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EMD Chemicals Expands Multi-Analyte Portfolio Via Collaboration with MitoSciences

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EMD Chemicals Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, have announced a research and commercial collaboration with MitoSciences Inc., a developer of antibodies and immunoassays for measuring mitochondrial and metabolic function, whose products are used by basic researchers, drug developers and clinicians.

The new collaboration allows for co-development of high-quality multiplex immunoassay products for the WideScreen™ BeadPlex™ assay platform for the detection and profiling of mitochondrial toxicity and activity. This enables EMD Chemicals to expand its already extensive offering in the multiplex biomarker, drug discovery and drug development markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, MitoSciences has granted EMD Chemicals exclusive rights to a large new offering of currently unlicensed monoclonal antibodies for monitoring mitochondrial toxicity and bioactivity. MitoSciences will work exclusively with EMD Chemicals to validate the new WideScreen™ assays for use in drug screening applications.

MitoSciences conducts both preclinical and clinical projects with pharmaceutical companies and clinicians to better understand the roles and causes of mitochondrial toxicity and bioactivity from drug treatment. They will combine their comprehensive knowledge and content with the assay development and international sales and marketing network of EMD Chemicals to provide optimized solutions that enable researchers to measure important biomarkers for drug toxicology and mitochondrial bioactivity.

“EMD Chemicals has been very successful in developing and offering multiplex immunoassays for biomarker and toxicity analysis for our clients in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. We realize the opportunities to satisfy the demands of additional markets. Working with MitoSciences will address these new markets,” said Christina Shasserre, Vice President and Head of Global Biosciences for Merck KGaA and EMD Chemicals. “MitoSciences provides the highly unique content and knowledge that enables assay development. Together with EMD Chemicals and our large focus on immunoassay development and global commercialization infrastructure to distribute these kits, the collaboration will see rapid delivery of these unique tools to the market.”

"MitoSciences has long been aware of the need for multiplex immunoassay panels against mitochondrial and other metabolic proteins," said Jean-Paul Audette, President and CEO, MitoSciences. "We are excited about working with EMD Chemicals to combine our complementary research capabilities to bring such panels to the market."

“To develop safer drugs and save time and resources in the process, the evaluation of toxicity is a clear focus in pre-clinical drug development. Testing the effect of drug candidates on mitochondrial processes such as metabolism and replication is as an important aspect of toxicity profiling,” concluded Shasserre.

The first set of assays is scheduled for availability in early 2010. The kits will be sold to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic institutions. EMD Chemicals and MitoSciences will continue to collaborate to design, create, and release new, products that meet the evolving requirements of their customers.