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Caprion Proteomics Identifies Biomarkers that Predict Response to Anti-Viral Hepatitis C Treatment Developed by Vertex


GREENWICH, CT and MONTREAL, QC – Caprion Proteomics announced today that it has identified protein biomarker panels that appear to predict patient responsiveness to treatment for hepatitis C.

The study employed Caprion’s proprietary CellCarta® mass spectrometry-based proteomics discovery platform to measure and compare the expression levels of thousands of proteins contained in blood samples collected from patients infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), in order to discover predictive biomarkers of sustained response to hepatitis C therapy.

Analysis of data from the study identified a panel of candidate protein biomarkers that correlate with sustained viral response (SVR) or viral cure to treatment with a novel drug candidate for hepatitis C, telaprevir (being developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals), in combination with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin. Additional candidate biomarkers were identified that may predict SVR in patients treated with current standard of care hepatitis C treatment, which is a combination of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone. In both cases, the biomarkers were identified in plasma samples collected from hepatitis C patients prior to treatment. The identification of a panel of candidate biomarkers is a result of an ongoing collaboration between Vertex and Caprion.

The study also revealed biological insights into differences in response to hepatitis C treatment for specific segments of the population, opening the door to the potential for patient stratification and individualized treatment of the disease. A number of protein biomarkers identified in the panel are known to be correlated to the underlying severity of liver damage, and the data suggests that increased liver damage is associated with a poor therapeutic outcome.

“We are highly encouraged by the results of the study, which provide further validation of Caprion’s robust and industrialized proteomics approach to biomarker discovery and validation,” said Martin LeBlanc, President and CEO of Caprion. “We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with innovative partners such as Vertex on projects aimed at advancing the field of biomarker research and treatment of disease”.

Noah Rhodes, Senior Vice-President of Great Point Partners stated, “The results of the Vertex study are yet another example of the team at Caprion delivering on its value proposition to clients. Research analysts expect telaprevir, a novel anti-viral in Phase III trials to be a multi-billion dollar product. The ability to predict who will benefit from this treatment in advance, has tremendous pharmaco-economic value. We look forward to continuing our work with partners such as Vertex as they look to further expand the possibilities of personalized medicine.”

About Caprion Proteomics

Caprion Proteomics is the leading provider of proteomics based services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Caprion has been providing proteomics biomarker and target identification services since 2002, and has performed multiple large-scale biomarker discovery and validation projects for over 20 major pharmaceutical industry clients in virtually all of the major disease areas. Caprion has been awarded two consecutive 5-year US$13 million contracts for Biodefense proteomics research in the area of infectious diseases with the NIH-NIAID. In 2008, Caprion entered into a worldwide strategic marketing and distribution alliance for biomarker services with Covance, Inc. (NYSE:CVD), which also involved the purchase by Covance of a minority equity stake in the company. Caprion Proteomics, a privately-held company, is majority owned by Great Point Partners, LP. For more information, please visit:

About the Collaboration

Caprion and Vertex entered into collaboration in March 2006, to evaluate relevant protein targets and biomarkers in diseases of interest to Vertex using Caprion’s CellCarta® platform. Through the collaboration, Vertex and Caprion are tracking protein markers that may predict, very early on in therapy, which patients will successfully respond to treatment. The collaboration was expanded in 2007 to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of these targets and biomarkers.

About Great Point Partners, LLC

GPP, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, is a leading health care investment firm with approximately $400 million of equity capital under management. The firm manages capital in public and private equity funds. Great Point Partners has provided growth equity, growth recapitalization, and management buyout financing to more than 100 health care companies. Both the private and public funds invest across all sectors of the health care industry including biotechnology and life sciences, consumer health, generic drugs, health care services, information technology, insurance, medical devices, specialty pharmaceuticals, and workers compensation. The firm pursues a proactive and proprietary approach to sourcing investments. Reach Great Point at 203-971-3300 or at

This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Great Point Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.