NaviCyte Inc. boosted its position as a provider of early stage pharmacokinetic analysis services by acquiring - almost by accident - an exclusive license to commercial applications of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research's Caco-2 cell line. The line is made up of human colon carcinoma cells and is commonly used, at least by academic researchers, to predict how the body will absorb compounds in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Whether many other companies use the line for commercial purposes is unclear. John Wehrli, NaviCyte's vice president of business development and intellectual property, explained that the company wanted to include the line in its pharmacokinetic assay products and went to