NovAliX signs EM-based analysis deal with FEI

French CRO NovAliX has penned a new partnership with microscopy specialist FEI ($FEIC) as it looks to broaden its offering to biopharma clients.

The privately owned CRO will tap Oregon-based FEI to provide commercial cryo-electron microscopy (EM)-based structural analysis services. Financial details were not disclosed. 

The collaboration combines application, training, and support with on-site personnel from FEI and will allow NovAliX to offer a greater range of services to its industry customers.

Denis Zeyer, CEO at NovAliX, said: "There is a growing demand for structural studies from the pharmaceutical industry, driven by the need for a deeper scientific understanding, and also because of stronger regulatory constraints. In the field of biologics, EM analysis has proven to be capable of delivering critical information for antibody selection, epitope mapping and formulation. As for small molecules research programs, cryo-EM can be uniquely valuable to obtain structural information on multi-protein complexes or membrane proteins, which is key to understanding the structure-function relationship."

Transmission electron microscope (TEM)-based structural analysis has emerged as an important complementary technique to traditional methods, such as X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Although TEM lacks the atomic-scale resolution of those techniques, it can look at a broader range of structures under conditions much closer to the native intracellular environment.

Peter Fruhstorfer, VP and general manager of FEI's Life Sciences Business, added: "We are extremely pleased to be able to work with a leading contract research organization like NovAliX. The power and value of cryo-EM based structural analysis is evident from the quality of recent publications by academic and industry researchers. This collaboration with NovAliX is an important step in the broader commercialization and industrialization of the technology."

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