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John D. Rodwell, president and chief technical officer
AxCell Biosciences Corp., a subsidiary of Cytogen Corp., is developing a proprietary protein pathway database called ProChart (formally IFP Database) as a discovery and development tool for use in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
The bioinformatics platform is designed to identify drug targets for optimization and development by applying techniques for deriving intracellular protein-pathway data. It is being co-designed with InforMax Inc., of Bethesda, Md.
AxCell also offers products such as its Genetic Diversity Library and bioinformatics for ligand identification; cloning of ligand targets for domain identification; and affinity screening for direct affinity identification, in addition to its ProChart for pathway identification and interaction rule identification.
The ProChart database, marketed exclusively by InforMax Inc., was introduced to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in March 2001 and made commercially available in June 2001 as part of the latest version of InforMax’s GenoMax enterprise bioinformatics platform. Currently, the ProChart database contains a complete map of the known WW protein domains and information from several other domain families, such as PDZ, SH2 and SH3 domains. WW protein domains are believed to have an impact on health problems including hypertension, muscular dystrophy and immunodeficiency. The PDZ and SH3 domains have been implicated in cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, diabetes and stroke. SH2 domains have been associated with cancer, osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders and allergic diseases.
AxCell intends to develop versions of this information, such as protein chips and novel protein drug targets, for other markets in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, diagnostic companies, academic and government researchers and physicians. Cytogen will use this technology to research and develop novel drug targets independently or via collaborative ventures, with an initial focus on product development in prostate cancer treatment.
Cooperative research and development agreement to research major signal transduction families and how they impact signaling pathways: The National Cancer Institute.
Investigation on potential synergies between mapping protein pathways: Molecular Staging Inc.
Research collaboration to chart protein interaction changes in prostate cancer: The Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle.
Developer partnership: Compaq Computer Corp.