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A roundup of instrumentation, software and other tools and technology news

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For February, the month of Valentine’s Day, we’re showing some love for monoclonal antibodies for SISCAPA assays, CRISPR/Cas9 technology, separation of magnetic particle-free cells and antibiotic development and monitoring using a calorimetry-based solution.

OriGene to develop high-affinity, anti-peptide monoclonal antibodies
ROCKVILLE, Md.—OriGene Technologies Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-quality antibodies and gene-centric tools, announced in early January that it had been awarded a Phase II SBIR contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop high-affinity, anti-peptide antibodies for mass-spectrometry-based serum biomarker detection/ quantification assays.
Through its ongoing collaboration with the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and with the assistance of NCI’s Clinical Proteomic Technologies for Cancer group, OriGene reports that it has made rapid advancements in its efforts to produce high-quality antibodies for use in SISCAPA assays to every human protein.
“Development of high-affinity anti-peptide antibodies to every human protein for use in SISCAPA technology is critical to the advancement of this multiplexed protein assay technology platform,” stated Dr. Donghui Ma, senior vice president and head of antibody development at OriGene. “OriGene’s ability to effectively apply its unique capabilities to the challenges of high-quality monoclonal antibody development and determination of antibody specificity are perfectly suited to enable researchers to ultimately realize the promise of SISCAPA technology.”
“High-quality and specific antibodies are critical to the successful development, as well as long-term adoption of SISCAPA-based assays in studying human disease,” added Dr. Robert Moritz, professor and director of proteomics research at ISB. “The opportunity to expand our collaboration and further support this SBIR contract is a fantastic way to better leverage our collective knowledge to usher in the next paradigm of assays to quantitatively assess proteins.”

ATCC licenses CRISPR/Cas9 tech from the Broad Institute
MANASSAS, Va.—The new year hadn’t gotten very far along before ATCC, a biological materials resource and standards organization, announced that it licensed CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. ATCC plans to use the gene-editing technology to develop a portfolio of new products and services to support basic and translational research.
“The rapid growth of CRISPR/Cas9 applications provides a perfect environment for ATCC to leverage our comprehensive portfolio of cells, microorganisms and services to meet the unmet demands of global researchers to support their scientific discoveries. Licensing the CRISPR/Cas9 technology from the Broad Institute allows ATCC scientists to unlock the full potential of our unique portfolio for creating standards for basic and translational research,” stated Dr. Mindy Goldsborough, vice president and general manger of ATCC Cell Systems. “We will build on the high quality and standards that researchers have expected from ATCC over the past 90 years.”
The first ATCC product developed using the licensed technology is the EML4-ALK Fusion-A549 Isogenic Cell Line (ATCC CCL-185IG). This cell line was derived from the parental A549 non-small cell lung cancer cell line, which is known as a workhorse for in-vitro and in-vivo lung cancer research.

Quad Technologies highlights benefits of novel cell separation solution
WOBURN, Mass.—The rapid growth of cell-based immunotherapy research has led to an increase in demand for methods to isolate specific immune cell populations from heterogeneous samples with high viability, purity and recovery efficiency. Quad Technologies says it is meeting this need with its MagCloudz Streptavidin Cell Separation Kits and has partnered with the University of Massachusetts Medical School to evaluate the performance of its novel cell separation solution for the enrichment and purification of CD3+ T cells from human umbilical cord blood.
The MagCloudz kit reportedly enables straightforward, scalable and fast separation of magnetic particle-free cells for such applications as T cell purification and stem cell isolation, which are critical processing steps in immunotherapy and cell therapy workflows. The results of the study with the UMass Medical School demonstrated a successful CD3+/CD45+ T cell enrichment from both peripheral and umbilical cord blood samples, with purity of the recovered T cell populations exceeding 95 percent. This high degree of purity, accompanied by high cell viability and the total absence of residual magnetic particles, renders the MagCloudz-isolated T cells ideal for use in downstream translational applications, the company says.
Sean Kevlahan, CEO of Quad Technologies, commented: “Our collaboration with the University of Massachusetts was a great success and the results clearly demonstrated how our kits truly overcome the limitations of current approaches for cell separation, including lengthy protocol times and poor recovery.”
In 2016, the team at Quad Technologies plans to expand its collaborative reach with new partnerships focused on technology development and refinement for applications critical to regenerative medicine and immunotherapeutic areas.
SymCel tackles antiobiotic resistance with calorimetry
KISTA, Sweden—On Jan. 25, SymCel, creator of the cell-based assay tool calScreener for real-time cellular bioenergetics measurements, noted it has developed the groundbreaking technique in part to address the critical industry challenge of antibiotic resistance at a time of mounting healthcare costs in the face of the growth in multidrug-resistant bacteria.
“The properties of calorimetry-based cell monitoring, and the data it produces, are uniquely well suited to the development of novel antibiotics. Indeed, the technique has the distinct advantage of being a label-free and non-destructive measurement, making postexperimental analysis possible whilst being totally independent of sample morphology,” said Magnus Jansson, chief scientific officer at SymCel. “Consequently, assays can be performed on bacteria in solution as well as on solid media, including three-dimensional matrixes like bone biopsies, surgical and dental implant materials, whilst being totally indifferent to turbid or fluorescent properties of the system. The 3D factor is especially significant as it addresses the serious problem with normal assays which can’t give representative samples of bacteria colonizing three-dimensional surfaces, rendering microscopy, fluorescence and molecular methods prone to large deviations.”
Also, since calorimetry measures the total metabolism, bioavailability becomes a non-issue since it is accounted for in the measurement, according to SymCel. The technique also has the benefit of only accounting for the actual number of metabolic, live cells. DNA or protein based assays, by contrast, lack this advantage with the effect that misrepresentations of clustered cells as single colonies leads to incorrect quantifications of cell numbers, SymCel says.

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