Proteom Limited announces research collaboration with Sense Proteomic Limited


19-02-2001

Ion channels are a $15b business and are the focus of drug discovery activity amongst many pharmaceutical companies.

Identification of therapeutically useful molecules has been hampered by difficulties in identifying specific blockers of ion channel function.



Proteom Limited, a bioinformatics company based near Cambridge, has entered into a collaboration with Sense Proteomic Limited, a proteomics company also based near Cambridge, to identify peptides that will mimic interactions between the subunits of certain ion channels.



Ion channels are seen as therapeutic targets in many disorders including those of the CNS, heart and bladder. Protein-protein interactions are known to modulate the activity of a number of ion channel types.



Interfering with such interactions is regarded as a potential approach to altering their activity and could lead to the identification of novel therapeutic agents.



Proteom will utilise its proprietary technologies to identify peptides that can bind to intracellular subunits of certain ion channels.



Sense Proteomic will then test these peptides using its protein array technology (COVETTM) to confirm existing interactions, predicted by the Proteom technology, and to identify novel ones. Functional studies will also be performed to confirm any novel interactions.



Peptides which can be shown to interact with intracellular ion channel subunits will then form the basis for development of molecules with significant commercial value. Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will jointly develop any newly identified leads.



Proteom Limited



Proteom is positioned at the leading edge of the interface between biology and information technology. As a result of new insights into the organisation of 'proteomic' information in DNA, Proteom can speed the process of target selection and validation.



Based on the exploitation of proprietary methods of DNA/protein sequence manipulation, Proteom is able to facilitate the process of drug discovery by identifying the functional regions of a protein and generate peptides to block protein activity. Details of the science underpinning Proteom's approach can be found at www.proteom.com.



Applications of the technology include the design of ligands as therapeutic entities, components of high throughput screens, purification tools and as the basis for small molecule design. In addition the technology can be used to identify ligands for orphan receptors or to predict protein-protein interactions. Proteom already has several commercial agreements in place with biotech and pharmaceutical companies.



Sense Proteomic Limited



Sense Proteomic Limited is a proteomics company financed by Apax Partners & Co. Its mission is to develop and market chip-based proprietary proteomics technologies to reinforce and complement the recent technological advances that serve the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Further information about the Company can be found on its web site: http://www.senseproteomic.com.



Sense Proteomic's proprietary proteomics technology called COVETT, is a massively parallel method of immobilising and purifying proteins which allows all the proteins from a given cell or tissue to be arrayed on a chip.



Since COVETTM does not disrupt protein folding, arrayed proteins can be interrogated on the chip for binding to small molecules, proteins and nucleic acids. Inherent in COVETT is a genotype to phenotype linkage with permits rapid identification of any arrayed protein.



Sense Proteomic currently has a staff of 25 and is planning further expansion this calendar year.



Sense Proteomic is looking to partner with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with the aim of assisting their drug discovery and research programmes.



Further information:

Barry Cartwright

Business Development Director

Proteom Limited

Tel: 44 1223 496180

Fax: 44 1223 496181

e-mail: bjcartwright@proteom.com



Roland Kozlowski

Chief Executive Officer

Sense Proteomic Limited

Corporate Office

The Babraham BioIncubator

Babraham Hall

Babraham Cambridge CB2 4AT, UK

Tel: + 44 (0)1223 496700

Fax: +44 (0)1223 496701

e-mail: rzk@senseproteomic.com