NEW YORK, March 29 – Hybrigenics has assembled the first HIV protein interaction map, linking 132 interactions between 87 cellular proteins and the proteins in HIV-type 1, the company said Thursday.
The database, called PIMRider HIV, compiles public domain information from over 500 scientific publications, said Donny Strosberg, Hybrigenics’ CEO, and presents researchers with “a useful summary tool.” The company presented the map at the Keystone Symposia HIV Pathogenesis meeting this week in Keystone, Calif.
“People can immediately plug in what they want, and find relations they never expected to find,” said Strosberg. The database also contains bibilographic links to the human genome and other HIV databases.
Access to the interactions map will be free of charge to academic researchers, but industry researchers will be required to pay a “symbolic” fee, said Strosberg, noting that the information the map currently contains is all available in the public domain.
The Paris-based company hopes to find funding — either through an industry partner or research grant — to bankroll an effort to verify that the interactions do in fact play a role in the development of the disease.
Strosberg also said the map of the protein interactions was not exhaustive, compared to the company’s other maps showing the interactions of HCV and viruses with cellular proteins, but that the extent of Hybrigenics’ involvement would depend on available resources.“We’re a small company, and we’d love to do it if a big pharma said ‘yes, we’d be interested in the results,’” said Strosberg.