Asterand Announces Collaborative Agreement to Characterise Antibodies


DETROIT, April 23, 2009 – Asterand PLC (LSE:ATD), a leading provider of human tissue and services to scientists engaged in drug discovery research, announces that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Abcam PLC (AIM:ABC), the rapidly growing bioscience company that markets antibodies via its own online catalogue. Asterand will undertake the validation and characterization of a selected group of Abcam antibodies for immuno-histochemistry applications using Asterand’s PhaseZERO® Human Tissue Services platform.

Through this agreement, Asterand will utilize its proprietary Target Evaluator™ database to pinpoint the expression patterns of selected antibody targets across a panel of human tissue types. The database consists of quantitative human gene expression profiles that chart the expression topography of more than 2,000 commercially relevant gene transcripts across a panel of 72 human tissues. Once appropriate tissue has been selected for testing, Asterand will validate the Abcam antibodies using immuno-histochemical detection to determine the optimal dilutions and concentrations of the antibodies for use with human tissue. The resulting data and photomicrographs will be incorporated into Abcam’s literature and technical support documentation for each antibody tested. All services provided through this agreement are part of Asterand’s standard PhaseZERO® human tissue services platform. The tested antibodies will be sold through Abcam’s online catalogue. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Abcam is world-renowned as a supplier of high-quality antibodies to research scientists. One of Abcam’s strengths is the high level of characterization of its antibodies codified in its AbpromiseSM, which assures customers that they will receive expert support.

Terrence Reilly, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Asterand, states:

“We are pleased to partner with Abcam in the characterization of its antibodies. Our PhaseZERO® human tissue services platform is routinely used by pharmaceutical companies in the validation of drug targets. The agreement with Abcam allows Asterand to apply our Target Evaluator database and scientific expertise to a new market. We look forward to providing Abcam with the data they need to fulfill their customers’ exacting requirements for high-quality well-characterized antibodies. …we have a lot of respect for Abcam and the business model that they have developed…Abcam is the sort of quality company that Asterand is delighted to work with.”

Mark Bushfield, Scientific Director of Abcam, notes:

“The agreement with Asterand represents an opportunity to validate, quickly and effectively, a selected group of our antibodies. As a leading supplier of human tissue-based services, Asterand is uniquely positioned to assist us in this endeavor. Through its proprietary database and automated immuno-histochemistry processes, Asterand will quickly identify suitable tissues for testing and rapidly determine optimal dilutions and concentrations for use with human tissue. Ultimately, this data will allow us to provide customers with expert scientific guidance they have come to expect when purchasing our antibodies.”

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