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Myriad Genetics, Biosearch Italia Enter Novel Microbe-Based Drug-Discovery Pact

NEW YORK, Nov. 27 - Myriad Genetics and Biosearch Italia have formed a collaboration to discover novel microbial-based therapeutic compounds, the companies said on Tuesday.


Under the terms of the alliance, Biosearch will provide Myriad with access to its library of micro-organisms and microbial extracts, from which Myriad will select promising drug targets and develop high-throughput screening assays.


Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the firms said they agreed to share development rights to any resulting compounds. They added that the partnership will not be limited to micro-organism research.


"This collaboration will enable Biosearch to recognize value from our natural product library outside our core focus of anti-infectives discovery and development," said Francesco Parenti, president and chief scientific officer of Biosearch Italia.


Adrian Hobden, president of Myriad Pharmaceuticals, added: "There is exciting potential through this collaboration.…" Used together, the companies' technologies "may lead to the development of new therapeutics."


According to Biosearch, the collaboration "will complement … the extensive drug discovery research conducted directly by Biosearch, making use of its mechanism-based assays."


The company, based in Gerenzano, Italy, is known for its rich library of micro-organisms and microbial extracts that it isolates and cultivates in order to obtain a wide range of molecules.


Myriad's drug-development approach, meanwhile, relies on its proteomics platform, ProNet, to identify novel drug targets and their disease pathways. The Salt Lake City-based company then screens these targets to identify new lead compounds which it either develops internally or licenses to pharmaceutical companies.

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