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Scienion to Manufacture Protein Arrays for Protagen

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Protagen announced this week that it has tapped Scienion to produce protein microarrays that it will use to validate panels of biomarkers that may later be used in clinical tests for multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer.

The number of arrays manufactured as part of the deal will be "more than one thousand," according to Dortmund, Germany-based Protagen.

Additionally, both companies plan to "jointly evaluate new platforms" for multiplex analysis and to "co-develop novel approaches up to proof-of-concept levels" as part of their partnership.

Protagen Chief Scientific Officer Peter Schulz-Knappe said that the firm partnered with Scienion to produce arrays for the "multicenter, international clinical validation studies of our multiplex diagnostic markers for the early detection of multiple sclerosis and the differential diagnosis of prostate cancer."

Schulz-Knappe said in a statement that Scienion's SciFlexArrayer instruments enable the manufacturing of protein microarray batches "each with more than 3,500 single proteins in highest quality and reproducibility."

CEO Stefan Müllner told BioArray News last month that the firm's tests are currently undergoing a multicenter clinical evaluation (BAN 3/29/2011).

Protagen is a new customer for Scienion, which operates from Dortmund as well as Berlin. Scienion CEO Holger Eickhoff said in a statement that the new deal "offers Scienion the possibility to perform feasibility studies close to the market and to demonstrate Scienion's capacity and efficiency to new customers from the diagnostics and pharma industry."

Scienion is keen to establish a place for itself in the market as a manufacturer of in vitro diagnostics. In February, the firm inked a deal with Euroimmun, a German medical diagnostics lab, to help it develop and manufacture new tests (BAN 2/22/2011).

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