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UPDATE: Zyomyx, Fujirebio Partner to Develop, Market Protein Chips

This story has been updated from a previous version.

NEW YORK, Nov 16 – Zyomyx said Thursday it had penned an agreement with Fujirebio of Tokyo to co-develop and market protein biochips that could be used as diagnostic and screening tools.

“We are looking for technology access partnerships as we begin beta testing our protein biochips,” Lawrence Cohen, Zyomyx’s chief operating officer said. “We are also looking for partners in the US and other markets, but this was an opportunity to partner with a company that was already developing antibody-based assays.”

Under the terms of the deal Zyomyx will receive research and development funds from Fujirebio for three years as well as royalty payments on future sales. Fujirebio will have exclusive commercialization rights in Japan for any products jointly developed.

Fujirebio has previously invested in Zyomyx, a privately held company based in Hayward, Calif.

Cohen said that in the first stage the protein biochips would be customized for their customers, but added that the company intended to develop an off-the-shelf chip. He said that compared to other protein chips, such as those manufactured by Ciphergen, Zyomyx’ chips were higher density, with a maximum density of 10,000 different proteins per square centimeter.

He also said that Ciphergen’s chips were designed for protein discovery while Zyomyx’ chips could be used for expression and protein-protein interaction. 

The company’s core technology combines protein biochemistry with advanced materials science, microfabrication, and novel detection physics. The company has patents on the nature of the surface and the methodologies it uses in its biochips.

Cohen said that Zyomyx had not yet priced its chips.

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