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GEN News Highlights : Apr 19, 2010

SPI-Bio to Supply Aterovax’ sPLA2 Activity Test in Europe for Research Use

Kit can be used to investigate cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases as well as to screen for drug candidates.

SPI-Bio will distribute and sell Aterovax’ sPLA2 activity test for research use under a three-year, exclusive agreement. Aterovax reports that research has shown that the sPLA2 activity test offers promise for investigating cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, screening drug candidates, as well as elucidating their mechanism of action.

While Aterovax’ sPLA2 activity test is currently only available for research applications, the firm plans on seeking regulatory approval to diagnose coronary heart disease in asymptomatic individuals and to predict pathological events in patients with existing cardiovascular disease.

The phospholipases A2 (PLA2) superfamily of enzymes plays a key role in the inflammatory process by generating chemical intermediates. The activity of secretory PLA2 (sPLA2) is closely associated with the rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque and the subsequent risk of cardiovascular events, the firms explain.

“While sPLA2 is not a new molecule, it was really interesting to see that it became a new biomarker in the light of the validation work performed by Aterovax,” remarks Xavier Morge SPI-Bio managing director. “This assay not only perfectly supplements our existing range in the field of metabolic diseases but also complies with our policy to market fully validated kits in the appropriate biological samples.”

Located in Montigny le Bretonneux, SPI-Bio was founded in 1991 for the valorization of the French Atomic Energy Commission Department of pharmacology and immunology know-how and patents. The company’s businesses are split into services for pharmaceutical and biotech companies and production and marketing of life science reagents for drug development.