ZICHRON YA¿AKOV, Israel ¿ Despite the drought in venture capital money funds, biotechnology start-up Glycominds Ltd. raised $7.1 million in a private placement led by Tel Aviv-based Millennium Materials Technology Fund LP and Germany-based Schott Glas.

Maccabim-based Glycominds pioneered novel glycomics technologies to analyze interactions between complex carbohydrates (glycans) and proteins, which they ¿expect will help identify many new drug targets as well as dramatically improve early stage drug development,¿ said Glycominds CEO Avinoam Dukler, who founded the company with Nir Dotan, president and chief technology officer, in 1999.

¿Now, with our proprietary GlycoChip, the first biochip microarray of glycans, we can analyze unprecedented numbers of glycan-protein interactions en masse,¿ Dotan told BioWorld International.

¿We see numerous applications of the GlycoChip in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry, including identifying novel carbohydrate-binding proteins and potential inhibitors of glycan-protein interactions, as well as analysis of immunogenicity in serum samples for antibody-glycan binding,¿ Dukler said. That is an important step in drug identification, he said, because more than 90 percent of therapeutic proteins are bound with glycans critical to the protein function.

Dotan added, ¿Combined with Glycominds¿ Glycomics Database, the world¿s largest comprehensive database of glycans, which is expected to reach approximately 6,000 validated glycan sequences by the end of the year, we presented a very attractive platform to our partners.¿

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