ICON, the global provider of outsourced development services headquartered in Ireland, has formed a strategic alliance with UK-based protein biomarker specialist Proteome Sciences to expand ICON’s portfolio of biomarker solutions for early assessment in drug development.

The long-term partnership with Proteome’s PS Biomarker Services division will bolster ICON’s current biomarker offering by incorporating an integrated suite of labelling, separation and mass spectrometry technologies for protein and peptide profiling in complex biological materials.

ICON and Proteome Sciences have already launched their first joint project, which involves developing a mass spectrometry assay for a key biomarker on behalf of an “international pharmaceutical development company”, ICON noted.

Described as a global leader in applied proteomics, Proteome Sciences uses high-sensitivity proprietary technologies for protein biomarker discovery, validation and assay development. The company’s research has produced several novel protein biomarkers in key human diseases, with a primary focus on neurological/neurodegenerative conditions and cancer.

Last February, Proteome hooked up with another contract research organisation, Parexel International, to enhance the latter’s biomarker capabilities for early-phase clinical development.

John Allinson, vice president, biomarker lab services for ICON Development Solutions, said the company’s alliance with Proteome Sciences “complements ICON’s extensive portfolio of biomarker development and analysis services to help sponsors identify, implement and interpret the right biomarkers to inform their pre-clinical and clinical drug development”.