BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Hybrigenics SA, a Paris-based functional proteomics company, signed a three-year drug discovery collaboration and licensing agreement with Servier, France's largest privately owned pharmaceutical company, calling for Hybrigenics to use its high-throughput protein interaction mapping technology (PIM) to identify new targets for anticancer drugs.

On the basis of proteins supplied by Servier, which is based in the Paris suburb of Neuilly, Hybrigenics will explore and map protein-protein interactions in specific cellular pathways and go on to prioritize the mapped interactions according to their biological relevance. That will enable it to define the specific protein domains involved in those interactions, resulting in an optimized selection of potential drug targets. It will also provide other proprietary tools for further validation of these targets.

The agreement provides for Hybrigenics to receive an up-front cash payment, research and development funding for three years and milestone payments. In addition, it will receive royalties related to the development and commercialization of drugs resulting from this collaboration. For its part, Servier will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and market drugs against the selected targets as well as an option for applications in other therapeutic fields.

This is Hybrigenics' first pharmaceutical collaboration involving cancer, a pathology that, according to CEO Donny Strosberg, is "of strategic importance" to the company in both its in-house and collaborative drug discovery programs.