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Protagen Sells Protein Services Subsidiary in Shift Toward Focus on Dx Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – German biotech firm Protagen said today that it has sold its subsidiary Protagen Protein Services to venture capital fund Zukunftsfond Heilbronn.

The sale will provide Protagen with funds to support its diagnostic development efforts, the company said. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Spun out as a 100 percent subsidiary of Protagen in January 2012, Protagen Protein Services offers a variety of protein analysis services aimed at academic labs as well as biopharmaceutical and biosimilars work.

Protagen's diagnostics efforts, meanwhile, are focused on identifying autoantibody signatures for various diseases using the company's UNIarray protein array technology. It currently has diagnostic programs in a variety of disease areas including multiple sclerosis, prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Parkinson's disease.

"The capital injection generated by this transaction is a solid mid-term financing opportunity for the Protagen strategy in the area of novel diagnostics, i.e. Dx and CDx, and enables [the company] to start the development of [its] own products for this growing market immediately," Protagen CEO Stefan Müllner said in a statement.