Ever since Nuvelo Inc. was formed through the merger of Hyseq Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Variagenics Inc. in 2003, the company's clinical focus has been on compounds in-licensed from third parties. Although it's been relatively silent about the internal discovery engine, NUVO maintains it has been productive. Earlier this month, the company unveiled the first cancer antibody from its internal research.

NUVO (San Carlos, Calif.) published in the British Journal of Haematology the identification of NTB-A, a cell surface protein in the signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM) family. According to the company, NTB-A is overexpressed on malignant lymphoid cells, including B cells from patients with leukemia