Cenix BioScience GmbH (Dresden) has announced that it has signed a framework research agreement with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP to advance the latter’s efforts in the discovery and validation of novel therapeutic drug targets.
Cenix will apply its well-established expertise in combining high throughput (HT) applications of RNAi-based gene silencing, the technology behind the 2006 Nobel Prize for Medicine, with high content phenotypic analyses in cultured human cells.
The initial project will involve a HT-RNAi screen using an assay strategy co-designed with AstraZeneca scientists to discover and validate novel oncology targets. Cenix will adapt and implement multi-parametric microscopy-based assays using the Cellenger image analysis platform from Munich-based Definiens, to generate detailed insights into the cellular functions and loss-of-function phenotypes of analyzed genes. Such RNAi datasets, now widely favored throughout the industry, offer a highly predictive and cost-effective basis for discovering and prioritizing targets for therapeutic drug development in a wide range of disease fields.
“We are very excited to begin working with AstraZeneca scientists to help advance their discovery pipeline with this powerful and well-proven technology,” said Dr. Christophe Echeverri, CEO/CSO of Cenix.
“We look forward to driving this relationship beyond the initial pilot through to multiple projects, as we have successfully done with other major pharma partners: by exceeding expectations on scientific and strategic excellence, and delivering the most detailed and professional reporting available in this field,” Dr. Echeverri added.