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OGS, Glaxo Wellcome Enter Proteomics Collaboration

NEW YORK, Dec 4 - Oxford GlycoSciences has signed an agreement with Glaxo Wellcome to discover new protein bio-markers for nine diseases using its proteomics platform, OGS said Monday.  

Under the agreement, OGS will seek to discover proteins associated with diseases for which Glaxo has developed or is developing treatments. Glaxo will fund this research, and will use the bio-markers to help develop new drugs and diagnostics.   The biomarkers themselves could be marketed as diagnostic screening tools, OGS said.

“This collaboration is a very strong reflection on the quality of the science space and proteomics space that’s been established here,” said Stephen Parker, OGS chief financial officer. “Although Glaxo has an internal proteomics capability, they have chosen to do this deal.”

Glaxo has made an upfront payment to OGS for an undisclosed sum, and will make milestone payments as different biomarkers are discovered, said Parker. Currently, OGS has commercial rights to market any diagnostic product the companies discover, but Glaxo will have the exclusive right to negotiate for the acquisition of these rights. The two companies will share royalties for any Intellectual Property OGS discovers, Parker said.

The expected Glaxo-Smithkline Beecham merger, which the companies announced in January but has been delayed several times since then, ”won’t get in the way” of the collaboration between OGS and Glaxo, according to Parker.

These diseases for which OGS will seek bio-markers include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dislipidemia, liver fibrosis, epithelial carcinomas such as breast, colon, and non-small cell lung cancer, acute migraines, hypertension, metabolic syndrome x, and unipolar depression.  

Glaxo will provide clinical samples of serum or urine from people with these diseases as well as selected controls, according to protocols developed by OGS, and OGS will analyze these samples.

The work is scheduled to begin immediately, even though OGS is still currently in the process of moving to its new Oxfordshire proteomics facility, which it opened in October. “We are in the process of transferring the lines across, and have our production lines in place,” said Parker.



OGS has entered into similar proteomics collaborations with Pfizer on Alzheimer’s disease, Bayer on respiratory disease, Merck on Alzheimer’s disease, and Medarex for human therapeutic antibodies.

“We have said we have ambitions to continue to secure two significant collaborations a year and we intend to continue to do that,” said Parker. “This year Bayer was the first. This is the second.”

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