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Markers/Short Reads: Feb 1, 2003


A nervous pact? MDS Proteomics snags a five-year deal with Cephalon to supply proteomics technologies, including chemiproteomics, phosphorylation fingerprinting, and protein interaction mapping, for development of Cephalon’s CNS disease candidates.


Genomatica gets an SBIR grant from DARPA to develop metabolic drug toxicity prediction software.


CuraGen will use its predictive toxicogenomics screen and protein pathway mapping technologies to select promising compounds for Pfizer.


Good news for pharmacogenomics technology — that is, if you believe the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development report that predicts this year will see the demise of the blockbuster drug strategy in favor of more narrowly targeted medicines.


Tokyo-based Sosei will use ActivX Biosciences’ chemical proteomics technology to find novel targets for its molecular compounds. ActivX gets a share of IP resulting from the one-year deal and the two companies will co-market any products.


Cellular Genomics will apply its chemical genetics technology to study an undisclosed kinase target for Schering. CGI gets cash up front and milestone payments throughout the 15-month deal.


For five years starting in 1997, Agilent provided all Affymetrix’s scanners. With the contract behind them, Affymetrix introduces its first in-house manufactured scanner, which the company says will be compatible with previous Affy experiments and software.


Next time it changes its focus it can keep its name. Incyte, which exchanged its “Pharmaceuticals” moniker for “Genomics” in 2000, has shed descriptive tags completely. The company, which is also shifting its main research operations to the East Coast, will be known simply as Incyte Corp.


In a single week, Affy spinoff Perlegen announced three major pharma deals. Pfizer will use the company’s chip-based genotyping method for variations related to cardiovascular disease, while Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb will use the technology in undisclosed therapeutic areas.


Ciphergen has teamed up with Tokyo-based SC BioSciences to open a biomarker center in Yokohama, Japan. The center is outfitted with Biomek robots and a tandem mass spec and will provide protein biomarker discovery services.


Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker allotted $7.9 million for creation of a 55,000-square-foot biotech research complex at Delaware Valley College in Bucks County.


The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.