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Ciphergen, Fulfilling Promise, Unveils PGx Biomarker Alliance With Bayer

NEW YORK, June 27 (GenomeWeb News) - Ciphergen Biosystems and Bayer Pharmaceuticals will try to identify biomarkers and develop an assay that may be used in Bayer clinical trials in cancer, the companies said today.


The announcement fulfills a promise Ciphergen made as early as last month in which it said it would unveil a diagnostic deal before the end of June. [For more on this angle, read the May 13 issue of ProteoMonitor].


Terms of the agreement call for Ciphergen to use its SELDI-TOF-MS platform to analyze patient samples from Phase II trials at its PharmaceuticalBiomarkerDiscoveryCenterlab in Malvern, Pa.


Ciphergen and Bayer will then co-analyze the resulting data to "identify biomarkers predictive of response" to an undisclosed Bayer compound currently in development.


Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed, but Ciphergen said they include upfront fees and milestone payments.


The deal marks a significant milestone for Ciphergen, which has been hurt by slumping sales of its flagship SELDI platform in recent quarters. The company, which has had to undergo a restructuring to offset the sliding revenue, has said it expects biomarker alliances such as the one announced with Bayer to buttress the falling revenues.


CEO Bill Rich said in a May statement reporting the company's first-quarter earnings that he is "enthusiastic about the future growth of the company as we continue to address the emerging biomarker proteomics research, pharma and diagnostic markets." The Bayer pharmacogenomics deal is the first private-sector collaboration since the restructuring that Ciphergen disclosed.

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