The alliance will focus specifically on Activiomics’ TIQUAS (Targeted In-depth QUAntification of cell Signaling) which provides information about proteins following a cell signaling event – “information that is generally not accessible using conventional expression analysis,” according to the firms.
The platform uses mass spectroscopy-based analysis of phosphorylation sites in cell or tissue extracts. Phosphorylation status provides clues as to which proteins and pathways are affected by drugs.
Mark Warne, CEO of Activiomics, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com: “The service can help to identify the cell signalling pathways which are perturbed by a given therapeutic agent. This information can lead to identification of novel predictive and/or prognostic markers.”
He said that the platform is particularly effective in oncology, metabolic and inflammation therapy areas.
MD of BioFocus Chris Newton said with the regulators crying out for a better understanding of how bio drugs work in vivo, now is the golden age for the newly emerging area of expression tech like TIQUAS.
He told us: “At a time when new drug applications face increasing scrutiny with regard to demonstrating efficacy in defined patient populations, never before has the understanding of molecular pathways been more important.”
Newton added that some of BioFocus’ clients were already using the technology, and so the firm has been aware of its value for some time.
As for the future, Warne said that companies are set to develop the technology – which works particularly well with drug discovery in the kinase field – to include more drug classes.
“Those which affect epigenetic targets,” will be a particular focus, Warne told us.