Signum Biosciences, GSK announce collaboration

Privately held Signum Biosciences, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline (China) R&D Company Limited (GSK) have entered into an agreement to collaborate on Signum’s phosphatase screening technology and Phosphoprotein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A).

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PRINCETON, N.J.—Privately held Signum Biosciences, Inc. andGlaxoSmithKline (China) R&D Company Limited (GSK) have entered into anagreement to collaborate on Signum's phosphatase screening technology andPhosphoprotein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A). The agreement will provide Signum withresearch support as well as milestone payments, and in return, GSK will receivethe exclusive right of Signum's proprietary phosphatase screening technologyfor its own research and development activities in neurosciences.
"GSK is an ideal partner for Signum. We will developtherapeutics using our phosphatase screening technology in an alliance thatutilizes the expertise of both companies," Maxwell Stock, president of SignumBiosciences, said in a press release regarindg the agreement. "We are proud tobe working in collaboration with a leading pharmaceutical company in innovativeresearch and development. Collaborations such as these allow partners to shareknowledge, expertise and resources and thereby provide a highly effective wayof progressing cutting edge research and developing an effectivedrug." 
GSK and Signum will partner in a broad research anddevelopment collaboration to screen and identify PP2A-targeted compounds,including those that bridge the link between PP2A methylation and tauhyperphosphorylation.
Signum is based in Princeton, N.J. and specializes in thedevelopment of small-molecule therapeutics derived from its Phosphataseplatform to modulate signal transduction imbalances. The company researchesprotein networks that control biological systems, and is currently working ondeveloping therapeutic agents for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and otherneurodegenerative diseases. Signum specifically targets thehyperphosphorylation of tau, which is a critical protein in Alzheimer'sdisease. Tau is phosphorylated by several protein kinases, but PP2A is themajor tau phosphatase and accounts for approximately 70 percent of taudephosphorylation. Research has shown that PP2A levels and activity are reducedin patients with Alzheimer's, with phophatase activity reduced almost by halfand levels of associated regulators of PP2A also linked to manifestation ofdisease, the company notes on its website.

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