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Proteome Sciences Signs Stroke Biomarker Deal with Diagnostics Company Biosite

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Proteome Sciences of Surrey, UK, signed a deal to provide its stroke protein biomarkers to diagnostics company Biosite.

Biosite, of San Diego, will test these markers further in order to determine whether they are robust enough to be included on its stroke panel, along with five other stroke biomarkers that it has previously selected from over 50 that it has isolated, according to Nadine Padilla, Biosite’s vice president of corporate and investor relations. The panel will be in the form of a protein chip, for which Biosite will be seeking regulatory approval as a clinical diagnostic device.

Proteome Sciences will receive royalties and milestone payments if the stroke biomarkers are included in the panel and if this panel is marketed as an assay. Biosite has “certain” worldwide rights to commercialize assays for the markers.

Proteome Sciences executives were unavailable for comment, due to the holidays. But, in a company statement, chief executive officer Christopher Pearce called the agreement “a major strategic milestone” and “an endorsement of our proteomics technology.”

The company, which was founded by Pearce, an investment banker, in 1993, has applied a strategy of funding research by academic collaborators, assembling research centers at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, and in Gaithersburg, Md., through a subsidiary, Intronn. Through a collaboration with researchers at the University of Geneva, the company has rights to commercialize markers in serum that differentiate between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and has filed patents on both the markers and the antibodies it has produced to monitor them. Last May, the company disclosed that it had developed a marker with 100 percent specificity and 68 percent sensitivity for distinguishing between stroke and heart attack.

Additional collaborations focus on neurological, neurodegenerative, diabetes/obesity, oncology, and cardiovascular conditions.

In summer 2002, the company acquired a majority stake in Xzillion Proteomics from Aventis for about £12.6 million ($19.7 million). Xzillion, based in Frankfurt’s Hoechst Industrial Park, had developed collaborations focusing on high-throughput biomarker discovery in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

— MMJ

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