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GEN News Highlights : Oct 17, 2006

MSM and CAT Target Multispanning Membrane Proteins

Companies provide each other with access to their respective technology for drug discovery.
Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and MSM Protein Technologies aim at developing antibody-based drugs targeting multispanning membrane proteins. This drug discovery collaboration is a two-year research agreement in which CAT will fund MSM to use its technology on CAT’s behalf. The two companies will provide each other with access to their respective technology for drug discovery.

“This relationship with CAT follows a pilot project between CAT and MSM that demonstrated the synergy of our technologies for the successful selection of functional antibodies against multispanning membrane proteins,” points out Davis Farmer, MSM's chairman.

Under the terms of the agreement, MSM will apply its technology to display multispanning membrane proteins to select antibodies from CAT libraries against a number of CAT- and MSM-nominated targets. CAT will pay MSM to conduct discovery work on CAT’s behalf and both companies will have obligations to pay milestones and royalties to one another upon the successful commercialization of any drugs resulting from the collaboration.

“Multispanning membrane proteins comprise a major class of drug targets that includes G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels, and transporters,” explains Alex Duncan Ph.D., CAT's senior vp, discovery. “Together they represent roughly 70% of the targets for therapeutic drugs and are an important class of largely untapped protein targets for therapeutic antibodies.”