May 2005- Volume 1, Issue 3

May 2005

In this Issue

Research & Development

Transformation for Transgene

Transformation for Transgene

Roche collaboration on HPV vaccine lifts French Biotech to next level

Delivery development: Adherex and Scynexis work to perfect oral cadherin antagonist

Delivery development: Adherex and Scynexis work to perfect oral cadherin antagonist

Although biopharmaceutical firm Adherex already has a promising N-cadherin antagonist currently in clinical trials, that drug candidate lacks a very important aspect: the ability to be administered orally.

Gehrig’s grant: Metabolon secures NIEHS grant for continued work in ALS biomarker discovery

Gehrig’s grant: Metabolon secures NIEHS grant for continued work in ALS biomarker discovery

Metabolon Inc. in early April announced it received a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) for its continued research into the discovery of biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Bionaut teams with AnalytiCon

Bionaut teams with AnalytiCon

Bionaut Pharmaceuticals and AnalytiCon Discovery of Potsdam, Germany, announced in April a service and collaboration agreement to identify novel anti-cancer compounds that inhibit the ability of tumor cells to survive stress conditions.

Icoria to focus on healthcare R&D, sells ag-biotech interests to Monsanto

Icoria to focus on healthcare R&D, sells ag-biotech interests to Monsanto

In late March, biotechnology company Icoria announced it had reached an agreement to sell its agricultural genomic assets to multinational agriculture giant Monsanto.

MultiCell Moves: Larger facilities will support expanding research programs

MultiCell Moves: Larger facilities will support expanding research programs

MultiCell Technologies, which develops liver cell-based products for commercial and therapeutic applications, relocated its offices and laboratory into larger, more modern facilities in mid-April.

Genomics & Proteomics

Agilent to pay $246 million for Stratagene

Agilent to pay $246 million for Stratagene

Stratagene CEO Sorge to form new diagnostics company after the sale

Applied Bio offers service bundle

Applied Bio offers service bundle

Applied Biosystems in mid-March introduced a new plan, the Advanced Gene Expression Service Provider Program (AGESPP), to sell varying combinations of instrumentation, supplies, services, and marketing support in custom-made bundles at discounted prices.

Alnylam taps Dowpharma: Dowpharma to produce siRNAs as Alnylam pushes two programs closer to clinical trials

Alnylam taps Dowpharma: Dowpharma to produce siRNAs as Alnylam pushes two programs closer to clinical trials

RNAi biopharmaceutical company Alnylam took another step on the road to moving its age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection programs closer to clinical trials in late March by naming Dowpharma its manufacturer-of-choice for large-scale quantities of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs).

PGx data guidance: FDA offers new thoughts regarding voluntary genomic data submissions

PGx data guidance: FDA offers new thoughts regarding voluntary genomic data submissions

In March, the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) released the long-awaited report “Guidance for Industry: Pharmacogenomic Data Submissions”, which offers the regulatory agency’s thoughts on voluntary genomic data submission as a component of the drug and biologics review process.

Stratagene, SKCC in license deal: Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center provides prostate and breast cancer patents

Stratagene, SKCC in license deal: Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center provides prostate and breast cancer patents

Stratagene and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) announced in mid-April a licensing agreement covering patents and related technology developed by SKCC researcher Dr. Gennadi Glinsky, under which Stratagene will produce diagnostic tests for prostate and breast cancers.

Model mice: Organism with neuro-degenerative pathology opens door to new therapeutics

Model mice: Organism with neuro-degenerative pathology opens door to new therapeutics

With an eye to developing therapeutics against neurodegenerative disease, Applied NeuroSolutions (ANS) recently joint-licensed a transgenic mouse line with the not-for-profit Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at the Nathan S. Kline Research Institute that exhibits human disease pathology.

Informatics

Q&A: Jim Hopkins, CEO Tripos Discovery Informatics

Q&A: Jim Hopkins, CEO Tripos Discovery Informatics

New CEO tapped by private purchaser Vector Capital outlines future plans for company.

Systems biology pilot project: Compugen, Novartis embark on predictive modeling project

Systems biology pilot project: Compugen, Novartis embark on predictive modeling project

Drug discovery informatics company Compugen Ltd. and pharmaceutical company Novartis in mid-April announced a research collaboration in the field of systems biology, that Compugen says will aid in the development of its next-generation predictive modeling products.

New RNA lexicon: RNA Ontology Consortium established to talk terms

New RNA lexicon: RNA Ontology Consortium established to talk terms

A $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support the RNA Ontology Consortium, an international team of scientists developing a shared vocabulary and system for discussing RNA structure and function.

Off-the-shelf ELN

Off-the-shelf ELN

Elsevier MDL, a provider of cheminformatic solutions to the pharmaceutical and life-sciences industries, recently launched a dedicated, phased program to build a robust, scalable, enterprise-strength electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) built on MDL’s Isentris technology and scheduled for delivery in 2006.

Text extraction: Agilent releases open-source literature search tool for Cytoscape

Text extraction: Agilent releases open-source literature search tool for Cytoscape

Pharmaceutical researchers and others found themselves with a new tool in late March when Agilent Technologies—a provider of technologies for life sciences, chemical, communications and electronics analysis—released a free automated literature search plug-in for Cytoscape version 2.1.

Global News

Chemicon Int’l expands: Agreement for Embryonic Stem (ES) Cell Research reached

Chemicon Int’l expands: Agreement for Embryonic Stem (ES) Cell Research reached

Chemicon International Inc., a subsidiary of Serologicals Corp., has expanded its exclusive worldwide agreement with Amrad Corp Ltd and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) of Medical Research.

High-content screening capabilities at China’s NCDS expanded: Adoption of China’s first live-cell imaging system and HCS

High-content screening capabilities at China’s NCDS expanded: Adoption of China’s first live-cell imaging system and HCS

The National Center for Drug Screening (NCDS) here and Cellomics Inc. of Pittsburgh have added to their strategic collaboration aimed at expanding the application of High Content Screening (HCS) technologies in China.

Automation & Instrumentation

Beckman buys Agencourt: Deal brings reagents and SPRI technology under Beckman’s umbrella

Beckman buys Agencourt: Deal brings reagents and SPRI technology under Beckman’s umbrella

With one eye on the present and the other on the future, lab automation company Beckman Coulter Inc. announced it had reached an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Agencourt Bioscience Corp. of Beverly, Mass. for $100 million in cash.

Caliper’s IP licensing picks up steam: Affymetrix latest to license microfluidic technology from Caliper Life Sciences

Caliper’s IP licensing picks up steam: Affymetrix latest to license microfluidic technology from Caliper Life Sciences

Caliper Life Sciences’ newly-minted strategy of out-licensing its patent estate to gain greater penetration within the life sciences market gained more steam recently with the late April announcement that lab-on-a-chip giant Affymetrix had agreed to license a portion of the company’s microfluidics technology.

Whatman targets clone market

Whatman targets clone market

Whatman Inc., has expanded its reach into the drug discovery market and DNA purification with the recent introduction of the EasyClone 384 plate, which replaces traditional freezer-storage methods and allows biotechnology, pharmaceutical, government and academic research labs to archive, ship and purify clones at room temperature.

Hamilton Thorne gets RCA license

Hamilton Thorne gets RCA license

In April, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, located here granted licensing rights for U.S. Patent, No. 6,855,523 to Hamilton Thorne Biosciences, putting the Beverly, Mass.-based DNA technology and automated instrumentation company in a strong position to market a potential competitor to PCR: linear and exponential rolling circle amplification (RCA).

Solexa raises $32.5 million

Solexa raises $32.5 million

Solexa Inc. recently raised $32.5 million in private equity financing, the bulk of which will be used to fund further development and commercialization of a synthesis-by-sequencing (SBS) molecular array platform for genetic analysis.
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