14 Jun 2007   |   News

German protein biochip company seeks biotech-pharma partnership


Partnership Opportunity

Protagen AG, a German innovator in protein biochips, is looking for cooperation and partnership opportunities to develop their protein biomarker technology.

“We are looking for pharmaceutical companies or diagnostic companies, willing to start biomarker finding and diagnostic protein biochip prototype development programs,” said Dr. Christoph Hüls, Protagen CEO, “Therefore we are looking in a biotech-pharma business model for collaborations to find indication-specific exclusive biomarkers and out-licensing of biomarkers.” 

Hüls added that they are interested in “licensing deals for established biomarkers and for biomarker finding collaboration agreements.”

Regarding partnerships, Protagen is “looking currently for partnerships with pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry to use our broad and on industrial scale technology platform in the protein biochip field to discover, verify and validate protein biomarkers, as well as utilize the patent position to deliver diagnostic protein biochips for therapy monitoring, patient stratification and disease progression monitoring,” said Hüls, “We are working in house on Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Alzheimers disease and are open to work with our UNIarrayTM biomarker discovery and verification platform also on further indications with partners.”

The company has “raised in total already €4.3 million venture capital with MIG AG and S-Venture Capital Dortmund GmbH for the development of the technology platform into industrial scale,” explained Hüls.  Protagen has also had “several very active collaborations with academia in the field of applications for the clinic or in development of basic research in applications and products and services,” said Hüls, “Since the founding in 1997, Protagen has been very active in working with and funding academic institutes, since the transfer of high-tech in protein research has been always very important for the business of Protagen.”

Protagen has developed the UNIarrayTM biomarker discovery and verification program for the systematic finding and utilization of (auto-) antibody signatures in the serum of patients in indications like autoimmune diseases, cancer, inflammatory diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders.  The biomarkers may be used for patient stratification in clinical studies, treatment selection, therapy monitoring, disease progression testing or diagnostic purposes.

The patent protected UNIarrayTM program is implemented in industrial scale within Protagen. It consists of four major steps each defined by deliverables and milestones:

  • Partner specific concept
  • MACROarray screening for the finding of biomarker candidates
  • Biomarker candidate verification utilizing protein microarrays, and
  • Design of a biochip prototype and first clinical testing.

UNIarrayTM is unique since it is uses the (auto-)antibody signature in serum as biomarkers in a systematic and comprehensive approach, and delivers a biochip ready to be used in clinical settings.

(Auto-) antibodies in human sera reflect the individual patient history, specific immune responses to self and non-self antigens and the actual state of various diseases. A whole series of antigens recognized by (auto-) antibodies is already utilized in routine clinical diagnostics. ANA, pANCA and recently CCP are some of the prominent examples for biomarkers used in the clinic that are recognized by (auto-) antibodies. Most of these antigens have been found by serendipity and not by a systematic research activity.

The UNIarrayTM program of Protagen is the first comprehensive and systematic approach for the finding of new (auto-) antibodies and is currently offered by Protagen to the entire pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry in a collaborative business model.

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