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Cellectricon to Sell AztraZeneca Two DynaFlow HTs for Ion Channel Screening

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Cellectricon this week said it will sell AstraZeneca two of its upcoming DynaFlow HT instruments, which the British drug maker will use for high-content ion-channel screening.
 
Terms of the deal, which expands an alliance that began in 2006 to develop the HT platform, give the Swedish microfluidics and electroporation shop the rights to any patentable applications that could be performed on the system, a company official said this week.
 
The agreement “reinforces and validates that our technologies represent a great value to our customers … [and] reinforces that our roadmap matches the needs of our clients,” Cellectricon CEO Jonas Ohlsson told CBA News in an e-mail.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 
The deal expands on an ongoing collaboration announced in May 2006 between the companies that aimed to unclog bottlenecks in ligand-gated ion channel screening (see CBA News, 7/11/05 and CBA News, 5/5/06). Results of an initial agreement demonstrated that this is possible.
 
This finding led to the deal announced this week and the plan to co-develop the DynaFlow HT platform, which is scheduled to be commercially available in 2009.
 
The new deal “aims to accelerate our efforts in ion channel drug discovery, and has been very fruitful to date,” Jan-Erik Nystrom, vice president of local discovery research in CNS and pain control for AstraZeneca, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the DynaFlow HT systems and [to] see the impact of their throughput and effectiveness.”
 
AstraZeneca did not respond to a request for further comment in time for this publication.
 
Ohlsson declined to name the therapeutic areas in which AstraZeneca would use the new DynaFlow platforms, though Nystrom’s focus on the central nervous system and pain control may offer a clue. 
 
Ohlsson was named CEO in April (see CBA News, 5/2/08). At the time, he told CBA News that the company, which has “traditionally … been stronger in the European market,” will be focusing more on growing its business in the US.   
 
Ohlsson also told CBA News that he would like to see the company put its footprint in “Asia, Japan, India, and China, primarily Japan and India.”
 
Former acting CEO Mathias Karlsson was appointed chief technical officer and will manage the upcoming DynaFlow HT launch.