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Beckman Coulter, Becton Dickinson, ABI, MDS, Sigma-Aldrich, Proligo, Invitrogen, IP Holdings, Speciality Laboratories, Sequenom, Ferrer, Oryzon, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Bruker

Beckman Coulter Ships Flow Cytometer,
Signs Microbead Technology Deal

Beckman Coulter this week began shipping its the Cell Lab Quanta flow cytometry system, which was build in a joint development effort with NPE Systems.

The small-footprint Cell Lab Quanta flow cytometer combines Coulter volume measurement, a technique for discriminating populations of cells, with two-color fluorescence capabilities.

Additionally, Beckman Coulter announced an exclusive license to microbead technology made by San Diego-based GenWay Biotech.

Under the terms of the agreement, GenWay will provide Beckman with access to its IgY microbead technology, which can be used to selectively partition the most abundant proteins from human serum or plasma in sample preparation for proteomics applications.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

BD Decides on Location
For National Distribution HQ

Becton, Dickinson will build a new national distribution headquarters in Plainfield, Ind., according to local news reports. The company will transfer some 100 employees from facilities near Indianapolis and add 50 jobs in 2006, according to a report in the Indianapolis Star newspaper.

ABI/MDS JV Introduces
2 New Mass Spec Systems

The Applied Biosystems MDS Sciex joint venture this week launched two new mass spectrometers; the 3200 Q TRAP hybrid triple quadrupole-linear ion trap for small molecule identification; and the API 3200 LC/MS/MS triple quadrupole system. These technologies are designed for food and beverage, environmental, forensic, clinical research, and pharmaceutical analysis markets and are made into a smaller platform.

Sigma-Aldrich Completes Proligo Acquisition

Sigma-Aldrich announced last week that it has completed its acquisition of DNA and RNA maker Proligo from Degussa.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. According to Sigma-Aldrich, Proligo had 2004 sales of about $40 million.

Sigma-Aldrich first announced its intent to acquire Proligo in February.

Invitrogen Closes $391M Dynal Acquisition

Invitrogen closed its acquisition of privately held Dynal Biotech in a deal valued at approximately $391 million, the company said last week.

The deal gives Invitrogen Dynal's Dynabeads magnetic separation-technology business and its HLA diagnostics segment. The acquisition, announced in February, moves Invitrogen for the first time into an FDA-regulated market through Dynal's in vitro diagnostics customers like Roche Diagnostics and Bayer.

Invitrogen bought Dynal, which has operations in China, from majority owner Nordic Capital of Sweden. The firm supplies magnetic particles to diagnostics manufacturers for use in high-throughput automated immunoassays as well as other diagnostic instrument systems. Nordic and Ratos purchased Dynal for $190 million in 2001.

IP Holdings Founds Company
To Commercialize Patented Gene

IP Holdings, a business incubator in Suffern, NY, has founded a company, Ryogen, which aims to commercialize applications for a recently patented human gene.

According to IP Holdings, the patent, which centers on the XPNPEP2 gene, "pertains to extensive segments of the human genome sequence and its applications to microarray manufacturing, gene testing and development of therapeutic agents." The company has received US Patent No. 6,399,349 entitled "Human Aminopeptidase P Gene."

The gene codes for the protein membrane-bound aminopeptidase P (AmP).

IP Holdings claims the gene is a marker for hypertension, angioedema, rejection of kidney transplants, and certain tumors. The patent covers cDNA and gDNA sequences coding AmP; a method of producing AmP; the diagnostics for detecting AmP abnormalities; and prevention and treatment of medical conditions associated with the mutation of the AmP gene, IP Holdings said.

"We plan to pursue a comprehensive licensing program to ensure the broad proliferation of Ryogen's IP," said Alexander Poltorak, managing director of IP Holdings.

Ryogen is exploring a number of alternatives to license the AmP patent, including "ways to make this gene widely available for research so as to promote the development of genetic testing and treatment.

Specialty Labs, Siemens, Sequenom
To Evaluate MassArray for Clinical Dx

Speciality Laboratories will help Sequenom and Siemens to validate Sequenom's MassArray genotyping platform for clinical diagnostics, the San Diego-based company said this week.

Under the collaboration, Sequenom, which has strategic collaboration with Bruker BioSciences, will install its MassArray Compact system at Specialty's clinical laboratory facility, where the platform's analytical data quality and current workflow will be evaluated in a benchmarking study expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2005.

The deal is part of an agreement between Siemens and Sequenom from 2004, under which Siemens has bought and plans to install four MassArray systems in certain diagnostics and clinical labs in Europe and North America.

Ferrer, Oryzon to Co-Develop Genomic,
Proteomic Tools for Colorectal Cancer

Ferrer International and Oryzon Genomics have formed a collaboration to develop new genomic- and proteomic-based products for the early diagnosis and prognosis of colorectal cancer, the firms said yesterday.

According to the Spanish companies, their partnership will include the genomic and proteomic analysis of hundreds of tumor samples in order to uncover clues about colorectal cancer and how to improve molecular tools for diagnosis and prognosis of the disease.

The initial research portion of the collaboration is expected to last two years, and will require an investment of almost €1 million ($1.9 million), the companies said. The effort is being supported by the Catalan Institute of Oncology and the College Hospital Vall d'Hebron, they added.

Taiwan's CGMH Expands Use
Of Bruker Mass Spec Technology

The Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital has expanded its use of Bruker BioSciences' mass-spectrometry instrumentation to include one of its operating clinics in Kaohsiung, the hospital said this week.

CGMH, based in Taipei, implemented a Bruker ClinProt system for MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry-based clinical proteomics and biomarker analysis at its facility in Linkou last year. Now, it will establish a similar ClinProt set up in Kaohsiung, CGMH said.

Additionally, the existing ClinProt platform in Linkou will be expanded by additional sample preparation and mass spectrometry technologies to analyze and identify potential protein biomarkers, CGMH said.

Specific terms of CGMH's arrangement with Bruker were not disclosed.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.