Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will develop monoclonal antibodies, reagents for kinase measurement and protein chips. The partners expect the joint project to contribute to the comprehensive analysis of kinase, a kind protein that plays an important role in cell signalling.
More than 500 different kinases have to date been identified. Fujirebio also plans to invest in Carna Biosciences for the latter to pay for research. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Tomomao Ouki, product branding in development at Fujirebio told DrugResearcher.com: "We are particularly interested in developing research in diagnostic equipment, particularly in automation, although the technology is also likely to have applications in drug discovery."
Kinases have emerged as a major new target for drug discovery, as they mediate pivotal pathways inside the cell, including the transfer of signals from receptors on the surface to the interior.
The enzymes are known to play key roles in cellular processes including cell division, signal transduction, apoptosis and cell mobility. It is estimated that kinase malfunction contributes to more than 400 diseases, including cancer, inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.
"We are undecided as to which markets to focus on. While the monoclonal antibody market is growing, in Japan it is close to saturation point, although we are confident this will change."