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NIBRT, GE Healthcare Collaborate on Biochemical Assay Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training in Ireland and GE Healthcare Life Sciences will develop new biochemical assays for the analysis of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies under an agreement announced today.

NIBRT and GE Healthcare are investing $500,000 in the first year of the two-year effort. Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies are protein-based drugs that are being used increasingly for treating diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, the partners said, adding that the technologies to be developed are meant as alternatives to cell-based assays, which current industry standards rely on but can be "non-quantitative, labor-intensive and highly variable."

The collaboration combines the expertise of NIBRT in glycobiology and novel bioanalytical methods with the protein-protein analysis capabilities of GE Healthcare, including its Biacore SPR technology.

NIBRT principal investigator Pauline Rudd will lead the research and be aided by GE Healthcare researchers in Uppsala, Sweden.

"This collaboration will help us to drive the development of new, biologically relevant and fully characterized binding assays for measuring antibody activity, a critical step in the design and manufacture of effective monoclonal antibody-based therapies," Lotta Ljungqvist, GE Healthcare Life Sciences' head of R&D for the biotechnologies business, said in a statement.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.