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Hybrigenics Signs First Commercial Deal; Servier to Provide Proteins, Funding

NEW YORK, Feb 9 – French functional proteomics company Hybrigenics signed its first commercial deal, agreeing to map the interactions of proteins associated with cancer for Servier, a privately-owned pharmaceutical company in France.

During the three-year deal, Paris-based Hybrigenics’ will deploy its PIM technology to search for anti-cancer drug tagets. Servier will select the proteins and supply them to Hybrigenics.

Under the terms of the agreement, Servier will also provide an undisclosed amount of cash as well as funding for research and royalty payments from any products that are commercialized. In exchange, Servier will have exclusive rights to develop and sell the drugs and to apply any of the drugs for additional therapeutic purposes.

“The area of cancer is of strategic importance to Hybrigenics, both in-house and collaborative discovery programs,” Donny Strosberg, Hybrigenics’ CEO, said in a statement.

Hybrigenics’ PIM technology, is a high-throughput protein interaction screening system, that is used in conjunction with the company’s bioinformatics tools, PIMBuilder and PIMRider. The company’s protein interaction mapping technique relies on the yeast two-hybrid method, but uses protein fragments rather than whole proteins to build its map.

By fragmenting cDNA, Hybrigenics aims to study the interactions between carefully selected “bait” proteins or protein fragments and millions of “prey” fragments.   Because of the fragmentation, Hybrigenics says the technique allows it to easily identify the domain responsible for each putative protein interaction. Once an interaction is identified, a domain’s location can be determined by sequencing the bit of cDNA that gave rise to the protein fragment.

The technique was featured in the January 11 issue of Nature .

To date, Hybrigenics has raised a total of 30 million euros ($27.7 million) in seed and venture capital.

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