Late last month, Upstate Group, a division of Serologicals Corp., and CXR Biosciences announced the two companies would work together to create an early-stage toxicology screening platform the companies believe will allow for more effective screening of drug candidate compounds.
Roche Diagnostics announced in early May that it had entered into an exclusive, five-year, world-wide agreement for the development, promotion, sale and distribution of 454 Life Science’s nanotechnology-based Genome Sequencing Systems, including proprietary kits and reagents. Under the terms of the agreement, 454, a division of CuraGen Corp., will receive up to $62 million in license fees, milestone payments related to instrument releases, minimum royalties and research funding.
AA Peptides, LLC, doing business as AAPPTec (Advanced Automated Peptide Protein Technologies), announced in May it purchased the instrument division of Advanced ChemTech (ACT). Hossain Saneii, AAPPTec’s chief operating officer, said AAPPTec will manufacture and sell parts and instruments, and provide continued customer service and technical support for ACT peptide manufacturing equipment. The ACT technology is “well-known in the peptide field,” says Saneii, “very established” and capable of all scales of peptide production. AAPPTec also obtained patent rights to the instruments.
BD Diagnostics announced in early May that it had acquired German proteomics and instrumentation provider FFE Weber GmbH. The purchase gives BD a foothold in the growing proteomics research market as well as a technology the company feels could become an important diagnostic tool in the coming years.
Nanostream Inc. earlier this month rolled out a fraction collector add-on to it Veloce micro parallel liquid chromatography system. The fraction collector was developed in response to customers who were looking to take advantage of the Veloce system as a sample preparation device for mass spec applications.
After the acquisition of TekCel, Magellan Biosciences indirectly continues to expand its automation instrument empire as TekCel announces its acquisition of ultra-low-temperature sample-management specialist Biophile, Inc., based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biophile's systems are used for temperature-sensitive work involving DNA, tissue, and tumor storage, and complement the automation systems already in play at TekCel and Magellan Bioscience.
Corixa announced that the waiting period imposed by Hart-Scott-Rodino Act for their proposed sale to GSK Biologicals has expired. Corixa stockholders will attend a special meeting on July 12, 2005 at Corixa's corporate headquarters to consider the adoption of the agreement. The two companies expect to complete the agreement quickly thereafter and when all conditions to the transaction are satisfied or waived.
The late March announcement that Cambridge, U.K.-based Cytomix would acquire Ardais Corp.’s biorepository of more than 130,000 biospecimens was much more than a simple transaction for Ardais. It marked the completion of a year-long strategic remaking of Ardais that moved the company from a provider of biospecimens for the research community, to a consultant whose services help research centers manager their internal tissue collection and biospecimen management systems.
Vaccine specialist VaxGen recently announced a collaborative effort with privately held biotechnology company EndoBiologics International to pursue research into a vaccine that targets meningitis B, a bacterial disease that targets children and can lead to mental retardation, loss of limbs, and even death. According to Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meningitis attacks approximately 1 in every 100,000 people worldwide, but regional epidemics can kill tens of thousands of people.
Biotechnology company BioE announced in May that it would make commercially available stem cell lines cloned from human umbilical cord blood rather than obtained from human embryos. The company is reportedly the first firm to come to market with such lines, which it refers to as Multi-Lineage Progenitor Cells (MLPCs).
The results of a four-year sponsored research program with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Nanostructured Polymers Research Center came to fruition in early May when Bentley Pharmaceuticals announced its new Nanocaplet technology.
Neurologix, Inc. has licensed the humanin gene from Keio University in Tokyo, an agreement providing Neuro-logix exclusive worldwide rights (excluding Japan) to develop and commercialize therapeutics to treat brain and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders (excluding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) using the technology. The humanin gene will be used in combination with Neurologix’s proprietary gene transfer technology and is expected to be the company’s lead compound for a novel and promising approach to Alzheimer’s disease.
For many in the pharmaceutical and medical industries, personalized medicine has become the latest holy grail, and CombiMatrix Corp. believes it has the right DNA microarray capabilities to be a leader in making personalized medicine a reality. As such, the company recently formed a wholly owned subsidiary called CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics (CMD), which will be led by two former executives of Irvine, Calif.-based US Labs.
Further cementing a business relationship forged in the late 1990s, PerkinElmer and Nonlinear Dynamics announced in late April that PE will distribute Nonlinear’s complete range of 1D, 2D and array software and that it named Nonlinear as the exclusive provider of informatics software for its proteomics line.
Health Discovery Corp. may not hold all the cards when it comes to marketing and development of support vector machine (SVM) technology—the likely successor to neural networks. But it certainly has come very close with the recent completion of its acquisition of an extensive SVM patent portfolio previously owned
by BioWulf Technologies and BioWulf Genomics.
The Ohio State University College of Medicine and BioImagene, a bio-image analysis products company based here, have signed an agreement to engage in numerous collaborative activities, including joint research proposals at the state and national levels, joint projects with profit potential, and other mutually beneficial activities.
Integrative analytical technology specialist InforSense announced in May the licensing of its workflow-based informatics platforms by the Windber Research Institute (WRI), a biomedical research center looking for cures to genetic and metabolic diseases. The two organizations will work together to develop a production-quality, generic informatics framework for translational medicine to be used by WRI and its clinical collaborators.
GeneEd and Zenosis, two companies focused on delivering e-learning curricula for the pharmaceutical industry, announced in early May they will work together to provide a single, end-to-end educational service for life science companies. The combination of services will provide courses in everything from basic life science skills all the way to clearing regulatory hurdles for drug approval.
Insightful Corp. announced in mid-May that it received two awards for bioinformatics work under the U.S. government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. A Phase II contract with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and a Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are worth a total of approximately $850,000. Both projects involve Insightful’s InFact software, which performs natural language-based analysis and search functions on large quantities of text.
At the 65th Annual American Diabetes Association Meeting, Entelos presented data from their collaboration with the ADA in two poster sessions. One poster described a comprehensive analysis on the time-dependent effects of treatment in a mouse model for human type 1 diabetes. The other presentation described the company's Type 1 Diabetes PhysioLab modeling platform, which offers large-scale mathematical simulations of disease pathology and therapeutic intervention in the model mice.
Newly designated FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford will deliver a keynote address at the 10th Annual Drug Discovery Technology & Development World Congress, scheduled for August 8-11 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center here. Dr. Crawford’s speech, “New Regulatory Directions for the 21st Century,” will explore the theme of the conference “Optimizing the Discovery and Development Interface to Improve Productivity.” His remarks will focus on new regulatory and scientific steps to make the introduction of novel drugs more predictable and less time-consuming. He will also elaborate on the FDA’s reforms designed to facilitate the modernization of drug manufacturing and to strengthen the safety of marketed medicines.