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Protagen, Mikrogen Ink Lyme Disease Diagnostic Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Protagen and Mikrogen announced today that they have signed a deal to co-develop a new diagnostic assay to differentiate previously infected, seropositive Lyme disease patients from newly infected individuals with active disease.

The companies, which have long been collaborators, said that they have already identified Lyme disease biomarker panels using Protagen's SeroTag technology, which uses Luminex-based screens of patient sera against large sets of proteins to identify autoantibody signatures that are prognostic or diagnostic for various conditions. Under the newest arrangement, Mikrogen will be responsible for the development and commercialization of a final diagnostic assay.

Under the newest arrangement, Mikrogen will be responsible for the diagnostic assay's development and commercialization. Additional terms were not disclosed.

"The new biomarkers have the potential to significantly improve current Lyme disease diagnostics, as they offer a completely novel approach to the identification of patients actively suffering from the disease," Protagen CEO Stefan Müllner said in a statement. "We are pleased to have leveraged our technology and development capabilities in a new therapeutic area, with a strong and experienced partner in this field. We look forward to utilizing this approach for other infectious diseases, too." 

In late 2013, Protagen signed a deal with Pfizer to use the SeroTag technology to identify biomarkers for an undisclosed autoimmune disease therapy under development by the pharma giant.