Invitrogen's service will support Locus' internal kinase discovery programs, principally in the areas of cancer and inflammation. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Kinases are a protein family involved in many major diseases that affect humans all over the world. Overexpression and mis-regulation of protein kinases are often a cause or consequence of disease.
As a result, researchers are developing drugs that alter the activity of targeted kinases involved in cancer, inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, 30 percent of all drug discovery efforts are focused on targeting protein kinases.
"Working with Locus on this kinase screening program validates Invitrogen's position as a major enabler for kinase drug discovery," said Chris Armstrong, Invitrogen's Director of Customer Programs for its Drug Discovery Solutions business.
"Using our expertise in kinase screening and assay design, we will provide Locus with valuable information on the selectivity, potency and mechanism of action of its rapidly expanding portfolio of protein kinase inhibitors."
A major area of focus, in the past 14 months Invitrogen has added an additional 123 distinct, human protein kinases onto its SelectScreen™ kinase screening panel.
The current collection of 193 assays addresses therapeutically relevant targets, phylogenetic diversity and key signaling pathways. The greater availability of this technology enables researchers and scientists to develop more effective therapeutic drugs to combat these diseases.
"This relationship with Invitrogen provides a cost-efficient resource for high quality kinase products and services that enhance Locus' strategic focus on the discovery and development of small molecule protein kinase inhibitors," said Eric Springman, Ph.D., Locus' Senior Director of Biology.
"We will continue to expand the breadth of our kinase screening panel in 2006, providing our partners with a deep portfolio of different kinases to query with their drug candidates," continued Armstrong. "Simultaneously, we will build out our screening capacity to meet the ever increasing demand for new screening services."
Invitrogen's SelectScreen™ kinase screening capabilities are just one element of its comprehensive kinase platform, which comprises both biochemical and cellular tools for understanding kinase biology.
Included in this expanding portfolio is a kinomic siRNA collection, a vast array of Phospho-site specific antibodies, a unique set of CellSensor(TM) cell-based assays for interrogating pathway biology, and multiple biochemical assay formats.