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EMD Chemicals, MitoSciences to Co-develop Assays

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Merck KGaA subsidiary EMD Chemicals yesterday said that it will work with MitoSciences to develop assays for drug toxicity and mitochondrial bioactivity.

The firms intend to co-develop multiplex immunoassay products for EMD's WideScreen BeadPlex assay platform for detecting and profiling mitochondrial toxicity and activity. The WideScreen assays run on a Luminex xMAP system.

Under the agreement, MitoSciences has granted EMD exclusive tights to a family of monoclonal antibodies used for monitoring mitochondrial activity and bioactivity. MitoSciences also will work with EMD to validate the WideScreen assays for use in drug screening applications.

"To develop safer drugs and save time and resources in the process, the evaluation of toxicity is a clear focus in pre-clinical drug development," Christina Shasserre, VP and head of global biosciences for Merck KGaA and EMD Chemicals, said in a statement. "Testing the effect of drug candidates on mitochondrial processes such as metabolism and replication is as an important aspect of toxicity profiling."

The firms expect to launch the first set of assays in early 2010, targeting the pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic research markets.

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