¿Rhein Biotech N.V., of Maastricht, the Netherlands, a vaccines and therapeutics manufacturer, promoted Ernest de la Houssaye to the position of chairman. He succeeds company founder Cornelis Hollenberg, who will continue as a board member, with a focus on the company's R&D activities.
¿GeneData AG, of Basel, Switzerland, released version 3.0 of its GD Phylosopher software for analyzing complete genomes. The core component of the technology is a proprietary protein family database with constantly updated information. It contains all 33 genomes that are currently available.
¿KS Biomedix plc, of London, agreed to a collaboration with Eukarion Inc., of Bedford, Mass., to modify KS Biomedix's sheep monoclonal antibodies to allow them to reach intracellular targets. Eukarion has antibody lipidation and chemical modification technologies, which can be used to coat antibodies with molecules that mimic the cell membrane, allowing them to slip through the cell wall. KS Biomedix CEO Steven Powell noted that to date most therapeutic antibodies have been limited to targeting antigens on the surface of cells. "By combining our high-affinity monoclonal antibodies with Eukarion's modification technologies, we aim to engineer antibodies to access intracellular disease targets and possibly improve tumor and target organ penetration," he said.
¿Arakis Ltd., of Cambridge, UK, raised #4 million (US$5.9 million) in venture capital funding to speed development of its Performance Enhanced Medicines (PEMs). MB Venture Capital Fund I and the Merlin Bioscience Fund each contributed #2 million in the financing, which will be in two tranches, the second in February. The company, founded in January 2000, is developing products that combine drug enhancement technologies to improve the effectiveness of known pharmacological agents. The lead one, AD121, is expected to enter the clinic next month for rheumatoid arthritis.