological pathways. We are pleased to have received patents on the first seven candidates, said Davis. This demonstrates the success of our TAG-KOÂ® technology, which drives our fungicide target discovery and development program.
We believe the recent growth of our intellectual property portfolio demonstrates the success of our approach to biomarker detection, target discovery and pathway identification in both agriculture and healthcare, said Heiri Gugger, PhD, president and CEO.