Thermo Fisher Licenses Cell-Based Platform from Sygnis

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The technology platform measures protein-protein interactions.

Thermo Fisher Scientific will license Sygnis AG’s technology for the analysis of proteins in vivo under a nonexclusive global agreement, Sygnis announced on July 21, 2015. The platform, dubbed Double Switch, is a cell-based technology that allows investigators to measure protein-protein interactions via the tobacco etch virus protease (TEV protease). While the plant-based TEV protease is used for the controlled cleavage of fusion proteins in vivo, it has virtually no targets in the human proteome, meaning it is also relatively nontoxic and does not cause damage to mammalian cells.

In addition to measuring and characterizing proteins, the platform also allows the transient examination of proteins, which Sygnis says is useful for the identification of new signaling pathways and, ultimately, for the discovery of new therapeutic targets.

“We see this agreement as a further endorsement of our Double Switch technology, which addresses key needs in proteomics and drug development..." commented Pilar de la Huerta, Sygnis' CEO and CFO, in a press release. She added that the company is searching for further licensing opportunities as well.


In May 2015, Sygnis sold patents for part of the Double Switch technology to SYSTASY Bioscience GmbH, a service provider in drug discovery. Sygnis kept the full rights of the full-length version (“Full-TEV”) for further licensing activities such as the one with Thermo, but signed a patent transfer agreement with SYSTASY for some of the patents associated with the Double Switch project. Specifically, SYSTASY bought the patent for the “Split-TEV” Double Switch for use with its EXTassay platform.

Source: Sygnis