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Proteomics on Parade

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Proteomics on Parade

The 23,000-plus visitors to this year’s Pittcon were well advised to train for a marathon prior to touring the vast exhibition hall at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. Continuing the trend of the last few years, companies with life sciences products increased in number yet again this year, and proteomics in particular took center stage.

Find “Life Sciences Take Center Stage at Pittcon 2003” by searching: Pittcon

Slash and Burn

The Michigan Life Sciences Corridor has seen funding recede rapidly from its shores amid the state government’s fiscal crisis. Its 2003 funding was cut from $45 million to $37.5 million under an executive order signed by Governor Jennifer Granholm, and then slashed further to $20 million in the proposed 2004 budget. The corridor is meanwhile putting its hopes in private funding.

Find “With 56 Percent Budget Cut Looming, Michigan Life Sciences Corridor Seeks Foreign Investment” by searching: corridor Weekly

Not For Your Back Yard

“This revolution is expensive, you can’t do these things in your garage.”

— Ed Scolnick, Merck executive vice president for science technology, speaking at a biotech symposium at Cornell University on the growing role for genomics in developing medicine in the next 20 years

Find “In Ithaca, Convergence of Technology and Talent Creates Hope for Genomics” by searching: Ithaca Weekly

Achilles’ Heel for Array Analysts?

With the announcement that gene expression analysis firm Molecular Mining ceased operations, similar small software firms got a wake-up call. Although microarray analysis is often cited as the quickest growth area for bioinformatics software, Molecular Mining’s closure serves as evidence that these companies are not immune to the challenges that the rest of the commercial bioinformatics sector has struggled with.

Find “Consolidation Hits the Array Analysis Sector as Molecular Mining Closes Shop” by searching: consolidation Weekly

Piggyback for Profit

If you’re a small or mid-sized tool provider with a hot proteomics technology, how can you quickly get your products out to a growing user community? One way is to piggyback on a large partner’s distribution network — often through an OEM agreement. Vendors can change the packaging, add their own features, or incorporate a technology completely into their own instrument.

Find “OEM Spells Success for Tool Makers: Genomic Solutions, Eprogen Hook Up to Big Names” by searching: Eprogen Weekly

The Rise of Diagnostics

This summer, the chief coding and reimbursement body in the United States will decide whether labs that perform molecular-diagnostic tests will receive a new roster of billing codes. If approved, the new codes will likely lower reimbursement hurdles and embolden reference labs to employ more genotyping and gene-expression technologies and reduce the cost of gene-based tests.

Find “Upcoming Face-Lift of CPT Book May Spur Wider Use of Molecular Dx Tools” by searching: CPT

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.