Wistar Institute Facility distinguished as center of excellence by Ben Franklin Technology PArtners of Southeastern Pennsylvania for second year

July 22, 1999

Philadelphia, July 22, 1999-- The Wistar Institute's Recombinant Protein and Structure Evaluation Center has been admitted to the Ben Franklin Technology PArtners of Southeastern Pennsylvania's Center of Excellence Network Program for the second consecutive year.

"We are pleased to welcome Wistar back for a second year based on the success of their center. Wistar's contribution of resources and expertise provides area companies with cost-effective research and solutions through the Centers of Excellence Program," said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, Ben Franklin's President and CEO.

Membership is contingent upon review and approval of the Ben Franklin's Center of Excellence Advisory Committee, comprised of members from industry and the non-profit sectors. In selecting Wistar's Recombinant Protein Production and Structure Evaluation Center for membership again, Ben Franklin's Advisory Committee cited the valuable service Wistar's center has provided, as well as the productive collaboration Wistar has established with private-sector competitors.

Wistar's Recombinant Protein Production and Structure Evaluation Center provides services to small and medium sized biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, particularly in the southeast region of Pennsylvania. It specializes in the use of a baculovirus expression vector system (BEVS) and scale-up production of recombinant proteins for use in pre-clinical research for diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as for protein-protein interaction studies, protein (including enzyme) structure-function studies, crystallization and pre-clinical vaccine development.

A full range of protein microchemistry techniques, such as mass spectrometry and protein sequence analysis, are available, as well as a comprehensive protein database and services that include proteolytic cleavage, gel electrophoresis, peptide mapping and internal peptide sequence analysis.

William Wunner, Ph.D., serves as Director of Wistar's Center; David Speicher, Ph.D., is consultant. Both Wistar professors, the two established the Center by combining Wistar's Expression Vector-Recombinant Protein Production Facility and its Protein Microchemistry/Mass Spectrometry Facility.

According to Dr. Wunner, "the combination of multi-disciplined and centralized services Wistar provides gives companies a unique opportunity to obtain a novel recombinant protein and a complete product assessment with regard to protein structure." As an additional benefit, Ben Franklin will grant new Pennsylvania companies up to $5,000 toward services rendered by the Institute.

The Ben Franklin Technology PArtners of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a statewide network that promotes economic development and competitiveness in southeastern Pennsylvania through technology and innovation. As part of the statewide Ben Franklin Partnership, Ben Franklin supports the development of technology-based enterprises through a portfolio of investment and client-oriented service programs.
The Wistar Institute, established in 1892, was the first independent medical research facility in the country. For more than 100 years, Wistar scientists have been making history and improving world health through their development of vaccines for diseases that include rabies, German measles, infantile gastroenteritis (rotavirus), and cytomegalovirus; discovery of molecules like interleukin-12, which are helping the immune system fight bacteria, parasites, viruses and cancer; and location of genes that contribute to the development of diseases like breast, lung and prostate cancer. Wistar is a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center. CONTACT: Heather Redfern 215-898-3943

The Wistar Institute

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