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Kinaxo Using Its Phosphoproteomics Technology to Find Biomarkers for Bayer Vital

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This story originally ran on Oct. 15.

German chemical proteomics firm Kinaxo Biotechnologies said this week it will be using its quantitative phosphoproteomics technology to identify novel biomarkers in a clinical trial conducted by Bayer Vital, a subsidiary of Bayer Schering Pharma.

The clinical trial is being conducted on the oral anti-cancer drug Nexavar as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. In conjunction with the trial, Kinaxo will use its PhosphoScout technology to assess the drug's effects on cellular phosphorylation patterns and to search for novel predictive biomarkers, the company said.

Quantitative phosphoproteomics will also be applied to assess the efficacy of Nexavar in combination with other drugs against cancers.

PhosphoScout is a quantitative phosphoproteomics service for the investigation of cellular signal transduction pathways and their response to drug treatment. It allows for the annotation and quantification of regulated phosphorylation sites in living cells, animal models, and patient samples. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, up to 15,000 phosphorylation changes can be monitored in a single experiment, allowing for system-wide modeling of cellular signaling events, according to Kinaxo.

Nexvar is developed and marketed by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Nexavar is approved for the treatment of hepatocellular and renal cell carcinoma, and has shown "promising effects" for several other indications including AML, the most common form of leukemia in adults, Kinaxo said in a statement.

Therapeutic outcome for AML patients has progressed "only modestly and remains dismal," despite considerable efforts to develop therapies, Kinaxo said. "Both partners aim at investigating innovative technologies (such as phosphoproteomics) and targeted therapies (such as kinase inhibitors) which — in conjunction — should allow more effective cancer treatments, and thus, provide more hope to cancer patients," said Erich Enghofer, head of Bayer Healthcare's oncology business unit.

Kinaxo is a spin-out of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry [See PM 05/24/07]. Earlier this year, the company received a grant from the Bavarian Research Foundation to expand applications of its quantitative phosphoproteomics platform to drug efficacy studies [See PM 02/26/09].

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