October 2006- Volume 2, Issue 10

October 2006

In this Issue

Editor's Focus

Reflections on recent drug discovery trends

Reflections on recent drug discovery trends

Recent trends in the drug discovery area have seen a variety of companies focusing on quality rather than quantity of compounds, instrumentation and data, which means the market demands high-quality compound synthesis for focused libraries; robust and easy-to-use compound storage; reliable transportation and compound handling across multiple sites; and information-rich assays such as those used for cell-based screening.

The Process and the Ps

The Process and the Ps

The funny thing about for-profit companies is that their stakeholders expect them to make—are you ready for it—a profit. And for the majority of industries around the globe, people universally accept this fact. It is interesting, therefore, to look at the healthcare industry where the existence of a for-profit model is less widely accepted or at least is tinged with outcries for profit but not profiteering.

The side-effects of too many ads

The side-effects of too many ads

In the evening, when the kids are in bed and I get a chance to watch a few moments of television, I’m reminded of just how much the landscape has changed in the past five or more years when it comes to how large pharmaceutical companies market their products. It seems I can’t watch a sporting event or a movie without seeing advertisements for Lipitor, Prevacid, Ambien and countless others. I’ve come to the conclusion that “dry mouth” is a very, very common side effect of prescription medications, followed closely by bloating and cramping.

Genomics & Proteomics

StemCells grants patent license to Stem Cell Therapeutics

StemCells grants patent license to Stem Cell Therapeutics

Agreement also provides StemCells with access to STC’s intellectual property portfolio for use in drug discovery, screening and testing, and therapeutic use of cellular compositions.

Genetix acquisition improves their imag-ing

Genetix acquisition improves their imag-ing

Picks up Applied Imaging's large portfolio of automated imag­ing and image analysis systems for $18.3 million.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Affymetrix collaborate

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Affymetrix collaborate

Five-year collaboration to analyze genomic information across large patient samples.

Luminex, Exiqon announce microRNA agreement

Luminex, Exiqon announce microRNA agreement

Exiqon will develop and manufacture microRNA products on behalf of the Luminex Bioscience Group, based on Luminex’s xMAP technology and Exiqon’s Locked Nucleic Acid technology.

Informatics

ABI opens up its code

ABI opens up its code

Applied Biosystems has decided to provide life scientists and independent software vendors open access to its genetic analysis data file format and a data file converter.

Cognia expands presence in Scotland

Cognia expands presence in Scotland

Cognia Corp. is expanding its Scottish operations by hiring 50 new employees for a text mining team that will help identify information to include in databases for drug discovery researchers.

Making a botanical breakthrough

Making a botanical breakthrough

Collaboration has resulted in the capture of the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana—the “laboratory rat” of the plant world—in one sweep.

Aureus gets first customer for discovery Web portal

Aureus gets first customer for discovery Web portal

Swiss-German company Origenis becomes first customer of AurWEB, which offers ser¬vices in drug design, synthesis and characterization.

SoftGenetics investment no hard sell

SoftGenetics investment no hard sell

The Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania announced its investment of $250,000 in SoftGenetics LLC, a developer of analytical software.

Research & Development

Ultrasound advice

Ultrasound advice

Researchers use ultrasound to poke holes in cells; method could be used for drug delivery.

Amphora doubles down to leverage IP and skills

Amphora doubles down to leverage IP and skills

Forms two stand-alone business units that are intended to leverage the company’s intellectual property and proprietary expertise.

ChemoCentryx completes Series C financing

ChemoCentryx completes Series C financing

ChemoCentryx announced it completed $17.7 million in Series C financing.

Automation & Instrumentation

Kalypsys, Panasonic to automate new areas of drug discovery

Kalypsys, Panasonic to automate new areas of drug discovery

Companies recently announced a broad collaboration for the development of next-generation drug discovery systems.

PerkinElmer acquires Avalon Instruments for Raman

PerkinElmer acquires Avalon Instruments for Raman

Acquisition will broaden PerkinElmer’s molecular spectroscopy product portfolio with a Raman spectrometer line.

Aurora Discovery sells liquid handling line to Beckman Coulter

Aurora Discovery sells liquid handling line to Beckman Coulter

Beckman Coulter acquires asset portfolio and IP comprising nanofluidic handling and detection assets, inventory, patents and trademarks.

Global News

Dynavax collaboration with AstraZeneca could total $136 million

Dynavax collaboration with AstraZeneca could total $136 million

Companies sign research collaboration and license agreement for the discovery and development of TLR-9 agonist-based therapies for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

ESBATech spins out Oncalis AG

ESBATech spins out Oncalis AG

Developer of antibody fragment therapeutics recently announced the spin-out of its small-molecule inhibitor programs.

MediGene AG to buy U.K.’s Avidex Ltd.

MediGene AG to buy U.K.’s Avidex Ltd.

With the acquisition, MediGene will diversify and broaden its drug pipeline with several drug candidates to treat cancer and auto¬immune diseases.

Millennium to acquire AnorMED

Millennium to acquire AnorMED

Entered into an agreement to acquire AnorMED Inc., a Canadian-based biopharmaceutical company with a late-stage Phase III hematology-oncology product, Mozobil

Omeros expands pipeline and research capabilities

Omeros expands pipeline and research capabilities

Announced the acquisition of Nura Inc., a company developing treatments for pain and other central nervous system disorders.

Protein therapeutics market could reach $87 billion by 2010

Protein therapeutics market could reach $87 billion by 2010

Market has more than doubled in the last five years—jumping from $25 billion in 2001 to $51 billion in 2005—making it the scientific trump card of the pharmaceutical industry.
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