Cenix BioScience, a preclinical contract research organisation specialising in drug discovery based on RNA interference (RNAi), micro-RNA (miRNA) and high-content screening, has signed a research agreement to support Switzerland’s Debiopharm Group in its efforts to develop personalised therapies for unmet medical needs.

In the first project under the research framework, Dresden, Germany-based Cenix will apply its expertise in combining high-throughput screening with high-content assays in cultured human cells to identify predictive biomarkers for preclinical oncology candidates under evaluation at Debiopharm.

Multi-parametric microscopy-based readouts established by Cenix with the Definiens XD image-analysis platform will be used in a range of human cancer-cell models to identify genes and pathways that either enhance or suppress the relevant drug’s therapeutic effects, the partners explained.

No financial details of the relationship were disclosed, nor any specifics about the oncology candidates involved.

Dr Christophe Echeverri, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer of Cenix BioScience, said the collaboration would extend Debiopharm’s repertoire “with what we consider to be some of the most strategically powerful cell-based screening paradigms developed to date”.