BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Hybrigenics launched a comprehensive map of the combined protein-protein interactions between the human immunodeficiency virus and its host cell in humans.

Known as PIMRider HIV, it was unveiled in a poster presentation at the Keystone Symposia HIV Pathogenesis meeting in Keystone, Colo., last week.

To produce the database, the Paris-based functional proteomics company compiled and integrated all known protein interaction information available in scientific literature using its software for optimizing protein interaction map display and analysis (PIMRider). The database covers 132 interactions between all proteins contained in HIV-type 1 and 87 human cellular proteins, as well as bibliographic links to the human genome, HIV databases, description of sequences and protein structure.

Describing it as the pharmaceutical industry's first proteomics database, Hybrigenics said this is the first time that a fully integrated HIV-human protein pathway has been described and said it will be an "invaluable tool" for identifying new drug targets against AIDS. It will enable researchers to assign functions to proteins involved in interactions between the virus and lymphocytes. The combined analysis of these interactions will provide a pointer to the involvement of different basic lymphocyte reactions in the HIV replication cycle and to the concerted actions of several viral proteins with the same cellular machinery.

Hybrigenics CEO Donny Strosberg said the launch of PIMRider HIV marked a "major advance . . . in the translation of HIV viral genomic data into potentially useful vaccines and other therapeutics." He stressed the "user-friendly visual presentation of the data, depicting a global picture of the virus and its protein-based relations with human host cells" and the fact that the company was offering free subscriptions to academic partners.

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