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UPDATE: Bio-Quant Launches GPCR-Screening Division

NEW YORK, Sept. 5 - Bio-Quant has created a new business division designed to offer screening technology for G protein-coupled receptors, the company said on Wednesday. 

GPCRs function as the delivery mechanism for more than 50 percent of all drugs currently on the market. To facilitate the discovery of additional GPCRs that might serve as drug targets, Bio-Quant’s new business unit will provide platforms that screen for cell motility and GPCR activation. 

As part of the cell motility, or chemotaxis, platform, San Diego-based Bio-Quant’s new division will offer leakage-resistant fluorescent dyes, chemotaxis assays, and imaging devices with liquid-handling capabilities.  

The cell activation platform, also called the intracellular calcium mobilization measurement platform, includes fluorescent CalciDyes and a microplate-imaging device. 

“We’ve been working on these technologies, internally, developing them, maturing them,” Bio-Quant CEO Bassam Damaj said.

The CalciDye and fluorescent chemotaxis dye, called ChemoDye, were both co-developed with Teflabs.

Although Bio-Quant has traditionally focused on diagnostics, Damaj said he is trying to outlicense the company’s diagnostics technologies so Bio-Quant can focus on the new GPCR screening division.

Damaj said that he is heading the division for now, and is already interviewing candidates with experience in high-throughput screening, assay development, and new technologies to take over the position. He added that Bio-Quant will release more information about the new unit as it finalizes its budget and number of dedicated staff.

GPCRs are one of the most important families of drug targets for the pharmaceutical industry. According to Damaj, more than 20 percent of the top 200 best selling prescription drugs interact with GPCRs. Furthermore, less than 10 percent of GPCRs have been identified, suggesting that the market for GPCRs-based drugs could increase significantly over time.

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