Illkirch, France, March 26, 2018 – NovAliX, a drug discovery-focused Contract Research Organization (CRO) today announces that it has signed a cooperation agreement with German-based ProteoPlex GmbH, a spin-off company of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (MPIBPC). Under the terms of the agreement, NovAliX will exclusively offer to pharmaceutical companies purified human 20S proteasome as well as structural biology analysis by X-ray crystallography of the protein complex.
Proteasomes are promising targets for cancer drug development, including multiple myeloma, as well as for hematological malignancies. Proteasomes are cellular waste disposal units. Cancer cells heavily rely on them to dispose of their large amounts of waste. If this waste disposal is inhibited, apoptotic cell death ensues.
ProteoPlex itself has exclusive access to Max-Planck patents and know-how concerning the optimized production, purification and crystallization of high-grade proteins. For the 20S proteasome, these novel crystal structures could enable the discovery of improved chemical mechanisms for the inhibition of this proteasome.
According to the agreement, NovAliX will initially have exclusive access to these ultra-high-quality 20S proteasomes and to other clinically relevant protein structures in the future.
“We are delighted that, thanks to our cooperation with ProteoPlex, we can strengthen our expertise in structural biology and we can offer these high-quality proteasomes to the pharmaceutical industry for oncology research,” said Denis Zeyer, chief executive officer of NovAliX. “We have a well-established relationship with the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry thanks to our cooperation in the field of cryo-electron microscopy. We are delighted to be extending that partnership.”
“NovAliX is a perfect partner for us to translate the results of Max-Planck’s basic research into market-relevant products,” said Joerg Wamser, co-founder and managing director of ProteoPlex GmbH.
Proteasomes have an enormous potential market; for example the global multiple myeloma market is expected to reach $37.5 billion (€30.3bn) by 2024.
NovAliX offers a unique collaborative model for drug discovery programs. Unlike traditional outsourcing services, where the program is assigned to an external partner, NovAliX’s novel insourcing /co-located research model combines the expertise of both internal and external resources for achieving best results through close interaction, seamless communication and streamlined workflow. NovAliX has seven research sites across Europe; all operating on the co-located research program model.
NovAliX provides a broad range of discovery research services, including a comprehensive portfolio of biophysical and analytical technologies, in addition to structural biology services based on X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. The company currently works with five partners from the top 50 pharma companies.
ProteoPlex is a spin-off company of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. The basic technologies behind ProteoPlex were developed at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysical Chemistry (MPIBPC) in Goettingen under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Holger Stark and Dr. Ashwin Chari.
NovAliX is a drug discovery-focused CRO with several unique technologies. It is highly proficient in chemistry and biophysics as well as drug discovery. The company has set up one of the world’s most comprehensive biophysics platforms, from screening to identification and detailed characterization of drug-target interactions using protein X-ray crystallography, native mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, surface plasmon resonance and cryo-electron microscopy. NovAliX’s innovative insourcing business model provides clients with flexibility and accelerates the research process. Founded in 2002, NovAliX is based in Illkirch, in the heart of the Bio-Valley Upper Rhine region, France. It employs 110 researchers. Sales figures for 2017 amounted to $12M (€9.7M).