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Aventis and Graffinity Sign Drug Development Deal

NEW YORK, May 31 - Aventis Pharma and chemical microarray developer Graffinity Pharmaceutical Design have signed a collaboration to identify leads for Aventis' drug targets, the two companies said Thursday. 

Financial details were not disclosed.

Graffinity, based in Heidelberg, Germany, has developed small-molecule microarrays that identify which compounds bind favorably with a protein drug target. 

"Graffinity's technologies are aimed at the rapid and cost effective discovery of new chemical entities, a step beyond high throughput screening," Dirk Vetter, CEO of Graffinity, said in a statement. "We start with a target gene and move through protein expression, screening on chemical microarrays and our proprietary RAISE technology (Rapid Array Informed Structure Evolution) to explore unprecedented chemical space and create potentially high value lead compounds," he added.

The company currently has collaborations with American Diagnostica, in Greenwich, Conn., German pharmaceutical company BASF / Knoll, and M-phasys, a German biotechnology company. In April, Graffinity completed a 30.6 million euro ($25.9 million) private funding round.  
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