Posted: June 21, 2010

Essen BioScience and Nycomed Announce Ion Channel Drug Discovery Collaboration

(Nanowerk News) Essen BioScience Inc. - a specialty provider of cell-based assay solutions and contract research services and Nycomed a privately owned global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland - are pleased to announce a joint discovery agreement to identify novel small molecule ion channel modulators as pain therapeutics.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will collaborate to screen, optimize and develop modulators of voltage-gated ion channels. Essen BioScience will provide core expertise in ion channel drug discovery, planar array electrophysiology and in vitro profiling. Nycomed will contribute capabilities in medicinal chemistry, drug discovery and development.
Kirk Schroeder, President of Essen BioScience, commented: "We are delighted to forge this partnership with Nycomed. The milestone driven aspect of this collaboration recognizes our team's experience in ion channel drug discovery as well as ion channel technology. To bring this experience in partnership with Nycomed's broader discovery and development capability is exciting."
Sham Nikam, Head Global Discovery at Nycomed, added: "This collaboration with Essen BioScience is a real win-win situation. It significantly strengthens Nycomed's development pipeline and further underlines our strategy to build on partnerships to develop new innovative products."
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Essen BioScience
Essen BioScience is a leading product and service provider in the life science research field with a long history of innovation. Products invented by Essen personnel include the first high throughput cell-based assay platform, FLIPR; the first high throughput planar electrophysiology platform on the market, IonWorks and the first live-cell imaging system to fit inside a standard cell culture incubator, IncuCyte. Essen has a growing discovery services group, offering ion channel assays and mechanistic profiling as well as novel kinetic angiogenesis, cell migration and cell proliferation assays from laboratory facilities in the US and Europe. The services group is managed and comprised of scientists who have previously driven drug discovery projects at major pharmaceutical companies. This combination of drug discovery and instrumentation experience makes Essen a unique provider of life science research tools and services. For more information, visit
About Nycomed
Nycomed is a privately owned global pharmaceutical company with a differentiated portfolio focused on branded medicines in gastroenterology, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, pain, osteoporosis and tissue management. An extensive range of OTC products completes the portfolio. Its R&D is structured around partnerships and in-licensing is a cornerstone of the company's growth strategy.
Nycomed employs 12,000 associates worldwide, and its products are available in more than 100 countries. It has strong platforms in Europe and in fast-growing markets such as Russia/CIS and Latin America. While the US and Japan are commercialised through best-in-class partners, Nycomed plans to further strengthen its own position in key Asian markets.
Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the company generated total sales of 3.2 billion in 2009 and an adjusted EBITDA of 1.1 billion. For more information visit
Source: Essen BioScience (press release)
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