Aviva Biosciences Corp.
This article was originally published in Start Up
Aviva Biosciences recently commercialized its first product, a micro-fabricated electrophysiology chip for high-throughput screening of compounds that affect ion channels-potentially one of the most attractive sources of drug targets. The company is also developing a chip-based system for enriching rare cells in fluids and separating them out, including fetal cells from maternal blood, cancer cells, and stem cells.
You may also be interested in...
Historically ion channels have been among the most attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. But discovery of new ion channel drugs has come to a halt because ion channels are difficult to assay, require specialized tools and skills to study adequately, and have historically been impossible to study directly in high-throughput mode-the preferred style of the last decade. Now, a variety of automated assay technologies are coming on the market that should increase throughput, and some drug discovery companies have developed proprietary high-throughput methods for in-house use. With industry now interested more than ever in applying higher-throughput technologies to precedented targets, in a sense, ion channel discovery may become a beneficiary of the failures of genomics, combinatorial chemistry, and high-throughput screening.
Higher success rates in rare cancers, where biomarkers can better direct therapy, characterize the oncology treatment landscape. Deal-making is favoring alliances over acquisitions as drugmakers focus on establishing the clinical benefit of new targets, particularly for rare indications.