Scientists at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London, have developed a novel mass spectrometry-method of analysing and interpreting cell signalling pathways. This technology enables the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to identify biomarkers and better select new drugs for diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity and diabetes and help reduce their time to market.
This technology is incorporated in Activiomics Ltd, the first spin-out company to have been created from the Institute of Cancer at Barts and The London Medical School. Activiomics has signed a commercial agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) through its Respiratory Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD), in a collaborative effort to investigate inflammatory signalling mechanisms.
Activiomics’ TIQUAS (Targeted In-depth Quantification of cell Signalling) platform has advantages over existing methods in that it is quantitative, antibody-free, label-free and applicable to any cell or tissue sample. This is of significant benefit in the drug development cycle, aiding clinical trial candidate selection and biomarker discovery, thereby reducing development times.
The company's scientific founders are Dr Pedro Cutillas and Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck from the Centre for Cell Signalling at the Institute of Cancer. Both have previously conducted research at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd where they initiated their work in proteomics. Professor Vanhaesebroeck is a world leading expert in PI3K signalling, a major disease target in oncology and inflammatory diseases. Dr Cutillas is an expert in quantitative mass spectrometry and conceived the technology that is the basis of Activiomics.
Pedro Cutillas said: "It is personally very rewarding seeing discoveries made in the lab moved into commercial development with the ultimate aim of patient benefit". Bart Vanhaesebroeck commented "Activiomics embodies the ambition of the Centre for Cell Signalling to translate its discoveries into commercial and clinical benefit, and I am extremely pleased by our rapid progress in these areas".
Dr Mark Warne, Interim CEO of Activiomics, said: "We are delighted to have signed our first commercial agreement and look forward to working with GSK to identify novel modulators of inflammatory signalling. We believe our unique technology has significant advantages over existing methods and it is pleasing to see it already gaining traction in the marketplace."
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