ImageCenix BioScience GmbH, a leading RNA interference (RNAi)-focused contract research organization, announced that it has signed a research agreement to support Boehringer Ingelheim in its ongoing efforts to discover novel therapeutic drug targets.

Cenix will apply its well-established expertise in combining high throughput (HT) applications of RNAi-based gene silencing; the technology behind the 2006 Nobel Prize for Medicine, with high content phenotypic analyses in what will be a genome-scale screen using cultured human cells. Multi-parametric microscopy-based assays developed by Cenix using the Cellenger image analysis platform from Munich-based Definiens, will be used to complement proprietary assays developed at Boehringer Ingelheim, in order to generate detailed insights into the cellular functions and loss-of-function phenotypes of analyzed genes.

"We have long been looking forward to this opportunity to combine our own capabilities with those of our expert colleagues at Boehringer Ingelheim," said Dr. Christophe Echeverri, CEO/CSO of Cenix. "We expect that the excellent complementarities between the two teams will deliver a particularly productive and cost-effective driver for these programmes."

Such RNAi datasets, now widely favoured throughout the industry, offer a highly predictive and cost-effective basis for mining the human genome to discover and prioritize targets for therapeutic drug development in a wide range of disease fields.

Cenix BioScience is a leading contract research organization specialized in combining advanced applications of RNA interference (RNAi) gene silencing with high content phenotypic analyses to enhance and accelerate the discovery and pre-clinical development of novel therapeutics.