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Nanosphere, The School of Biological Sciences, The Ministry of Science and Technology of South Korea, Morewood, Cambridge, Acacia Research, Psychiatric Genomics


Nanosphere Takes $10M in 3rd Round

Nanosphere of Northbrook, Ill., last week collected third-round funding of $10 million led by Lurie Investments of Chicago and Takara Bio of Japan, the company said.

The company will use the proceeds for commercialization of its biomolecular detection system, which will be released in the second half of 2003, the company said.

Nanosphere received $1.5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health in September 2002, and in October 2002 the company entered into a development contract with the US Government Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) to apply Nanosphere’s biomolecular detection system to the future detection of biological warfare agents.


$1.5M British Grant to Liverpool University For Development of Protein Cell Arrays

The School of Biological Sciences at the University of Liverpool, the University of Manchester, and University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology last week received a $1.5 million government grant for a five-year research project to create protein cell arrays.

The program, led by Mike White of the Liverpool University School of Biological Science and founder of the Liverpool University Center for Cell Imaging, will key around in the University of Liverpool’s expertise in non-invasive imaging of biological processes in living cells, plus expertise in genomics and databasing at University of Manchester, as well as the genetic computing skills at UMIST.

The project will study human genes whose function has first been suggested through complementation studies in yeast. It will also study responses of human cells to a variety of biologically important signals (especially those involved in stress-responses). The work will concentrate on genes and signal pathways which have been implicated as being involved in the regulation of programmed cell death (apoptosis).


South Korea Targets Biochips

The Ministry of Science and Technology of South Korea will fund biochip technology development under a nine-year nanotechnology initiative announced last week in Seoul.

The government is allotting funds equivalent to $268 million for nanotechnology development for 123 projects divided into core, infrastructure, and basic groups. Biochips are among 38 infrastructure projects that will get up to $825,000 for as long as five years of research. The ministry has an R&D budget of $860 million for 2002.


Morewood Takes in $650,000

Morewood Molecular Sciences of Pittsburgh last week announced a $550,000 cash investment from angel investors, and $100,000 in a second SBIR grant from NIH. The company said it will use the funds to continue to commercialize its technology, licensed from the University of Pennsylvania, to develop a microarray chip for examining proteins associated with prostate cancer.


Cambridge Antibody Technology Group to Launch Array Spinout

Cambridge, UK-based Cambridge Antibody Technology Group last week said it will seek independent financing for its microarray technology business and that Kevin Johnson, the company’s chief technology officer, will lead it, said Peter Chambre, CAT’s chief executive officer. The company is revamping its business to concentrate on becoming a profitable biopharmaceutical company in five years, said Chambre, who took over from founder David Chiswell in April.


Acacia Research Revenues Fall

Acacia Research of Newport Beach, Calif., the parent company of CombiMatrix reported third quarter revenues of $179,000 compared to $10,831,000 in the same quarter a year ago. The company said it received V-chip licensing payments, revenues from CombiMatrix based on Department of Defense, NIH grants, and product sales to the Japanese government.

The company said CombiMatrix recorded $3,532,000 in deferred revenues from its collaboration with Roche Diagnostics. The company recorded a net loss of $20,622,000, compared to a net loss of $2,827,000 for the same quarter in 2001. The results include legal settlement charges of $18,471,000 from CombiMatrix’s settlement of a trade secret suit with Nanogen.


Psychiatric Genomics Secures $17 Million

Psychiatric Genomics has raised $17 million in Series B financing, the Gaithersburg, Md.-based company said last week.

Catalytix, a Cayman Islands investment fund, led the funding. It was joined by Stanley Medical Research Institute, Oxford Bioscience Partners, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and others.

The Scan

Cell Atlas of Human Lung Development Gives View of Developing Airway

Researchers have generated a cell atlas of human lung development, which they report in Cell.

Study Finds Costs of Genome Sequencing May Limit Utility in Routine Care

Researchers report in the European Journal of Human Genetics that genome sequencing for rare disease diagnoses currently has similar benefits as less expensive exome analysis.

Study Suggests Nursing Mother's Diet Can Impact Offspring's Gut Microbiome

A new Cell Host and Microbe paper finds that mice whose mothers were fed a low-fiber diet during nursing experience lasting microbiota dysbiosis and increased obesity.

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.