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Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Cisbio Bioassays for Technology Innovation
Date:6/9/2009

Uniting Technologies from Multiple Fields, Strengthening the Molecular Bioassays Market

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the molecular bioassays market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Cisbio Bioassays with the 2009 Frost & Sullivan North America Technology Innovation of the Year Award. Its innovative, pioneering Tag-lite(TM) technology for cell surface receptor investigation, in particular G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), brings together homogeneous time resolved fluorescence (HTRF(R)) and SNAP(TM)-tag technologies.

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GPCRs, or receptors that mediate signaling between a cell and its environment, are critical for maintaining homeostatic processes. Any irregularities in signaling through these receptors can result in obesity, atherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, cardiac dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and pain, among others. The contribution of GPCRs to disease pathways has resulted in this class of receptors accounting for more than 50 percent of the high-throughput screening (HTS) programs in the pharmaceuticals industry and subsequently, nearly 40 percent of current drug targets.

With more than 1,000 genes, the GPCRs make up the single largest gene family of the human genome. As cell surface receptors, GPCRs are easily amenable to targeting without the issues of cell permeability. The high therapeutic relevance of GPCRs confers greater significance to the development of the Tag-lite(TM) technology by Cisbio Bioassays.

However, the structural studies and analysis of these receptors have been limited by the fastidious nature of GPCRs in the context of crystallization. The other, very active area of scientific pursuit has remained the functional characterization of 7TM receptors by employing fluorescence technologies.

"The determination of ligand binding affinity has been used to delineate the ligand binding site of GPCRs through a site-directed mutagenesis strategy," says Frost & Sullivan's Dr. Sudeep Basu. "These studies also provide clues to the activation mechanism of the receptors."

It is in this context that Cisbio Bioassays' Tag-lite(TM) technology is innovative and unique. It has aided the determination of ligand binding affinities without the use of radioactivity and with comparable results, making it a much safer and cost-effective process. It has also considerably reduced the time required for the ligand binding assay to nearly 1/8th the time usually needed to run a standard radio labeled ligand binding assay. Moreover, it eliminates the steps for membrane preparation or overnight counting for ligand binding.

"Further, with the development of its second generation HTRF technology, HTRF Terbium, Cisbio Bioassays has been able to improve assay performance over its previous generation HTRF, which was based on a Europium cryptate," notes Dr. Basu. "With the novel Tag-lite(TM) technology based on HTRF Terbium, Cisbio Bioassays has made possible the characterization of the GPCR from the ligand binding, signaling, and dimerization angles without compromising the functional integrity of the receptor or downstream signaling."

An important aspect of Tag-lite(TM) technology is a SNAP or CLIP tag, which is essentially a suicide enzyme with a capability of one successful reaction during which it covalently links to its substrate. These substrates can be derivatized with HTRF fluorophores. A plasmid construct can be easily generated where the SNAP or CLIP tag is attached to the N-terminus of the GPCR. Thus, a fusion protein comprised of the SNAP/CLIP tagged GPCR is expressed on the cell surface.

"Given that enzyme substrate reactions have the highest order of specificity associated with them, these reactions can occur only when the substrates come in contact with the enzyme active site," observes Dr. Basu. "Hence, non-specific fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) does not occur."

With the development of complete suites of products and services including plasmids, cell lines, and ligands, Cisbio Bioassays is well positioned to serve the unmet needs of GPCR characterization. Considering these receptors are the most pharmacologically important class of drug targets, the Tag-lite(TM) technology is a huge step forward in the GPCR arena.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has carried out new research, which has resulted in innovation(s) that have or are expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. This award recognizes the quality and depth of a company's research and development program as well as its vision and risk-taking.

Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About Cisbio Bioassays

Cisbio Bioassays is a global developer of products and technologies used in in vitro diagnostics and assay development for drug screening procedures. The company pioneered the field of homogenous fluorescence methodologies via its proprietary technology, HTRF(R), a highly sensitive, robust technology for the detection of molecular interactions and widely used by the pharmaceutical industry for the high throughput screening stage of drug development. In addition, Cisbio Bioassays produces a selection of biological reagents and methods used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as contract research organizations (CROs). Headquartered in Bagnols-sur-Ceze, France, with facilities in Bedford, MA, U.S.A. and a network of distributors worldwide, Cisbio Bioassays is a member of the Belgium-based IBA group. Founded in 1986 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, IBA is primarily active in the medical industry. It develops and markets state-of-the-art equipment and radiopharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis and treatment. In addition, it uses the scientific expertise thus gained to provide electron accelerators for industrial sterilization and ionization. Listed on the pan-European stock exchange Euronext, IBA is included in the BEL Mid Index (IBA: Reuters IBAB.BR and Bloomberg IBAB.BB). Please visit www.htrf.com and www.iba-worldwide.com for more information about Cisbio Bioassays and IBA.

HTRF(R) is a registered trademark of Cisbio Bioassays; Tag-lite(TM) is a trademark of Cisbio Bioassays

SNAP-tag(TM) is a trademark of Covalys Biosciences

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best in class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 35 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.frost.com.

    Contact:
    Jake Wengroff
    210.247.3806
    jake.wengroff@frost.com


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