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May 2012
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author


PRINCETON, N.J.Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) and Meso Scale Discovery announced last month an agreement to develop diagnostic assays that will measure cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for use in Alzheimer's disease research. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, nor would either company comment on what led the two to partner or how the collaboration will proceed.  
The terms of the agreement did stipulate that the companies will develop these assays based on the Meso Scale MULTI-ARRAY technology platform. Meso Scale will commercialize the assays for Alzheimer's disease research and drug development, and plans to release the assays in the second quarter of 2012. The assays are for A-beta 42 and total Tau and will measure peptide/protein levels.
"The collaboration with Meso Scale Discovery demonstrates Bristol-Myers Squibb's commitment to advancing the science of Alzheimer's disease research," said Jane Tiller, vice president of global clinical research at BMS, in a press release announcing the deal. "These assays could provide the Alzheimer's disease research community with an important tool to help advance understanding of this complex and devastating disease and may lead to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease."
"This partnership fits perfectly into our mission of developing novel biomarkers tests for use in research and diagnostics," added Jacob Wohlstadter, president and CEO of Meso Scale. "Bristol-Myers Squibb is a leader in the field of Alzheimer's disease research and brings a clinical development perspective that pairs well with our experience in developing high-quality assays."
Meso Scale's MULTI-ARRAY multiplexed immunoassay platform for the quantitation of proteins in biological samples enables the detection of biomarkers in single and multiplex formats using electrochemilluminescence detection. MULTI-ARRAY plate formats include 96- and 384-well plates. Dimensions and layout of all plates conform to SBS standards for straightforward integration with existing automation systems. The technique has been lauded in peer-reviewed journals for its sensitivity, interlaboratory reproducibility and advantages over Western blotting.

Meso Scale provides more than 400 single and multiplex assay kits and assay customization capabilities, which "enable scientists to make accurate and precise determinations of cytokines, phosphoproteins and other biomarkers in different matrices," the company claims. Although "personalized medicine companies" are counted among Meso Scale's customers, the company declined to comment on any new potential for its MULTI-ARRAY platform that may eventuate from the Supreme Court's decision in Mayo vs. Prometheus.  
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disease that impairs memory, interferes with thinking and ultimately destroys the ability of an individual to carry out simple tasks. The disease is a continuum, with damage to the brain starting long before the onset of dementia. Alzheimer's affects 24 million people worldwide and the prevalence is projected to significantly increase over the coming decades due to the aging population. While there are medicines available to help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, there remains a significant unmet medical need for therapies that slow or prevent the progression of the underlying disease.
Code: E051214



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