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Seppro Buy Adds to Sigma-Aldrich's Product Lines


Sigma-Aldrich says it has expanded its protein-depletion and antibody product line by acquiring GenWay Biotech's Seppro technology.

The transaction covers two separate but related products: the Seppro affinity-depletion technology and a library of 700 avian-derived antibodies.

Included in the deal are the current Seppro inventory, the production technology, and all future rights to produce and distribute the product lines, Sigma-Aldrich said in a statement.

Financial details were not disclosed.

For protein researchers, the wide dynamic range, particularly for blood, is a well-documented bottleneck in the search for clinically relevant biomarkers. A number of different commercially available technologies as well as research strategies exist to address this.

The Seppro depletion platform, built on chicken-derived IgY antibodies, is designed to process plasma, serum, and plant samples, and removes the 14 most abundant proteins found in human serum and plasma: HGA; IgG; fibrinogen; transferrin; IgA; IgM; haptoglobin; alpha2-macroglubulin; alpah1-acid glycoprotein; alpha1-antitrypsin; apo A-1 HDL; apo A-II HDL; complement C3; and LDL (apoB).

The firm, which already had a protein-depletion line before the Seppro buy — its ProteoPrep product line — says customers can also use Seppro to deplete moderate-abundance proteins by using a column incorporating Seppro's SuperMix technology.

The ability to use Seppro as a multiplexed tool for protein depletion in multiple steps is one attribute that Sigma hopes will distinguish the technology from rival depletion technologies, says George Lipscomb, global market segment manager for proteomics at Sigma-Aldrich.

"You can use multiple embodiments of the Seppro technology, so what people are doing in some cases is using a combination of one of the high-abundance depletions along with the SuperMix, which takes out another range of targets in the proteome," he says. "By using those tools synergistically you achieve much better penetration."

Tony Fong


25 percent
Maximum percentage of a pay cut that Bruker's top executives will be taking in 2009.

Proteomics Notes

Protein Forest opened a European division, located in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. It will eventually be home to mass spectrometers and wet-lab space for collaborative project. Protein Forest is headquartered in Lexington, Mass.

Oncimmune, a UK cancer detection firm, will be using Proteome Sciences' patents that cover the annexin 1 and annexin 2 proteins to develop a lung cancer diagnostic test. The test is scheduled to come to market in the first half of this year.

Crucell, a Dutch bio-pharmaceutical firm, signed a non-exclusive research and development agreement with Centocor. Crucell's STAR technology will be used to produce recombinant human antibodies and proteins.

Funded Grants

$871,487/FY 2008
HIV Proteomic Center for Host-Viral Response Characterization
Grantee: Richard Smith, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Began: Sep. 30, 2008; Ends May 31, 2011
With this grant, Smith and his colleagues will be using proteomic techniques to look at how the cerebrospinal fluid proteome changes in HIV infection, how opioid use affects signatures in non-human primates with SIV, and the modulating effects of heroin, buprenorphine, and protease inhibitors.

$267,731/FY 2008
Computational approaches to protein identification and quantification using MS/MS
Grantee: Predrag Radivojac, Indiana University
Began: Sep. 15, 2008; Ends Aug. 31, 2011
Radivojac plans to develop customized computational tools to aid peptide identification, protein identification, and label-free protein quantification. These software tools, which are to be made publicly available, "will enable researchers using proteomics technologies to more effectively and efficiently study a variety of health related conditions," the grant abstract says.

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