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Celladon announces new patent

Celladon Corp., a privately held San Diego biotechnology company, announced Wednesday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for its U.S. patent application relative to the company's small molecule program that targets SERCA enzymes.

The patent application covers methods for identifying compounds that modulate Sarco/Endoplamic Reticulum Calcium ATPase (SERCA) and methods for identifying compounds that modulate the SERCA/phospholamban complex using Celladon's proprietary fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay.

The patent, titled "Fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays for sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase and phospholamban," is expected to issue later this year and is expected to provide a patent term to January 2030, the company said in a release. The company credits Dr. David D. Thomas of the University of Minnesota with inventing the patent, and it will be jointly owned by Celladon and the University of Minnesota. Celladon retains an exclusive license to use, develop and commercialize it.

"The SERCA2b/ER stress pathway provides multiple opportunities for drug discovery and development in a number of disease areas with great unmet need," said Dr. Krisztina Zsebo, president and CEO of Celladon. "This allowance further strengthens Celladon's leading position of generating active compounds in this emerging field."

Using the screening assay, Celladon reports having developed a broad platform of small molecule allosteric modulators of the SERCA2b enzyme-generating drug candidates targeting diseases such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

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