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Integrative Proteomics and Aurora Biosciences to Develop Joint Drug Discovery Program

NEW YORK, April 19 - Integrative Proteomics and Aurora Biosciences have agreed to swap technologies in a wide-ranging collaboration to discover new drugs, the companies said Thursday.

Using its functional genomics technologies and library of 500,000 potential small molecule drug compounds, Aurora will attempt to find compounds that interact with Integrative Proteomics' protein targets. Over the first two years of the agreement, Aurora will perform 3.5 million experiments, but the collaboration will last "significantly longer than that," said Doug Farrell, a spokesman for Aurora.

The data that results from the research performed at San Diego-based Aurora will belong to Integrative Proteomics, said Farrell, but Aurora will receive a portion of any revenues from drugs that Integrative Proteomics develops using the data.

"We would get royalties on their revenues," said Farrell. "It's a significant agreement."

For access to the research data, Integrative Proteomics will pay an upfront technology access fee, make annual research support payments, and pay license fees.

In return, Aurora will make an investment in Integrative Proteomics' next equity financing. The companies did not disclose financial details.

Specifically, Aurora will study Integrative Proteomics' proteins using its functional genomics technology and reporter systems to target classes of biological compounds such as kinases, phosphatases, proteases, nuclear receptors and G protein-coupled receptors. In addition, Aurora will study protein-protein interactions, and use its Vivid fluorogenic substrates to analyze toxicology and ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion).

"Aurora's drug discovery strengths and compound collections will rapidly jump-start our internal discovery efforts using Integrative Proteomics' targets, John Mendlein, Integrative Proteomics' CEO, said in a statement. "We also welcome Aurora's future investment in Integrative Proteomics, and look forward to using the results of this alliance in our structure-guided discovery programs."