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Procognia Enters Protein Kinase Array Collaboration with GSK

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Procognia Ltd has announced that it has entered into collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to explore the use of Procognia’s protein function arrays within the GSK drug development processes through a combination of Procognia’s functional protein array technology and GSK’s fluorescently-labelled broad-specificity kinase inhibitors.

Under the collaboration, Procognia will be supplying arrays to GSK containing over 300 functional human kinases to enable it to profile its kinase hits in-house.

The arrays allow researchers to profile many kinases in a single parallel experiment where previously many separate assays were required. This has many benefits including a dramatic shortening of experimental time, a reduction in sample volume, and improved comparability between results from different kinases.

In addition, Procognia and GSK will work together to assess where Procognia’s protein array technology can be integrated into GSK’s screening process.

Overexpression and mis-regulation of protein kinases are implicated in a wide variety of diseases. As a result, researchers are developing drugs that alter the activity of targeted kinases in areas such as cancer, inflammation, heart disease, and neuro-degenerative diseases. Across the industry, 30 percent of all drug discovery efforts are now focused on targeting protein kinases.

“We are delighted to be working with an acknowledged leader in the area of kinase drug research,” said Ron Long, CEO of Procognia. “GSK’s scientists will provide our team with the insight to help Procognia continue to focus our product development on solutions that have direct relevance to the industry.”

Procognia has been developing its kinase panel over the last fifteen months. So far it has cloned, expressed and arrayed over 1,200 proteins from throughout the proteome. It aims to have a functional human protein array containing the entire human kinome in Q2 2007.

“By further increasing kinase content we will give researchers an even fuller picture of the selectivity of their compounds,” said Rachel Fallon, VP R&D. “As we also introduce clinically relevant polymorphic variants of important kinase drug targets, it will be possible to answer questions in a single experiment that are not being answered today.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.