Pharmakon Research International Inc., a pharmacology,toxicology and pharmacokinetic testing service, on Mondayintroduced a transgenic mouse that can be used to screen fordrugs to treat atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
The mouse model, called Biodigm-CEPT, has been geneticallyengineered to express the human-plasma enzyme cholesterolester transfer protein (CEPT). This enzyme is believed toaccelerate coronary heart disease in humans. Thus, the mousemodel can be used in a pharmacological screen to identifyenzyme-inhibiting compounds, which may serve as potentialdrug leads.
"Pharmakon can now identify for clients how compoundsperform in a whole animal model genetically engineered tomimic human lipoprotein metabolism," said Paul Schmitt,president and chief executive officer of DNX Corp.(NASDAQ:DNXX), Pharmakon's parent company. The Biodigmtransgenic mouse is proprietary to DNX.
Pharmakon of Waverly, Pa., said that a major pharmaceuticalcompany has already signed a contract for testing servicesusing the Biodigm-CEPT mouse model.
This is the company's second animal model for screening drugs;in May it introduced a transgenic mouse, Biodigm-IGT, to beused to screen for drugs to treat the glucose intoleranceassociated with Type II diabetes.
-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor
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