Initial project will generate map of post-translational modifications of a neurological disease related protein.

Italian therapeutics firm Siena Biotech has appointed Proteome Sciences as the preferred supplier of protein and peptide biomarker services for its drug development programs. For the first project under the master research agreement (MRA), Proteome will apply its PS Biomarker Services™ platform to provide a detailed analysis of post-translational modifications on a neurological disease-related protein. The resulting map can be used to confirm proof of disease mechanism and/or mode of action of new targeted therapeutics.

Proteome’s PS Biomarker Services encompasses a proprietary and generic toolkit of gel-based/gel-free proteomics technologies and assays to measure and test differential protein expression in disease and therapy.

The deal with Siena follows within weeks of Proteome signing a mass spectrometry-based breast cancer biomarker R&D collaboration with the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and a collaboration agreement with Moffitt Cancer Center focused on the development of mass spectrometry assays for measuring signaling and repair pathway proteins in tumor biopsies.

Siena is a drug discovery and development company with a portfolio of disease modifying small molecule therapeutics targeting oncology and neurodegenerative diseases. Lead clinical program, SEN0014196, is a selective SirT1 inhibitor that started in Phase II studies in April. The candidate was originally discovered by Elixir Pharmaceuticals, and is being developed by the firms under a 2007 agreement.

Siena also has neurodegenerative diseases collaboration in place with Roche, through which it earned a milestone payment last month. The payment follows on from Roche’s decision in 2010 to exercise its option to lead further development, manufacture, and commercialization of Alzheimer disease candidates against specific targets.

Earlier this year Siena established a collaboration with the CHDI Foundation, to identify and validate molecular targets with therapeutic potential in Huntington disease. Also during 2011 Siena announced a framework agreement with CRO Pierrel Research, to collaborate on Phase I and Phase II trials evaluating drugs resulting from Siena research.

Siena’s research-stage and preclinical pipeline includes additional Huntington disease and Alzheimer disease candidates, along with GPCR antagonists, Wnt pathway inhibitors and smoothened antagonists for cancer therapy, and an alpha 7 nicotinic agonist for the potential treatment of Alzheimer disease and inflammation. 

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