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Cellzome Hits Second Milestone in GSK Epigenetics Collaboration

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Proteomics firm Cellzome said this week that it has hit a second milestone in its epigenetics collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline.

Achievement of the milestone, which triggered a payment of an undisclosed amount, comes two months after the company reached its first milestone in the collaboration. Signed in March 2010, the agreement calls for Cellzome to use its Episphere platform to screen for epigenetic drug targets related to undisclosed immuno-inflammatory diseases (GWDN 03/10/2010).

The deal netted the company a $45 million upfront payment and the potential to earn more than $645 million in milestone payments.

In January, Cellzome published a study in Nature Biotechnology using the Episphere platform to demonstrate that histone deacetylase, or HDAC, inhibition varies depending on the protein complex with which the target HDAC is associated – a finding with implications for the discovery of potential epigenetic drug targets (PM 01/28/2011).

That work was part of a proprietary effort by the company and not part of the GSK agreement, chief scientific officer David Simmons told ProteoMonitor. However, he added, Cellzome "is open to collaborating with other companies in that space."

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