BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - IntegraGen entered into a research collaboration with DSM Personalized Nutrition Group, part of the Royal DSM NV group, for the development of molecular diagnostic products to support DSM's product offering in the area of personal weight management.

The deal provides for IntegraGen to receive up-front fees, license fees and research and development funding from DSM, of Heerlen, the Netherlands. It also will be eligible for royalties on any resulting products that reach the market.

At the same time, the venture capital arm of Royal DSM, DSM Venturing, has made a €2 million equity investment in IntegraGen.

IntegraGen, which is based at Genopole, the biotechnology science and business park at Evry, south of Paris, is developing diagnostic and prognostic genetic tests for a range of diseases using its gene identification technology platform GenomeHIP (for Genome Hybrid Identity Profiling).

The pathologies it is focusing on are Type II diabetes, obesity, autism and bipolar disorder. It is developing a pipeline of fully integrated genetic tests known as IntegraTests, which are designed to predict, prevent and diagnose complex diseases and help tailor personalized treatments for individual patients. The company plans to initiate clinical trials of its first diagnostic tests based on internally identified genes in the first quarter of 2007.

Commenting on the collaboration with DSM, IntegraGen's president and CEO, Jan Mous, said it "enhances our position in the personalized medicine market, promising to further expand our patent portfolio and commercialized products in the areas of obesity and metabolic disorders."

For DSM, Chief Innovation Officer Rob van Leen said the collaboration with IntegraGen would "allow us to rapidly realize the commercial potential of our weight management programs."

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