Proteome Sciences, ProQinase, and NMI will pool their expertise in three-year BioTag project.

Proteome Sciences’ German subsidiary along with ProQinase and the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen will work on new biomarker-based tools to aid protein kinase inhibitor development. The alliance is called the BioTag project, and it will funded by a three-year grant from the German Federal Ministry of Research.

The aim is to speed the discovery, validation, and development of protein kinase inhibitors. The tests will be designed to be suitable for kinase target validation studies, establishing proof-of-concept for new candidates, and potentially monitoring treatment response in preclinical and early clinical trials.

The project will combine ProQinase’s protein kinase technology platform with NMI’s expertise in siRNA tools for targeting proteins in mammalian cells and Proteome Sciences’ protein biomarker discovery and development platform, which is based on its Tandem Mass Tag® technology.

A key element in the partners approach will be the functional inactivation of target protein kinases by siRNAi in prostate cancer cell lines combined with protein biomarker discovery and validation technologies, notes Proteome Sciences. NMI will create inducible RNAi vector constructs for targeted blocking of selected protein kinases, which ProQinase will use to develop prostate cancer cell lines in which the target kinase expression can be knocked out.

Proteome Sciences will then carry out differential protein-expression profiling on the cell lines to  identify novel biomarkers corresponding to loss of kinase activity and to develop noninvasive blood tests for use in xenograft mouse models.  The company claims that unlike tissue-based tests, this approach will enable the response to new prostate cancer therapeutics to be monitored noninvasively throughout preclinical and clinical trials.

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