Hybrigenics has announced that Genethon, the gene and cell therapy research and application center, will use Hybrigenics' Yeast Two-Hybrid Screening platform and its Protein Interaction Mapping software in a program of research into muscle cell proteins and their interaction.
France's Muscular Dystrophy Association (Association Française contre les Myopathies) is providing EUR 894,000 (USD 1,180,000) to finance the whole research program.
Genethon has already carried out a pilot screening study with Hybrigenics in 2004 and 2005.
This has resulted Genethon's limb girdle muscular dystrophy laboratory under its director, Dr Isabelle Richard, being able to select several proteins of interest involved in muscular dystrophies.
The program will execute several rounds of screening to discover interactions between the proteins involved, and to establish a map of these proteins.
The screenings will be carried out with the high-throughout ISO 9001:2000 certified Yeast Two-Hybrid Screening platform developed by Hybrigenics and analyzed by its proprietary software PIMRider®.
Apart from gaining a better understanding of the muscle cell and its functions, Genethon will use the information assembled through the use of Hybrigenics' screening and analysis tools to improve candidate target selection and prioritization in the drug discovery process.
The program will map genome-wide interactomes which are now becoming new standards in the post-genomic era to help gain insight into the mechanism of action of proteins involved in disease processes.
Under the terms of the agreement, the data obtained under the collaboration will be fully owned by Genethon.
"This project to map protein interactions within the muscle cell is right in line with Genethon's strategic objectives to develop new drugs for rare diseases, particularly muscular dystrophies, for which effective treatment is still lacking," said Dr. Anne-Marie Masquelier, Genethon's CEO. "The new project will be an important step forward."
"Genethon's choice of Hybrigenics to scale up its muscle interactome project is a strong recognition of our expertise in the field," said Dr. Remi Delansorne, Hybrigenics' CEO.
"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to a major effort to find innovative therapeutic solutions for patients afflicted by muscular dystrophies, and will be doing our utmost to fulfil the trust and high expectations that Genethon has expressed."