ByNuala Moran

BioWorld International Correspondent

LONDON - Oxford GlycoSciences plc (OGS) has agreed on a deal in which Quintiles Transnational Corp., a clinical services company, will test the use of OGS' proteomics technology in the preclinical drug development process and in clinical research.

"The intention is to apply proteomics as a parallel and additional way of screening compounds in preclinical development," said Michael Kranda, CEO of Oxford Glyco Sciences. With technologies such as combinatorial chemistry, high-throughput screening and genomics pushing an ever-increasing number of molecules into the drug development pipeline, safety profiling is becoming an increasingly important selection criteria.

Sandy Kennedy, senior director of Quintiles Toxicol ogy/Pathology Services, in Ledbury, Herefordshire, said the goal of the agreement is to "identify and characterize the toxicological profile of a drug candidate at the earliest possible stage in development, with a view to improving selection of lead candidates for clinical trials."

Proteomics involves the comparison of proteins in samples from individuals affected by a particular disease with those present in control samples, to identify proteins which are potentially related to toxicity or disease. These same proteins may also provide surrogate markers of disease. By profiling drug candidates at a much earlier stage, Quintiles and OGS believe that proteomics has the potential to speed the drug development process. n