BioWorld International Correspondent

MUNICH, Germany Epidauros Biotechnologie AG and Pharmacia Corp. signed a three-year agreement under which Epidauros will make its pharmacogenetic technology and expertise available for a number of Pharmacia research projects related to variable drug response.

The collaboration will combine Epidauros’ work in the pharmacogenetics of drug transporters and metabolizing enzymes with Pharmacia’s compound development research.

“We are working together to solve certain pharmacogenetic problems, using a correlation between polymorphism and drug performance,” Epidauros CEO Gunther Heinrich told BioWorld International.

Since 2001, Epidauros, of Bernried, Germany, has been providing pharmacogenetic testing and analytical services to support Pharmacia’s clinical development programs. Pharmacia, of Peapack, N.J., has agreed to up-front and milestone payments, as well as royalties on new drugs that indicate the use of a pharmacogenetic test derived from the joint research. Heinrich declined to specify the specific amounts or the precise milestones involved, citing confidentiality reasons.

Epidauros investigates and characterizes variations (polymorphisms) of proteins that transport and metabolize drugs and polymorphisms of proteins in drug targets. The company’s research seeks to quantify the genetic factors influencing patients’ responses to compounds, ideally improving both safety and efficiency in drug development. It develops induction assays that help to pharmacogenetically characterize compounds in the preclinical phase of drug development and assist in patient selection during clinical phases.