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UPDATE: Genomics Collaborative, ActivX Biosciences Team to Identify Colon Cancer Protein Targets

NEW YORK, Aug. 8 – Genomics Collaborative and ActivX Biosciences have initiated a joint program to identify proteins with potential as drug targets for colon cancer, Genomics Collaborative said on Wednesday.  

Genomics Collaborative, which has assembled a large collection of human DNA, sera, and tissue samples linked to specific diseases, will supply colon cancer cells to ActivX for analysis. ActivX, meanwhile, will screen those cells for proteins associated with colon cancer by using its platform for synthesizing chemical probes that bind with active sites specific to whole protein families. 

Genomics Collaborative CEO Michael Pellini told GenomeWeb that his company would supply snap-frozen tissue samples taken from patients with colon cancer, as well as control samples of healthy tissue.

“We’re looking for protein differences, and we expect there will be differences,” he said.  

Pellini said the two companies had worked out an arrangment to jointly commercialize any discoveries that result from the collaboration, but would not disclose financial details.

“From our standpoint, there are very few proteomic technologies with the potential to analyze large numbers of tissue samples for protein content and do it in a specific way,” Pellini said. “The ActivX technology platform is one we’re very interested in moving forward with.”

ActivX’s technology, initially developed by co-founder Benjamin Cravatt and his team at the Scripps Research Institute, relies on a technique for synthesizing chemical probes that bind with active sites specific to whole families of proteins.

In July, San Diego-based ActivX announced the closing of a $20 million private placement that it said would help it hire new scientists to further develop its platform.   
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