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Protagen Collaborates with Bayer Schering on Endometriosis Biomarker Discovery

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Protein analysis and diagnostics firm Protagen announced this week that it has signed a cooperation contract with Bayer Schering Pharma AG for the discovery of novel biomarkers in endometriosis.

The company will explore the use of its UNIarray protein chip technology for the discovery of autoantibody patterns that are predictive of the disease.

Endometriosis is a debilitating gynecological condition occurring in roughly 5 percent to 10 percent of women worldwide. Currently, diagnosis of endometriosis is done via laparoscopy, which involves a visual inspection of the abdominal organs followed by surgical removal and examination of lesions.

Last year, as reported by ProteoMonitor sister publication BioArray News, Protagen, based in Dortmund, Germany, announced it was shifting focus from developing tests on its Uniarray platform towards using the platform for the discovery of biomarker panels that could be brought to market by larger firms. CEO Stefan Müllner said the company hoped to have a diagnostic partnership like the recently signed agreement with Bayer Schering in place by the end of 2010 (BAN 6/30/2009).

Last August the company received €3.7 million ($5.3 million) in funding to expand its work developing biomarkers for diseases including multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer.

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