biOasis proprietary technology, Transcend, was discovered in the 1990’s in Dr. Wilfred Jefferies laboratory based in the Michael Smith Labs at the University of British Columbia (“UBC”). It was obsereved that a naturally occurring human protein called melanotransferrin (also called MTf, CD228 and p97) could carry iron to the central nervous system via receptors found on the surface of the blood-brain barrier (“BBB”).

Based on this critical observation, it was hypothesized that therapeutics could be delivered to the brain if attached to MTf. This hypothesis was proven correct and in 2008 the results of a proof-of-concept study describing MTf’s unique ability to deliver therapeutics to the brain was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, entitled: ”A Unique Carrier for Delivery of Therapeutic Compounds beyond the Blood-Brain Barrier.” The use of MTf as a carrier of therapeutics to the brain was patented by UBC and ‘Transcend’ was born.

The discovery of Transcend was preceded by Dr. Jefferies observation that a monoclonal antibody that he developed (Ox26) at Oxford University in 1985 while working on his thesis, could target the transferrin receptor. MTf comes from the Transferrin (“Tf”) family of proteins. The discovery of the Ox26 antibody targeted at the transferrin receptor was instrumental in leading scientists to consider using receptors located on the BBB as a route to deliver therapeutics to the brain.

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