VCU Reagents Go Global

VCU Reagents Go Global

As one of the nation's premier urban public research universities, VCU laboratories have developed new and useful research tools in all areas of scientific studies; including antibodies, cell lines, proteins and more. To further their contribution to scientific progress, VCU Innovation Gateway has partnered with the Boston-based reagent company Kerafast to help investigators better worldwide gain access to these materials.

Under the program, VCU researchers can add their lab-made materials to Kerafast’s online catalog, where other scientists can easily access them via a simple Material Transfer Agreement. Kerafast markets the materials handle selling and shipping logistics, and returns a portion of the proceeds to VCU and the contributing labs. The program streamlines the process of transferring biomaterials among research institutions, with the goal of accelerating scientific discoveries while providing VCU labs with an extra stream of research funding.

The Kerafast mission is to advance life science research by facilitating access to reagents from leading laboratories around the world.

Currently, six VCU investigators participate in the program. Dr. Francesco S. Celi, from the School of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine, has made available a preadipocyte cell line ideal for studying fat and energy storage. Since the material has been open, it has crossed into labs globally, being used by researchers in Germany and South Korea.

Among other materials, Dr. Daniel H. Conrad, from the School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology, has made available an IgE antibody and FcγRI-expressing cell line. These materials are used for studying cell receptors as necessary to the immune system and allergic reactions.  Furthering cross-collaboration to researchers in Belgium and Japan. Also, VCU recently signed a license agreement with Kerafast’s sister company, Absolute Antibody, under which the IgE antibody will be engineered into new recombinant formats designed to extend the antibody’s research value further.

This partnership with Kerafast helps promote development in many categories including antibodies, cell lines, proteins and more. The research is being made more accessible to help transcend global barriers and foster collaboration. VCU Innovation Gateways goal with this relationship with Kerafast is to accelerate VCU's research materials visibility in the market and to assist the accessibility of these research tools globally. For more information, or to discuss distributing your lab's research tools through the program, visit the Kerafast website or report your materials to VCU Innovation Gateway.