Norak Biosciences, whose investors recently agreed to provide it with up to a $5 million convertible loan, has received a broad European patent issuance covering methods that protect its Transfluor technology.

The newly issued patent claims compositions and cells including a conjugate of a beta-arrestin, including variants, and any detectable molecule, such as a fluorescent protein or enzyme moiety, which refers to a specific segment of a molecule.

This patent was internationally filed in June 1998 and published in December 1998, and subsequently translated throughout European Patent Office member countries. Norak says the patent is available for license.

“We are pleased to have exclusive Transfluor rights in Europe,” commented Roger Blevins, Norak’s president and CEO. “Our broadened claims covering arrestins and any active label are now beginning to issue worldwide.”

The RTP-based company is utilizing its proprietary Transfluor technology to discover and develop drugs that regulate G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The technology, which was licensed from Duke in 1999, is designed to screen potential drug candidates against GPCR targets, whether known or orphan.

Recently, Norak completed a screening collaboration agreement with Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals of Japan to use its Transfluor technology to develop cell lines expressing an orphan GPCR target of interest to Sumitomo.