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Large Scale Biology, Biosite Target Heart, Liver in Development of Protein Chips

NEW YORK, June 6 - Large Scale Biology said Wednesday that its program with Biosite Diagnostics to develop protein chips would initially focus on cardiovascular diseases and liver toxicology.

"Like others, we believe that the availability of protein chips designed to evaluate toxicity and efficacy may dramatically change the research process,” Gunars Valkirs, Biosite's vice president of research and development, said in a statement. “Our intent is to focus first on cardiovascular and liver toxicology panels, with the hope of enabling an array of related products, including therapeutics."

In January, Large Scale Biology announced that it had reached a deal with Biosite Diagnostics to develop protein chips. Under the terms of that deal, Large Scale Biology will pay Biosite an undisclosed sum to develop antibodies for proteins contained in Large Scale Biology’s Human Protein Index and Molecular Anatomy and Pathology database, with the two companies sharing in the profits from any diagnostic or protein chip product.

Also on Wednesday, Large Scale Biology of Vacaville, Calif., said that the initial results from the first version of its Human Protein Index identified proteins believed to indicate a sign of disease or tissue damage.

"The patterns of proteins present in different tissues represented within the HPI provide a means to both detect and understand disease pathology, extending the concepts of anatomy to the molecular level," said Robert Erwin, Large Scale Biology’s CEO.

The Human Protein Index database contains quantitative measurements of protein amounts obtained using the company’s ProGex proteomics technology. In the first assembly phase, the combined set of 157 medically relevant tissue databases yielded a total of more than 115,000 protein forms.

The company said that many proteins in the HPI occur in multiple tissues and versions, though they are encoded by a single gene. Ongoing analysis of the HPI is expected to provide new insights into this biological complexity and lead LSBC and its collaborators to opportunities for practical application, Large Scale Biology said.

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