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Courtagen Developing Assay for Avaxia's Radiation Therapy

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Protein diagnostic firm Courtagen said today that it has entered into a collaboration with Avaxia Biologics to create an assay for use in developing an oral antibody therapy to mitigate the gastrointestinal damage caused by radiation exposure.

The therapy being developed is for use in radiation exposure from a nuclear incident.

Courtagen said that it and Avaxia will pursue a first-in-class solution that will enable the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and other federal biodefense programs to develop therapeutics that mitigate the damage to the gastrointestinal tract following severe whole body exposure to ionizing radiation.

The collaboration, it added, focuses on the "critical need to quickly and accurately identify the impact of Avaxia's oral antibody therapy in animal models, and, ultimately, in patients."

In a statement, Brendan McKernan, president of Woburn, Mass.-based Courtagen, said that the deal has "the potential to make a significant impact on biodefense, public health, and drug development initiatives."

Courtagen's point-of-care protein biomarker technology, called the Avantra Q400 Biomarker Workstation and QPDx Biochip, is an integrated system that automates sample processing, reagent handling, biomarker detection, and analysis, it said.

Courtagen, which raised $8 million in equity funding in the fall, last month acquired Medicinal Genomics.