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Protagen Using UNIarray Platform to ID Biomarkers for Use in Lupus Drug Development

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Diagnostics company Protagen and biopharmaceutical firm SuppreMol announced a collaboration this week to identify therapy-related biomarkers in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

According to a statement from SuppreMol CEO Peter Buckel, the company plans to use Protagen's UNIarray technology to identify autoantibody signatures of SLE patients enrolled in a phase IIa study of its lead therapeutic SM101.

"With these signatures we aim to identify patients who are most likely to respond favorably to SM101," Buckel said. "In addition, our findings may allow the classification of patients in subgroups as SLE is a disease with very diverse manifestations."

Protagen's UNIarray protein array platform uses recombinant human proteins to detect auto-antibodies in patient serum, enabling researchers to screen samples for auto-antibody patterns tied to a given disease state. According to the company, its expression libraries contain more than 10,000 human proteins.

In addition to the SuppreMol deal, Protagen has also inked agreements for biomarker research over the last year with Biogen Idec (PM 04/01/11), Mikrogen (PM 07/09/2010), and Bayer Schering (PM 06/11/2010).

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