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Applied Biosystems, MDS, Strand Genomics, Life Sciences Solutions, Union Holdings, Summit Pharmaceuticals International, Accelrys, Northrop Grumman, Power3 Medical Products, SIDMAP


ABI, MDS Expand Mass Spec Joint Venture

Applied Biosystems and MDS announced last week that they have agreed to expand the scope of their mass spectrometry joint venture.

Under terms of the agreement, Toronto-based MDS will pay US$40 million for a 50 percent interest in intellectual property assets related to current Applied Biosystems MALDI-Time-of-Flight mass spectrometry systems and next-generation products that are currently under development. The payment also will give MDS a 100 percent stake in certain MALDI-TOF product-related manufacturing and research and development assets.

The partners will contribute the MALDI-TOF and related intellectual property to Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex Instruments, a 50/50 joint venture of ABI and the MDS Sciex division.

As part of its responsibilities to the joint venture, Foster City, Calif.-based ABI will continue to market, sell, service, support, and provide research support to the MALDI-TOF products, which currently include the Voyager instruments and 4700 Proteomics Discovery System. ABI also will continue to market, sell, service, and support various mass spec and software products currently sold by the joint venture.

MDS Sciex will assume primary research and development and full manufacturing responsibility for the MALDI-TOF product lines. The firm will continue to provide research and development and manufacturing for products currently in the joint venture’s portfolio.

Gene Tech to Distribute Strand Microarray Data Mining Tool in China

Strand Genomics, based in Bangalore, India, announced that Gene Tech Company will distribute Avadis, Strand's microarray data mining tool, in Hong Kong and China.

Avadis uses scalable analytical algorithms and interactive visualization technology to analyze gene expression data from various sources, including Affymetrix platforms, Strand said. Gene Tech, which is based in Hong Kong, also is the distributor of Affymetrix' GeneChips in that region.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DNA Chip Research, LSS in Cellular Aging Diagnostics Pact

Japan’s DNA Chip Research has signed an agreement with Life Sciences Solutions to jointly develop technology to diagnose genes involved in cellular aging.

Under the pact, LSS will form overall strategy and be responsible for management, licensing, and experiment guidance. DNA Chip Research will supply its AceGene DNA chip for the experiments and analysis of results.

Union HD to Distribute Boekel DNA Analyzer in Japan

Union Holdings, based in Tokyo, said last week that it has signed an agreement to serve as the distributor of Boekel Industries’ DNA analyzer MicroHybe in Japan.

The analyzer uses a DNA microarray hybridization acceleration technology developed by the University of Pennsylvania. According to Union, the analyzer can conduct DNA hybridization in approximately 10 minutes.

Summit To Promote Jurilab Products in Japan

Tokyo-based Summit Pharmaceuticals International has signed an agreement to promote Jurilab’s research and development programs, technologies, and products in Japan, the firms announced this week.

Summit will act as the exclusive distributor in Japan for Jurilab’s DrugMet test for genetic profiling of clinical trials subjects. The product is the Finnish firm’s first product built on a relatively inexpensive, low-density microarray platform.

As part of the pact, Jurilab will provide access to its collection of DNA samples and associated phenotypic data from more than 20,000 subjects from the East Finland founder population.

Accelrys, Northrop Grumman to Collaborate on Bioagent Detectors

Accelrys will help aerospace giant Northrop Grumman research and develop bioagent detectors for the US Department of Homeland Security, Accelrys said last week.

Terms of the agreement call for Accelrys to use its statistical modeling and analysis technology to help determine the “anticipated sensitivity and selectivity” of the detectors, which the DHS will use to monitor for the presence of certain undisclosed bacteria, viruses, and toxin-proteins.

It was not immediately known which software Accelrys will contribute to the collaboration.

Northrop Grumman was one of 14 companies and universities contracted by the Homeland Security Advance Research Projects Agency to research and develop “measures for defending against biological threats.”

The aerospace company will receive a portion of a $48 million award among these 14 teams during an initial 18-month R&D phase. Accelrys did not disclose whether or how much it will be paid for its contribution. Northrop Grumman and Accelrys will develop Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detectors, which will be used to continuously monitor for bioagents in outdoor urban areas, the companies said.

Power3 to Collaborate with Baylor on Metabolic Syndrome Biomarkers

Power3 Medical Products announced today that it will collaborate with Baylor College of Medicine on the discovery of biomarkers in serum and plasma of metabolic syndrome.

The Woodlands, Texas-based firm said that the biomarkers would be used for diagnosis and drug targeting of metabolic-related disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and stroke.

The research agreement is the result of a collab-oration between Christie Ballantyne, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease at the Baylor College of Medicine, and Ira Goldknopf, chief scientific officer of Power3.

SIDMAP Introduces Metabolic Profiling Technology, Services

SIDMAP, a Los Angeles-based startup, last week introduced a metabolic profiling technology service based on a proprietary tracer-molecule technology and mass spectrometry.

The company, named after its Stable Isotope-based Dynamic Metabolic Profiling technology, is commer-cializing the approach as a service targeting drug dis-covery and development. The SIDMAP technology uses labeled metabolic substrate molecules (tracers) to track disease-characteristic metabolic pathways.

The technology was developed at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by Laszlo Boros, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Paul Lee, UCLA professor of pediatrics, the company said in a statement.

SIDMAP has licensed the technology from LA Biomed. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, the company said.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.