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WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Epitome Biosystems announced today that it has signed a licensing and development agreement with EMD Biosciences for products based on Epitome's proprietary EpiTag(TM) technology. Specifically, Epitome will develop reagents for the quantitative measurement of key intracellular signaling proteins. The companies will collaborate on development and the products will be marketed and sold for research applications on a world-wide basis by EMD Biosciences under its well-known Novagen(R) and Calbiochem(R) brands. Epitome will receive a technology access fee, milestone-based development payments, and royalties on product sales.

Epitome's EpiTag technology enables the identification of unique amino acid sequences or "tags" within a protein. Antibodies raised against peptides containing the tags, rather than the entire protein, have predetermined specificity and high affinity. Similarly, measurement in an EpiTag assay is made on the peptide fragment, released from the protein by digestion, rather than on the entire protein. By reducing the measurement system to a peptide level, Epitome provides a universal, efficient and scalable method for developing and conducting multiplex protein assays.

Neal Gordon, Ph.D., President of Epitome stated, "We are extremely pleased to have a company with the reputation of EMD Biosciences become one of our early technology adopters. They have an outstanding history of innovation and we are looking forward to helping them expand their product line."

"The EpiTag system is a simple yet powerful approach to develop robust multiplex immunoassays," said Robert Mierendorf, Ph.D., CTO of EMD Biosciences. "We are excited about partnering with Epitome Biosystems to develop unique tools for the study of cell signaling pathways," he continued.

About Epitome Biosystems

Epitome Biosystems is a pioneer in the development of a new breed of protein measurement tools. The proprietary EpiTag technology delivers highly specific antibodies and assay standards for quantitation of any protein based solely on sequence. These reagents easily interface with any measurement system including bead and planar based array platforms and are particularly useful in developing micro-scale immunoassays. Epitome Biosystems is backed by funding from Flagship Ventures and Vinod Khosla, with offices in Waltham, MA. For more information, visit

About EMD Biosciences, Inc.

EMD Biosciences, Inc. provides a broad range of innovative life science research products used world-wide in disease-related life science research at universities as well as in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. The company is part of the Life Science and Analytics (LSA) division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and operates as EMD Biosciences, Inc. in North America and Merck Biosciences outside North America. Globally, EMD Biosciences is known in the scientific community through its product brands Calbiochem(R), Novabiochem(R), and Novagen(R).

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 5.9 billion in 2004, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 28,600 employees in 54 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds a 73% interest and free shareholders own the remaining 27%. The former U.S. subsidiary, Merck & Co., has been completely independent of the Merck Group since 1917.