Beads are designed to extract antibodies from cell cultures and sera.

CardioGenics plans on adopting Merck Chimie’s biological-linking technology to Merck-supplied magnetic beads designed to increase yields in antibody manufacturing. The beads are designed to extract antibodies from cell-culturing media and sera, potentially reducing the cost of making antibody-based drugs, CardioGenics notes. Utilizing magnetic particles for antibody extraction offers a quicker and more efficient process than using stationary chromatography, the firm points out.

This is the second product agreement between the companies. The first was a 10-year supply agreement for CardioGenics’ silver-coated magnetic beads that Merck will distribute to manufacturers of medical laboratory analyzers. It covers paramagnetic beads for large medical diagnostic analyzers. CardioGenics will receive 30% of Merck’s sales.

The second agreement involves beads manufactured by Merck for antibody manufacturing, a noncompeting market to CardioGenics’ silver-plated beads. This represents a new product line for Merck Chimie, which it reportedly intends to develop into a major part of its magnetic beads business.

Both applications employ paramagnetic beads, but each application requires beads with different characteristics suited to their use. “The technology for linking biological material for diagnostic beads is quite similar to linking biological material for antibody-extraction beads,” says Yahia Gawad, M.D., CEO of CardioGenics.

“Being in the forefront of developing ultrasensitive magnetic beads and related encapsulation technologies, the new agreement gives us an additional opportunity to showcase our proprietary expertise to one of the largest distributors of magnetic beads.”

The magnetic beads being utilized under each of the Merck agreements are fundamentally different from the magnetic beads used by CardioGenics in its QL Care™ Analyzer. The company expects to submit a 510K application to the FDA for the QL Care™ Analyzer and a test for Troponin-I, a key cardiac marker, during the first quarter of 2011. The portable device provides lab-like test accuracy in 15 minutes versus the 2.8 hours required for results from a central lab, according to CardioGenics.

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