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Protagen Secures Nearly $13M in Funding for Diagnostics Work and Protein Biomarker Validation


German biotech firm Protagen announced this week that it has closed a €10 million ($12.7 million) private financing round, which it plans to use to fund expansion of its diagnostics business and clinical validation of several proprietary protein biomarkers.

Using its UNIarray protein array platform, which enables the surveying of up to 400 recombinant human proteins for quantitative analysis of antibody binding, the company plans to focus on the development of serum-based protein biomarker tests for the early detection of multiple sclerosis and the differential diagnosis of prostate cancer.

In August 2009, the company received €3.7 million in the first tranche of the investment, which also went towards expanding its work on protein biomarkers for multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer. This week's announcement of the second tranche marks the completion of the €10 million round.

In a statement, Protagen CEO Stefan Muller said the "new financing round will allow us the completion of our current development programs until market launch and to evolve to a preferred partner for out-licensing opportunities within the diagnostic industry."

This June, Protagen announced the signing of a cooperation contract with Bayer Schering for the discovery of protein biomarkers for endometriosis (PM 06/11/2010).

Currently it also has in-house research programs investigating diagnostics for breast, ovarian, colon, and pancreatic cancer as well as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's.