NEWS Sygnature Discovery and Saretius establish strategic alliance
Sygnature Discovery, a provider of integrated drug discovery services to the pharmaceutical industry, and Saretius, a preclinical experimental services company offering ‘gold standard’ techniques in pain, metabolic and CNS disorders, inflammatory disease and in vivo
pharmacokinetics, have entered into a strategic alliance to provide a fully integrated drug discovery service to accelerate clients’ drug discovery programmes into development. The alliance complements Sygnature’s existing agreement with Cyprotex Discovery, a centre of excellence for in vitro ADME/toxicology. While Saretius will continue to provide preclinical services independently, the company will now also be able to contribute to fully integrated drug discovery projects through the new alliance. Sygnature will be able offer its customers an integrated drug discovery service where novel
Pfizer completes acquisition of Icagen
Sygnature Discovery: new name, new bioscience services, plus new strategic alliance.
compounds are designed, synthesised and screened at Sygnature, assessed at Cyprotex for their metabolic liability and toxicity, and tested at Saretius in disease-relevant models with an emphasis on establishing translational pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) relationships. The company says this combination will speed up the design-make-test cycle and
help advance clients’ drug discovery projects towards development. Sygnature Discovery was formerly Sygnature Chemical Services. The company changed its name, it says, as a result of high demand for its services from clients in the USA and Europe over the past 12 months and also due to the addition of bioscience to its in-house capabilities.
Affymetrix and Genisphere in proprietary microRNA reagents licence agreement Affymetrix, Inc has entered into an exclusive agreement with Genisphere, LLC to offer Genisphere’s proprietary FlashTag™ Biotin HSR Reagents to the pharma and biotech sectors. The miRNA reagents provide streamlined, high-fidelity target preparation methods yielding high-quality data and high reproducibility when used with the Affymetrix GeneChip
Genisphere reagents are compatible across a wide variety of sample types including formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) fresh frozen samples and blood. The complete solution is designed to provide researchers with faster insight into the role of miRNAs in biological processes including mRNA degradation, transcriptional gene silencing,
translational repression and, ultimately, in biomarker discovery in translational and cancer research.
Requiring as little as 100 ng of total RNA, the reagents provide ultrasensitive miRNA labeling in 45 minutes, with no purification steps required to go from sample to target for microarray hybridisation. When used with the recently released GeneChip
European Commission approves Pfizer polyneuropathy treatment
The European Commission has approved Pfizer’s Vyndaqel® (tafamidis) for the treatment of transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP) in adult patients with stage 1 symptomatic polyneuropathy. TTR-FAP is a rare, progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects about 8,000 patients worldwide.
Mutations of the transthyretin
(TTR) gene can result in the production of unstable TTR proteins which can accumulate
as amyloid fibrils. Amyloid fibrils can deposit in a variety of organs including the nerves, heart and kidneys, interfering with normal function. Vyndaqel is a novel specific transthyretin stabiliser designed to prevent the formation of these misfolded proteins and the subsequent amyloid deposits that induce neurodegeneration and decline of neurologic function. In the pivotal trial (Fx-005), transthyretin
stabilisation, as demonstrated by an in-vitro assay, was observed in
98 per cent of patients on Vyndaqel, and in no patients on placebo, at 18 months. The approval is based on results from a pivotal clinical trial that evaluated the long-term safety and efficacy of Vyndaqel in patients with TTR-FAP. Across these clinical studies, Vyndaqel showed efficacy in delaying peripheral neurologic impairment. Additional data from these studies showed 51 to 81 per cent less deterioration in neurologic function, large fibre function
(measure of motor strength) and small fibre function (measure of sensation) compared with patients treated with placebo. Vyndaqel resulted in improved nutritional status; decline in mBMI was shown to correlate with disease progression in the pivotal 18-month study.
Pfizer is working closely with the relevant national health authorities across the EU to launch the new treatment and expects that it will be available on prescription in Europe by early 2012.
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Pfizer has completed the acquisition of Icagen, Inc through the merger of its subsidiary, Eclipse Acquisition Corporation with Icagen, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer. Icagen is now part of Pfizer’s Worldwide Research and Development organisation and will be integrated into Neusentis, Pfizer’s Research Unit encompassing pain, sensory disorders and regenerative medicine.
Almirall and BioFocus in compound collaboration
Almirall SA and BioFocus have entered into a collaboration to find new hit compounds against targets of interest to Almirall. These will support projects on respiratory and inflammatory conditions. BioFocus will apply its screening technologies and compound collections in several Almirall projects.
miRNA 2.0 Array, the reagents provide customers with a single validated workflow to better understand the biology of miRNA molecules from 131 different organisms. Affymetrix-branded reagent kits will be launched in early 2012. In the meantime FlashTag Biotin HSR Reagents are available from Genisphere and GeneChip miRNA Arrays are available from Affymetrix.
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