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NCI, Ciphergen, European Union, Shimadzu, University of Tokyo, Invitrogen, Dynal, Polyclone Bioservices

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NCI to Evaluate Ciphergen's Protein Microarray in Ovarian Cancer Studies

The US National Cancer Institute will evaluate Cipergen's ProteinChip platform as part of an effort to identify technology capable of detecting protein patterns that can classify cancer states, Ciphergen said last week.

The NCI Clinical Proteomics Reference Laboratory will examine the company's ProteinChip Series 4000 platform, as well as associated arrays and bioinformatics suites, to study biomarker patterns indicative of ovarian cancer, the company said.

The company did not disclose any financial details associated with the agreement.


European Union to Fund Search for Breast Cancer IVD

The European Union's Sixth Framework Program (FP6) will fund an EU-wide network to address the need for better breast cancer treatment, according to the EU.

The network, called Trans-Big, will be provided with €7 million through 2006 and will rely on a consortium of 39 partners from 21 countries to tackle the problem of prescribing treatment for breast cancer patients.

The priority project, according to Trans-Big, is MINDACT — Microarray in Node- Negative Disease May Avoid Chemotherapy — a consortium-wide trial to use microarray technology to develop biomarkers for selecting those patients that need chemotherapy and those that can do without.

"We believe that the results of MINDACT will show that using the new technology to assess risk will result in fewer women being treated unnecessarily," said Robert Leonard, a researcher at the South West Wales Cancer Institute, which is involved in the study.

"By more accurately choosing patients who do need chemotherapy the final outcome in terms of survival is expected to be better," he said.

"At the same time, this will considerably reduce the cost of breast cancer therapy and its burden on European health care systems."


Shimadzu, University of Tokyo to Jointly Identify Disease Genes and Biomarkers

Shimadzu and the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo plan to jointly conduct genomic and proteomic analyses with the goal of identifying new disease-related genes and biomarkers, the two organizations said last week.

Further information was not immediately provided.


Invitrogen's Q1 Revenues Up 10 Percent, Earnings Quadruple Thanks to Dynal Purchase

Invitrogen last week reported a 10-percent increase in revenues and quadrupled earnings for the first quarter of 2005.

Revenues for the quarter totaled $277.1 million, up from $251.3 million during the year-ago period. Both Invitrogen's BioDiscovery and BioProduction segments contributed to this increase.

Research and development expenses increased to $21.2 million from $15.7 million during the first quarter of 2004.

The company's net income increased to $47.1 million, or $.82 per share, from $10.5 million, or $.19 per share, during last year's first quarter. Included in this quarter's income is a gain of $21 million related to the hedging activity associated with Invitrogen's acquisition of Dynal.

As of March 31, Invitrogen had $1 billion in cash and investments.


Polyclone Bioservices Signs MoU with Karnataka Cancer Institute

Polyclone Bioservices, an Indian biotech company that provides genomics and drug discovery services, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karnataka Cancer Research Institute, the company said last week.

According to Polyclone, the two will establish a research unit for collaborative research in cancer genomics, diagnostics, and clinical investigation at Karnataka's headquarters in Navnagar Hubli, India.

Naveen Kulkarni, director of Polyclone, said that the new research unit will provide services in gene expression studies and proteomics using its microarray spotting and hybridization technology. He said that the research generated would be useful in the arena of clinical diagnostics.

"The aim is to provide diagnostics at the early stages for detection of tumour and classify them for initiating the right treatment," Kulkarni said.

Financial details were not discussed.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.