Kinaxo and Boehringer Ingelheim to collaborate in drug discovery
9 November 2008
Kinaxo Biotechnologies GmbH, a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute
of Biochemistry, has entered into a two-year collaboration with
Boehringer Ingelheim. Under the agreement Kinaxo will apply its new
platform technologies to studies on drug mode of action and target
identification. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Building on its existing quantitative Cellular Target Profiling
capabilities, Kinaxo will now employ high end mass spectrometry-based
technologies to quantitatively analyze post-translational modifications
This new service will make it possible to determine the effects of
compounds on proteome-wide signal transduction pathways, providing a
detailed and comprehensive picture of their in vivo mode of
action in cultured cells or animal tissue. Such analyses will also
facilitate identifying new biomarkers and drug targets.
In the initial phase of this collaboration, Kinaxo will undertake two
studies on behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim. The first will be a cell line
analysis project to measure the effects of an enzyme inhibitor on the
acetylation status of the cellular proteome.
In the second study, Kinaxo will use its new phosphoproteomics
platform to determine differences in the signal transduction pathway
activation status of a specific neuronal tissue when comparing wild type
with a genetically modified mouse strain modelling a defined disease
state. The aim of this study is to identify new drug targets.
Kinaxo’s addition of post-translational modification profiling to its
current Cellular Target Profiling Service helps generate a comprehensive
picture of a compound’s mode of action. Cellular signal transmission in
eukaryotic cells is — in part — regulated by the reversible
phosphorylation of proteins.
Most protein kinases are positively or negatively regulated through
phosphorylation by other kinases. Therefore, differential analysis of
the complete cellular “phosphoproteome” upon kinase inhibitor treatment
provides a highly informative and direct insight into the compound’s
mode of action.
Kinaxo’s new services elegantly combine a state-of-the-art mass
spectrometry platform with Stable Isotope Labelling by Amino acids in
Cell culture (SILAC) technology, as developed in the laboratory of
Professor Matthias Mann at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry,
Martinsried, Germany. With the creation of a ‘SILAC mouse’ Matthias Mann
and colleagues recently extended the technology to analyzing tissue
samples from animal models (Krüger et al., Cell 134 (2008), 353–364).
“The SILAC platform is a powerful tool that enables one to
quantitatively compare post-translational modifications across multiple
biological samples. Initially applied to cell lines we have developed
the ‘SILAC mouse’ which significantly extends the capability, since we
can now also analyze and compare any mouse tissue,” said Professor Mann.
Dr. Andreas Jenne, Kinaxo’s CEO added: “We are delighted to apply
these recent technology innovations in our collaboration with Boehringer
Ingelheim. In offering access to this state-of-the-art platform we will
enhance and complement our existing services. Among other applications,
our customers will now be able to determine the quantitative effect of
their compounds on cellular signalling pathways, as well as identify and
quantify compound target interactions, all in a proteome-wide fashion.
This will provide critical cell-based and in vivo information on a
compound’s mechanism of action to support drug programme decision
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