LONDON - Cambridge Antibody Technology plc (CAT) and Oxford GlycoSciences plc (OGS) are pooling resources to develop protein chip technology for the identification of proteins using antibody-based microarrays.

Under the research collaboration the two will compare OGS' human protein libraries with CAT's antibody libraries to pair proteins with antibodies. Microarrays of antibodies will then be developed based on OGS' protein microarray technology, to form the basis of a high-throughput protein detection system. Each party will fund its own research contribution.

Michael Kranda, CEO of Abingdon, Oxfordshire-based OGS, said, "Our technology team has used our expertise in proteomics, microengineering and informatics to develop the prototype of an antibody-based protein detection microarray. The alliance with CAT provides us access to its high-throughput antibody technology to bring our prototype microarrays to an industrial scale for developing protein chips as screening and diagnostic tools."

CAT, based in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, currently has around 100 billion distinct antibodies in its phage display antibody library, while OGS has over 800 patent filings covering disease-specific proteins discovered using its proteomics technology.

Shares in CAT rose #1.17 to #38.92, and in OGS by 82 pence to #18.52, when the collaboration was announced last week.

Two days later CAT announced it has entered a development deal with Wyeth-Ayerst Research for antibody-based drugs specific for amyloid beta peptide in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. This is a development of the collaboration set up between the two in March 1999, to find CAT antibodies to fit targets identified by Wyeth-Ayerst, the research arm of American Home Products.

Financial details were not given, but CAT will receive a licensing fee, plus milestones and royalties.

Wyeth-Ayerst recently set up an alliance with Elan Corp., of Dublin, Ireland, to develop immunotherapeutics for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's and possibly to prevent onset of the disease. The agreement with CAT brings CAT's antibody expertise into this alliance.

David Chiswell, CEO of CAT, said, "We believe amyloid beta to have strong potential as a therapeutic antibody target, as Wyeth-Ayerst's and Elan's target validation work in this area has demonstrated."