Editor’s note: Allan Maurer covers the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for Local Tech Wire.Every now and then a local company issues a news release and buries a powerful clue to its importance somewhere in the middle.

Ribonomics acquired yet another basic patent on its technology last week and included this statement from founder Jack Keene, the James B. Duke professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University Medical Center:

“This is a very fundamental patent whose underlying technology is expected to change the way genetic information is interpreted. In fact, it simplifies genomics data and provides novel functional information about gene products.

“Pharmaceutical companies have generated enormous amounts of genomic information in recent years, but much of it is so complex that is difficult to interpret. This patented technology provides our ability to classify genomic data into functional groups that have relevance to all diseases.”

Is it just us, or does that sound significant to you?

Ribonomics is focusing its initial research into the functional genomics of how the body uses sugars, which could result in new treatments for diabetes and obesity. Finding either could result in blockbuster drugs.

But what impressed us about that comment was that last line: “relevance to all diseases.”

Chris Kelly, president of Ribonomics, says: “Our challenge is to focus only on those areas where we can effectively deliver results today.”

Covering biotech, you notice these challenges to commercializing laboratory discoveries.

Ribonomics landed $400,000 in grant money earlier this year, but is currently renting month-to-month from the new landlord at the former LifeSciences Center of the NC TDA and is still seeking significant venture backing.

Officially, the U.S. Patent Office granted patent No. 6,635,422 titled “Methods for isolating and characterizing endogenous mRNA-Protein (mRNP) Complexes.”

The Durham-based company also says it is in negotiations with potential biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners surrounding work in several areas.

Ribonomics: www.ribonomics.com