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Cenix Continues AstraZeneca Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cenix Bioscience will conduct a new research project with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals focused on using cell-based studies to validate cancer drug targets, Dresden, Germany-based Cenix said today.

The project is the second between Cenix and Astrazeneca, and it will be conducted under the framework of the existing agreement between the companies.

Cenix will use RNAi-based gene silencing technology and high-content phenotypic analysis to conduct detailed cell-based studies for potential oncology drug candidates. Cenix said that it will use the Cellenger image analysis platform from Munich-based firm Definiens to adapt and implement multi-parametric microscopy-based analysis.

Cenix said in March of 2008 that it had struck an agreement to conduct screening for Astrazeneca that also involved high-content phenotypic analysis studies. The company said at the time that it expected the agreement to be the first in a series of collaborations.

"We welcome the chance to continue assisting AstraZeneca in the crucially important process of target validation to further advance their oncology pipeline," Christophe Echeverri, Cenix's CEO and chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

The company said that RNAi datasets now "offer a highly predictive and cost-effective basis for discovering and prioritizing targets for therapeutic drug development."