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Hybrigenics and Servier Renew Research Contract for USP Validation in Oncology

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Hybrigenics has announced the renewal of a scientific contract with Servier Laboratories. The contract covers the validation of a confidential ubiquitin-specific protease (USP) involved in the regulation of a protein of special interest for Servier Laboratories in the field of oncology.

This contract renewal underscores Hybrigenics' position at the forefront of research in the field of ubiquitin-specific proteases involved in cancer. The identification of this specific USP from genome-wide screening of the catalytically active human USPs in cancer-relevant cellular models was successfully performed under previous contract agreements in 2006 and 2007.

If the current validation is successful, Hybrigenics will develop an assay to screen small molecules for inhibition of this specific USP. Discussions on next steps are due to take place with Servier Laboratories before the end of 2008. They could involve the setting up of a High Throughput Screening (HTS) campaign to discover original chemical series and the profiling of hits using the Hybrigenics specificity panel comprising additional USPs as well as non-related proteases.

"We are grateful to Servier Laboratories for their faithful trust and support over the years. Furthermore, this contract renewal shows that Hybrigenics' choice of USPs as original targets clearly differentiates us out from competition in the cancer research environment," said Remi Delansorne, CEO of Hybrigenics.

"This contract with Hybrigenics, a key player in this research field in the world, provides Servier Laboratories with the opportunity to explore an alternative mode of pharmacological intervention on a protein we have identified as of special interest in our own drug discovery program in oncology," said Bernard Marchand, Head of Research at Servier Laboratories.