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JPT Peptide Technologies Announces Cooperation on Systematic Identification of Tuberculosis T-Cell Epitopes with OHSU

Berlin/Germany – July 7, 2005:
JPT Peptide Technologies GmbH (JPT), a wholly-owned subsidi-ary of Jerini AG, today announced a collaboration with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) for the systematic and rapid discovery of T-cell epitopes to accelerate the development of vaccines against tuberculosis (TB). The collaboration combines OHSU’s outstanding research and expertise to isolate and clone CD8+ cells from latent TB patients with JPT’s proprietary SPOT technology to produce very large numbers of peptides.

David and Deborah Lewinsohn at OHSU are principal investigators of an NIH/ NIAID biodefense contract to study tuberculosis. Their teams determine relevant antigens within infected cells, which subsequently will be used to identify characteristic parts of these proteins (epitopes) that are re-quired by the CD8+ cells to activate the immune response against these bacteria.

One fundamental challenge of the project is that about 40,000 peptides are needed to cover approximately 10% of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis proteome. Traditional peptide assembly technologies would take a prohibitive long time to chemically synthesize these numbers of peptides and are almost impossible to fund, due to the enormous costs arising from such procedures. The scientists at OHSU have chosen the method of so-called peptide scans as the most appropriate way to identify relevant T-cell epitopes--overlapping peptides that span entire antigen-protein sequences.

In this project, JPT Peptide Technologies will apply its high-throughput peptide synthesis and screening platform to generate the respective peptides economically within a few weeks. “For several years now, pharmaceutical companies have increasingly employed peptides from this technology to feed their automated high-throughput screening systems” states Holger Wenschuh, Managing Director at JPT and adds “For the first time, the approach of overlapping peptide scans is applied to the systematic search for novel biomarkers of entire genomes of highly relevant bacteria. We are very excited to contribute this directly to the development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches."

About JPT Peptide Technologies GmbH JPT Peptide Technologies (www.jpt.com) is an ISO 9001:2000 certified biotechnology company based in Berlin and a leading supplier of innovative peptide-based services and products. JPT licensed and owns several proprietary technologies such as the high-throughput peptide synthesis and screening platform PepSpot™, the peptide microarray technology PepStar™, and PepMix™ a unique approach for antigen specific T-cell stimulation by antigen spanning peptide pools. JPT has a world-wide customer base throughout the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. JPT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jerini AG.

For further information please contact:

JPT Peptide Technologies GmbH
Dr. Holger Wenschuh
Managing Director
Volmerstr. 5
12489 Berlin/Germany
Phone: +49 - 30 - 6392 - 7880
Fax: +49 - 30 - 6392 - 5501
wenschuh@jpt.com

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