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Pharmagene, WITA Proteomics Collaborate on Drug Discovery

NEW YORK, March 13 - Pharmagene and WITA Proteomics have agreed to work together to provide a full service drug discovery and validation service for pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers, the companies said Tuesday.

Pharmagene, a five year-old biotechnology company based in Royston, UK, specializes in human tissue analysis and pharmaceutical development. Together with WITA Proteomics, based in Teltow, Germany, the companies will try to leverage their functional pharmacology and proteomics capabilities to develop drug targets, said Andreas Koepke, CEO of WITA Proteomics.

"The driver behind this is to provide a full-fledged service for drug development--from tissue to proteomics and genomics--to acquire new customers," said Koepke of the non-exclusive arrangement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

WITA Proteomics has about 13 employees and uses 2-D Electrophoresis and mass spectrometric techniques to isolate and identify proteins, Koepke said. Current customers include Janssen Research Foundation, a division of Johnson and Johnson, and BRAHMS, a diagnostics company based in Berlin. The company has raised 4.4 million euros ($4.1 million) since being spun off from WITA, a biotechnology company, last year.

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