LumiCyte Signs $30 Million Marketing, Distribution Agreement with Shimadzu
Protein profiling biochip company LumiCyte of Fremont, Calif., has signed an exclusive five-year agreement with Japanese trading giant Shimadzu to market and distribute LumiCyte’s SELDI-based protein mapping services. The agreement, valued at more than $30 million, also includes a multi-million dollar investment by Shimadzu, based in Kyoto. “We believe their distinguished history and leadership in clinical proteomics and bioinformatics will enable our customers in Japan to rapidly implement the best solutions available for drug development,” said Shigehiko Hattori, managing director for Shimadzu, in a statement. LumiCyte’s biochips are based on surface enhanced laser desorption ionization, or SELDI technology, a chip-based system similar to mass spectrometry. Ciphergen, also of Fremont, Calif., markets these chips as its “ProteinChip” system, while Lumicyte uses them in-house to do protein profiling as a service for customers. The companies are currently involved in a lawsuit in which Ciphergen sued over the rights to this SELDI technology, and alleged that LumiCyte CEO William Hutchens, the former chief scientific officer of Ciphergen, misappropriated trade secrets. The trial is slated for January 2003.
BioForce Gets $250,000 SBIR Grant
Nanoarray maker BioForce Nanosciences of Ames, Iowa, has been awarded a $250,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an ultra-miniaturized biological warfare agent detection system. The company will use the grant to create a nanoarray that can detect simulants of biological warfare agents. Future studies will develop a comprehensive nanoarray panel to detect several known biological warfare agents. “We are working to advance pathogen detection systems,” stated Curtis Mosher, principal investigator on the project, “to increase the speed and accuracy of detection and to reduce public concerns on biological warfare threats.”