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Sygnis Licenses Protein-Protein Interaction Analysis Technology to Systasy

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – German-Spanish DNA amplification and sequencing firm Sygnis today announced it has signed a patent transfer agreement providing certain rights to its Double Switch technology to Systasy Bioscience.

The Double Switch technology is for the qualitative and quantitative detection of protein-protein interactions, and as part of the deal, Systasy has purchased the patent covering the technology in a split version (Split TEV) for use with its EXTassay platform.

Sygnis retains the rights to Double Switch in its full-length version (Full TEV).

Double Switch is based on the TEV, or tobacco etch virus, protease that is derived from a plant virus and which has "virtually no targets" in the human proteome and so cannot damage mammalian cells, Sygnis said. The protease — which activates expression of a detectable reporter upon interaction of two proteins of interest by cleaving a transcriptional activator — can be used in its entirety, or Full TEV, or in a split version.

Systasy plans to use the split version of the technology under the brand name splitSensor to monitor individual drug targets in high-throughput screening applications. It will also integrate the splitSensor technology into its proprietary EXTassay platform to simultaneously analyze multiple cellular targets and signaling events within living cells.

Sygnis said it is in "advanced" negotiations to license the Full TEV Double Switch technology for use in screening platforms and in tests for analyzing protein-protein interactions in basic research, and in drug discovery and development.

The company did not disclose the terms of the deal, saying only that it includes an upfront payment and royalty payments.

"The understanding of signaling pathways and interactions between proteins is crucial for gaining insight into molecular processes, for example, in basic research, in the study of diseases, especially cancer or neurological disorders, and in drug discovery and development," Sygnis Senior VP of Research Armin Schneider said in a statement. "Our proprietary Double Switch technology enables researchers to understand how a small molecule impacts the signaling pathways in a cell and how cellular physiology is influenced by a drug candidate. Deeper knowledge of these protein-based interactions can significantly enhance drug discovery and development processes and increase the efficiency of drug development programs."

Systasy CEO Sven Wichert added, "The Split TEV technology … allows us to provide our customers with a comprehensive service package in drug development that will help to significantly accelerate drug discovery and development processes and to improve the cost-benefit ratio in the process of developing better medicines."

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