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GEN News Highlights : Feb 10, 2012

UCB Engages Nodality for Single Cell Network Profiling Technology

Aim is to find more insights into immunology disease pathways and mechanisms.

UCB Pharma inked a collaboration agreement with Nodality that will apply the latter’s single cell network profiling (SCNP) technology in the development of UCB compounds, initially focused on immunological disorders. The multiyear deal also gives UCB an option to task Nodality to develop companion diagnostics for its drug compounds.

UCB claims the collaboration will provide a valuable aid to drug development by generating new insights into disease pathways and mechanisms. “This collaboration is validation of Nodality’s unique technological approach and of the value the SCNP platform technology can bring to pharmaceutical drug development, comments David Parkinson, M.D., Nodality CEO.

The firm’s SCNP technology has been developed on the back of IP licensed from Stanford University.  The system effectively provides functional pathway analysis of signaling networks that regulate cellular functions such as growth, proliferation, and survival at the single cell level in potentially millions of cells. This allows the evaluation of changes in cell signaling networks that result from the administration of factors including chemokines, growth factors, small molecules, or biotherapeutics.

Because information from cells is captured independently, the approach can identify rare cells such as drug-resistant and stem cells. Nodality is  exploiting its SCNP platform through partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, both for drug development applications and for generating companion diagnostics.