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Industry Briefs: Feb 26, 2009

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Mosaiques, FDA Partner on Drug-Toxicity Biomarker Deal

German firm Mosaiques said last week it is collaborating with the US Food and Drug Administration to discover and validate protein and peptide biomarkers indicative of drug toxicity in urine.

Under the agreement, Mosaiques will provide guidance on proteome analysis, especially the preparation of urine and capillary electrophoresis-coupled mass spectrometry; data evaluation; calibration; and multivariate statistics.

The FDA will conduct animal studies, and provide knowledge about pharmaceuticals and expected drug toxicities. In a statement, Mosaiques said that biomarkers will "enable a more accurate assessment of potential drug toxicity, consequently identification of potentially serious side effects of therapeutics at an early stage of development and before actual pathological changes."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based in Hannover, Mosaiques develops diagnostics based on diagnostic polypeptide patterns.


Bruker Opens Applications, Demo Lab in Japan

Bruker this week said it has opened its technology applications and demonstration laboratory in Yokohama, Japan.

The laboratory is co-located with the company's R&D and manufacturing facility for X-ray analysis systems.

The 3,000-square-foot facility is Bruker's largest applications laboratory in the world and showcases systems such as MALDI-TOF-TOF, ESI-ITMS, and ESI-Oq-TOF mass spectrometry, NMR, and research MRI.


Kinaxo Receives Grant to Expand Phosphoproteomics Platform

Kinaxo Biotechnologies this week said it has received a grant for an undisclosed amount from the Bavarian Research Foundation to expand applications of its quantitative phosphoproteomics platform to drug efficacy studies.

As part of the award, Kinaxo will work with Priaxon, Genomatix Softwared, the Technical University Munich, and the University Hospital "Rechts der Isar" to perform a large-scale drug-efficacy study. The collaboration is to identify tumor-relevant signal transduction pathways and develop new methods for individualized pancreatic cancer therapy.

In a statement, Kinaxo said that quantification of phosphorylation patterns in relation to drug administration could provide insights into the cellular modes of action in compounds.


Xencor, CSL Partner on Therapeutic Antibodies

Antibody firm Xencor will provide CSL access to it XmAb technology platform for the enhancement of the ADCC effector function of its therapeutic antibodies, the companies said this week.

During the research phase, Xencor will give CSL the opportunity to broadly use the XmAB technology across its antibody candidate pipeline. Xencor also is giving CSL "several" commercial licenses to move product candidates into development and commercialization incorporating Xencor's technology.

CSL is paying an upfront fee, development milestone payments and product royalties for each product commercialized using the Xencor technology.

No further financial details were disclosed.


Hybrigenics Receives $510M as Part of Masterswitch

Hybrigenics has received €400,000 ($510.4 million) from the European Union to screen inhibitors of protein interaction under a collaboration with the EU's Masterswitch project.

The Paris-based company will use its technologies and expertise in the field of chronic inflammatory diseases, it said in a statement. It will develop a high-throughput assay and screen its library of 100,000 compounds and its collection of about 2,000 natural substances. The goal is to identify small-molecule inhibitors of a therapeutically relevant protein interaction.

Masterswitch is part of the EU's 7th Framework Programme and includes a consortia of 16 participants. The main objective is to develop new treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases.


Adlyfe, Wyeth Collaborate on Alzheimer's Disease

Biomarker and diagnostic firm Adlyfe said this week it has entered into an agreement to develop biomarker assays for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to measure levels of beta amyloid in the human brain.

The companies will assays for specific beta-amyloid targets for the development of treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

The multi-year deal includes an upfront payment and future milestone payments. Further financial terms were not disclosed.

Adlyfe's technology is based on the synthesis of small peptides that are amino acid sequence matched to target amyloids of interest.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.