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Affibody, Agilent, Med BioGene, ARS, Cotton Inc., CUGI


Affibody to Develop, Produce Protein Ligands for Agilent's Sample Prep Products

Affibody of Stockholm, Sweden, will develop protein affinity ligands for Agilent Technologies' protein sample preparation products, the companies said this week.

Under the agreement, Affibody will design and develop affinity capture ligands for certain proteins specified by Agilent, using its Affibody technology. Agilent plans to incorporate these reagents into its protein removal technology for sample preparation. Eventually, Affibody will supply Agilent with production quantities of the reagents.

Affibody molecules are specific affinity proteins that mimic monoclonal antibodies. They are produced by combinatorial protein engineering applied on a proprietary scaffold, the company said.

Med BioGene to Acquire Textile Company; Firm Will Become Publicly Traded

Canadian biopharmaceutical company Med BioGene will acquire Dragon-Tex, a publicly traded textile company, through an amalgamation agreement, and the company will become a part of MBG over the next four months, a spokesperson for Dragon-Tex told BioArray News last week.

The deal will enable MBG to become publicly traded and calls for Dragon-Tex to "disappear and be part of Med BioGene," the spokesperson said.

The agreement calls for the companies to take part in a reverse takeover, which is subject to shareholder approval from both firms, and for Dragon-Tex to cancel half its number of issued shares.

Med BioGene's chief scientific officer, Nathan Yoganathan, said that the acquisition of Dragon-Tex, a Vancouver, BC-based textile company, was "simply a business transaction." He declined to comment on how much MBG will actually pay for the shares of Dragon-Tex to acquire the firm but said that it would allow his firm to become publicly traded.

Yoganathan said that Med BioGene had no plans to relocate to Dragon-Tex's headquarters and would stay put at its location on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

According to a statement issued last week, MBG also recently completed a private placement resulting in proceeds of $200,000. The company has also pledged that it will initiate similar placements both prior to and after the reverse takeover that should result in proceeds of up to $880,000.

ARS, Cotton Inc., and CUGI Launch Database for Cotton Biomarkers

The US Agricultural Research Service and partners Cotton Incorporated and Clemson University Genomics Institute last week launched the Cotton Microsatellite Database, which culls biomarker data from different research groups.

The ARS, an arm of the US Department of Agriculture, has provided most of the data, while Cotton Inc., a cotton industry advocacy group, funded the creation of the database, according to an ARS statement issued today.

Brian Scheffer, an ARS researcher involved in the creation of the database, said that while some data is already available for users, more will be added in coming months.

Clemson's Genomics Institute developed the actual database. The ARS said that database was a step toward creating a map of the cotton genome.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.