A Medical Device Daily

Archemix (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and SomaLogic (Boulder, Colorado) reported an expansion of their alliance focused on the use and development of aptamers, synthetically-derived oligonucleotides, or short nucleic acid sequences. for therapeutic, diagnostic, and other applications.

This expanded alliance broadens the companies' existing relationship by cross-licensing new technologies being developed by the companies and sharing their respective know-how. Archemix receives exclusive rights to therapeutic uses of aptamers discovered by SomaLogic for a limited number of targets identified by Archemix. Additionally, Archemix will have the option of providing targets to SomaLogic for the generation of aptamers. SomaLogic will receive rights to all ex vivo uses of aptamers which it did not previously hold, including the use of aptamers for affinity purification. Other provisions of the original cross-license agreement between the two companies remain unchanged. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Aptamers represent an emerging class of potential therapeutic agents that Archemix believes may have broad application to treat a variety of human diseases. Archemix believes that aptamer therapeutics combine many of the beneficial characteristics of biologics, small molecules and other classes of oligonucleotides, such as antisense and small interfering RNA, or siRNA, without exhibiting many of their disadvantages. Aptamers have the ability to disrupt interactions between proteins, bind with high affinity and specificity to their targets and can be designed to have a specified duration of action.

Archemix has partnered with other companies in the past.

In 2004 Nuvelo (Sunnyvale, California) and Archemix worked with anithrombin aptamer's being developed as an anticoagulant/antithrombotic for use in coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The initial phase was be conducted in 16 normal volunteers, after which ARC183 was evaluated in patients with coronary artery disease (Medical Device Daily , August 13, 2004).

Archemix is a biotechnology company focused developing aptamer therapeutics. SomaLogic develops proteomics systems and applications based on its aptamer technology.

In other agreements: Phadia (Portage, Michigan) reported a new long-term agreement with Bio-Reference Laboratories(Elmwood Park, New Jersey) The agreement will allow Bio-Reference Laboratories to supply ImmunoCAP specific IgE blood tests to its customers, including those covered by United Healthcare, which reinforces the company's record of providing better healthcare through enhanced technology.

The ImmunoCAP technology works by measuring IgE antibodies to specific allergens in a small sample of blood. Specific IgE is produced as a result of sensitization to an allergen and increases with exposure to that substance. ImmunoCAP was the first allergy test to be cleared by the FDA as a truly quantitative test for pinpointing allergens and has recently been shown to produce the most accurate results. Allergy blood testing is recognized by the National Institutes of Health for the management of patients with asthma.

Phadia is involved in in vitro IgE diagnostic research and product development. Bio-Reference Laboratories bills itself as the largest independent regional clinical laboratory in the Northeast, with major positions in physician offices, nursing homes and correctional institutions.