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Cisbio, Lumiphore lighten it up
BAGNOLS-SUR-CEZE, France—Cisbio, the developer of HTRF (homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence) technology and start-up biotech, lanthanide specialist Lumiphore Inc., announced early this month an agreement whereby Cisbio will incorporate Lumiphore's Lumi4 complexes in Cisbio assays.
Under the terms of the open-ended agreement, Cisbio gains exclusive rights to apply Lumi4 technology for any product development initiatives revolving around TR-FRET (time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer) assays used for drug discovery.
"We are always looking for ways that we can improve our assays," says François Degorce, head of HTRF marketing and business development for Cisbio. "The relationship between the two companies was a natural development between what they had developed as a chemical entity and what we had for our TR-FRET technology."
Specifically, the lanthanide complexes from Lumiphore were attractive because they are very stable and bright molecules that can improve Cisbio assays over other flourophores currently available.
Lumi4 complexes are a new class of fluorescent lanthanide detection reagents whose underlying technology was patented by the Chairman and President of Lumiphore, Prof. Kenneth N. Raymond, and his co-workers at the University of California, Berkeley. The patents on the company's technology relate to a shell that surrounds the lanthanide molecule that enables them to be more efficient FRET donors.
According to company information, the deal with Cisbio falls in line with Lumiphore's intention to "[commercialize] the technology by entering into market-specific alliances with corporate partners."
"Cisbio has an extensive HTRF product line and expertise in drug discovery research," says Raymond in a press release announcing the deal. "Our agreement with them validates the capabilities of Lumiphore's technology."
Currently, Degorce notes, there is direct collaboration between the companies to integrate the Lumi4 technology with Cisbio's HTRF.
When that work is completed, perhaps sometime early next year, Degorce believe that HTRF with Lumi4 has the potential to be superior to current GPCR and kinase screening methods.
"Today, GPCRs and kinases represent more than 50 percent of all targets screened," says Degorce. "We are in a phase of transferring the technology, but this should represent a second generation of products where HTRF can be used in high-throughput screening."
With a fluorescence imaging reagent market that Lumiphore estimates at $1 billion and growing annually at greater than 25 percent, it is easy to understand how both companies came together in this development project.