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Specifying proteases

Since its inception in 2003, Catalyst Biosciences Inc. has focused on developing proteases as drugs rather than as targets. In the intervening years, it has acquired the technology needed to reduce the concept to practice, and now has three deals plus two preclinical programs in-house. The latest was last week's partnership with Centocor Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, to develop the biotech's Alterases against two new targets, one in inflammatory disease and one in an undisclosed indication.

The concept of using proteases as therapeutics is not new; there are

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