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BioImage Validates Cell-Based Assay Tech with Evotec, Discloses Boehringer Ingelheim Deal

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SAN FRANCISCO — Danish drug-discovery firm BioImage and Evotec Technologies have co-validated BioImage’s cell-based assay technology on Evotec’s line of high-content screening instruments, company officials said at Cambridge Healthtech Institutes’ High-Content Analysis conference, held here last week.

At the meeting, Len Pagliaro, BioImage’s vice president of business development, and Gunter Bauer, chief business officer of Evotec Technologies, each said that the firms have validated BioImage’s Redistribution fluorescent assays for protein translocation on Evotec’s Opera confocal-based high-content screening instrument.

Both Pagliaro and Bauer said that researchers wishing to apply Redistribution assays on an Opera system can now access full application notes from BioImage.

According to Pagliaro, this is the third major high-content instrument platform on which BioImage has validated its assays. The other two platforms are GE Healthcare’s IN Cell Analyzer and Cellomics’ ArrayScan, for which validations have been in place for more than a year.

In addition, last year BioImage inked a deal with PerkinElmer in which the two companies collaborated to develop cell-based assays on PerkinElmer’s EnVision plate reader (see Inside Bioassays, 9/7/2004). As part of that deal, the companies had validated GRIP — BioImage’s other major assay technology for measuring protein-protein interactions — on the EnVision.

The Evotec agreement, which has not been formally announced by either company, capped a busy week for BioImage. As Inside Bioassays reported last week, BioImage was expected to announce an agreement to license Redistribution to an undisclosed top-10 pharmaceutical company (see Inside Bioassays, 1/25/2005). At the conference, BioImage revealed that the company is Boehringer Ingelheim, which has been granted full use of the Redistribution assays in its drug-discovery programs.

In addition, last week BioImage and German biotech RNAx said that they had penned a partnership to provide RNAx’s RNAi-knockdown technology as a complement the Redistribution assays for drug-discovery and other cell biology applications.

The announcements mesh with BioImage’s strategy of forging partnerships across the drug-discovery landscape for its assay technologies, on which the company depends as a source of revenue while it pursues its own internal drug discovery operations.

Pagliaro said that it is in BioImage’s interest to “continue to pursue partnerships with high-content screening instrument providers.” With Cellomics, GE Healthcare, and now Evotec, three of the biggest HCS instrumentation providers, BioImage has increased its potential buyers significantly. One would be hard pressed to find a laboratory at a top-10 pharmaceutical company that does not own one of the platforms from those companies.

BioImage also recently initiated a collaboration with a high-content analysis software provider. In December, it announced that that it would co-market its assay technologies along with Cellenger, Definiens’ object-recognition-based software that it hopes will find application in high-content screening. (See Inside Bioassays, 12/14/2004)

— BB

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