Serenex is on a roll.

In the fourth such deal announced since the company was launched a year ago, Serenex has signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development (JJPRD) of New Brunswick, NJ, to use its proteome mining technology to uncover new drug targets.

It’s most recent deal was announced one month ago with Chiron Corp. of Emeryville, CA. The other deals were with Pfizer and Pharmacia.

Serenex is using part of a $15-million investment it received in August to fund its collaboration with Chiron, and now the one with JJPRD. The Series B round of venture funding involved a group led by Intersouth Partners of Durham.

Like the Chiron deal, Serenex says the objective of its collaboration with JJPRD is to evaluate its new and enabling proteome mining technology to identify drug compounds that interact with pharmaceutically important protein targets and to uncover new drug targets.

The collaboration will take advantage of Serenex’s abilities to screen drugs using functional proteome fractionation in an automated and parallel systems technology. Serenex will use its proteome mining and functional proteome fractionation technologies to screen compounds supplied by JJPRD against thousands of potential protein targets simultaneously.

“Serenex’ proteome mining technology also has applications to lead drug optimization, elucidation of mechanism of action of novel therapeutics, and identification of drug toxicity interactions,” Robert Dishman, chief executive officer of Serenex, said in a statement. “We hope to show that our proteome mining technology can accelerate the entire drug discovery process.”

By taking a functional proteomics approach, Serenex says its technology enables increases in screening efficiency for new therapeutics and their physiological targets, thus improving the speed of drug discovery. Serenex technology has already demonstrated utility in identifying new targets, preferred chemical scaffolds and opportunities to improve upon existing drugs.


Johnson & Johnson: