Array BioPharma recently announced an agreement to amend its Longmont, Colo., facilities leases, extending the term for Array’s current 75,000 square foot laboratory facility to May 31, 2013. Array also has the option to expand its leased space by up to 80,000 square feet and has the right to purchase the buildings it occupies.
The heart drug digitalis, derived from foxgloves, may someday soon add cancer treatment to its pharmaceutical repertoire. A technique used by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM) to alter digitoxin, a component of digitalis, created new compounds that showed efficacy against cancer cells during in vitro studies. Mouse studies are underway.
With the publication of the August 9 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientific community got a sneak peek of a discovery at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), that led to the development of what are being referred to as smart bio-nanotubes.
Solvay Pharmaceuticals recently announced an agreement to collaborate with the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research to investigate a novel mechanism of action to treat gastrointestinal motility disorders.
NeoRx in August became the first biotechnology company to enter into a research alliance with Scripps Florida, the newly established Palm Beach County, Fla., division of La Jolla, Calif.-based Scripps Research. The focus of this collaboration is on discovering novel, small-molecule, multi-targeted, protein kinase inhibitors as therapeutic agents, such as those needed for cancer treatment.
The National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) has released its Integrated SYStem (ISYS) software platform—which integrates independent bioinformatic software tools and databases—in an open source version.
The Harvard Center for Neurodegeneration & Repair (HCNR) and GE Healthcare in August began a collaboration that will see HCNR use GE’s IN Cell Analyzer imaging system to advance its studies of the human central nervous system and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, GE scientists will work with HCNR’s Center for Bioinformatics to develop new software tools addressing degenerative diseases of the brain.
In early August, Bio-Rad Laboratories announced a collaboration to use specific data sets from knowledge management platform provider Aureus Pharma in conjunction with BioRad’s KnowItAll ADME/Tox software, which the companies say will provide improved in silico screening of potential drug candidates.
Biomolecular technology and pharmaceutical company Odyssey Thera announced recently it had signed an agreement to provide the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) with a cell-based compound screening system that will be used to further the NIH Molecular Libraries Roadmap Initiative. The technology, protein-fragment complementation assay (PCA), will allow NCGC to screen human cell lines for the impact of potential drugs on biochemical pathways. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
In announcing plans by its Columbia, Md.-based subsidiary K-D Medical to acquire a new facility with two validated, class 100 clean rooms, CalbaTech not only had expanded manufacture of products on its mind, but also the opportunity to profit by leasing part of the new space to other companies—some of whom could be engaged in drug discovery efforts.
Continuing a strategy of making its core technology available to a variety of outside research and development organizations, CombiMatrix announced last month that the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has begun work toward the development of a peptide array synthesizer.
Thermo Electron Corp. announced in early August it had acquired Ottawa-based Ionalytics Corp. whose key technology is an ion filtering device used with mass spectrometers in bioanalysis, proteomics and drug discovery. The purchase comes amid Thermo’s continued bolstering of its LC-MS portfolio, that has also included the recent release of the LTQ Orbitrap at ASMS in June.
CuraGen subsidiary 454 Life Sciences recently announced the publication of a new method it developed for high-throughput, high-accuracy DNA sequencing that should open the door to widespread, cost-effective genomics efforts. The new method, which can sequence genomes 100 times faster than the more traditional Sanger method, was described in a paper published in Nature.
Corporate profits are certainly a major impetus for U.S. Genomics’ new Direct Results fee-for-service program, but there is another side as well: The goal of encouraging more scientists to count individual molecules of microRNA (miRNA) in samples.
Biopharmaceutical company Genelabs Technologies announced it was advancing two of its drug discovery projects for testing as possible therapeutics against Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The compounds are part of a multi-pronged attack that relies on nucleoside- and non-nucleoside-based approaches.
Unlocking the secrets of the human proteome is the goal. Some of the keys to get those secrets into the open may rest at Swedish company Affibody AB, which along with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agilent Technologies has entered into a cooperative agreement to develop advanced protein sample preparation solutions for human biomarker discovery.
University of Cin-cinnati scientists have discovered how blood-regenerating stem cells move from bone marrow into the blood stream. This finding, in turn, has led to the development of a new chemical compound that can accelerate the process of stem cell mobilization in mice—a technique that could eventually lead to more efficient stem cell harvesting for human use and potential therapeutics.
Tra-ditionally, the Texas A&M University system’s health sciences program hasn’t exactly been a darling in terms of getting research grants, particularly from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But the university aims to change that with the founding of the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM).
RegeneRx Biophar-maceuticals reported in early August that it had begun a collaboration with the Division of Cardiology at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, D.C., to study thymosin beta 4 (TB4). The goal is to explore TB4’s ability to treat degenerative muscle diseases that often result in cardiomyopathy—a progressive deterioration and weakening of the heart.
Affinium Pharmaceuticals is a small structure-guided drug discovery company founded in 2000 that is focused on the development and commercialization of novel anti-infective medicines. Recently, company vice president Dr. Joanne Harack and the scientific team at Affinium took the time to talk to Executive Editor Randall C Willis about the current state of the anti-infectives market.
Osiris Therapeutics announced recently the expansion of a licensing agreement with JCR Pharmaceuticals that will see the Ashiya, Japan-based company sell adult human stem cells for use in drug screening and evaluation in Japan. The cell technology will allow companies involved in drug discovery and development to screen test compounds for a variety of metabolic effects.