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Lumera, MUSC, U of Hawaii, University of Nottingham, Molecular Profiles, University of Delaware, Orphagenix, StageMark, CTEK, Access Venture Partners, JHU, University of Manitoba, Open Biosystems, OncoMethylome, OHSU, PatentCafe


Lumera and MUSC Extend Biomarker Research Collaboration
Lumera and the Medical University of South Carolina have extended a research collaboration to develop an antibody array for measuring mitochondrial proteins in patients to identify disease-related biomarkers, Lumera said last week.
Under the agreement, Lumera will retain rights to commercialize all jointly developed intellectual property, the company said.
Craig Beeson, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at MUSC, is principal investigator on the project.
“Professor Beeson’s applications, along with projects in development at our two other academic beta test sites, are in the category of biomarker discovery,” Ron Dudek, Lumera’s director of business development, said in a statement. “In particular, these early adopters … are interested in measuring the up- and down-regulation of thousands of proteins as a result of disease, stress, or drug therapy.”
MUSC and Lumera researchers will be using Lumera’s ProteomicProcessor instrument system and NanoCapture microarray slides in the project.
Lumera did not disclose when the collaboration began or financial terms of the agreement.

U of Hawaii to Sponsor ’07 TechConnect Summit
TechConnect said last week that the University of Hawaii, through its Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development, will be an exclusive platinum sponsor of the 2007 TechConnect Summit, scheduled for May 23-24 in Santa Clara, Calif.
TechConnect is a multi-sector gathering of technology IP, technology ventures, industrial partners, and investors. The purpose of the summit is to bring together tech-transfer offices, companies, and investment firms to locate promising technologies and early-stage companies.
The summit will run concurrently with Nanotech 2007, BioNano 2007, and the Cleantech Conference. Further information about TechConnect can be found here.

University of Nottingham and Spin-Out Molecular Profiles win Queen’s Award for Innovation
The University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy and spin-out company Molecular Profiles have each received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of innovation for 2007, the university said last week.
The award recognized the University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy’s “reputation as an international center of excellence in research, with teaching and research teams in the UK and Malaysia.” The university has spun out more than 25 companies in the areas of engineering, pharmaceuticals, food science, computer science, agriculture, and the environment.
Molecular Profiles provides analytical research service and instrumentation, and has provided research to companies worldwide in the areas of vaccine formulation, medical devices such as drug-eluting stents, inhalation products for asthma and pulmonary disease patients, and drug-delivery systems.
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the UK's most prestigious awards for business performance, according to the award website. The awards are made each year by the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by an advisory committee that includes representatives of government, industry, commerce, and the trade unions, according to the website.

University of Delaware Spin-Out Orphagenix Sets Up Shop in Wilmington
OrphageniX, a biotechnology company and University of Delaware spin-out, has established business operations in Wilmington, Delaware, the company said this month.
The company, co-founded by University of Delaware researchers Eric Kmiec and Hetal Parekh-Olmedo, focuses on correcting genes that cause "orphan diseases.” The company intends to develop and commercialize its patented gene-repair technology, which is designed to correct genes causing hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anemia and hemophilia that are caused by single point mutations.
OrphageniX has licensed the gene-repair patents from the University of Delaware.
OrphageniX was founded and incubated in 2005 at the University of Delaware's Delaware Biotechnology Institute in the Delaware Technology Park in Newark. The company recently closed an initial round of funding for an undisclosed amount from a group of local, private investors.

UPitt Offshoot StageMark Completes $1.6M Financing Round
StageMark, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based cellular analysis company developing research and diagnostic products, said last week that it has completed a series B convertible preferred stock financing round worth approximately $1.6 million in cash and debt conversion.
The financing was led by the BioAdvance Ventures, an early-stage venture fund managed by Quaker BioVentures and the University City Science Center. Previous investors BlueTree Capital Partners, Innovation Works, Meyer Ventures, and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse also participated in the financing round.
StageMark is developing research and diagnostic products in the areas of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases with an initial focus on lupus. The company’s “cell-bound activation products” technology platform is the subject of an exclusive, worldwide license from the University of Pittsburgh and is based on research conducted at UPitt’s Medical Center.

CTEK Forms Strategic Alliance with Access Venture Partners
CTEK, a non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship through access to capital and tech-commercialization services, last week said that it has formed a strategic partnership with Access Venture Partners.
Together, CTEK and AVP will help emerging technology companies bridge the gap between angel and venture capital financing, the companies said.
“Our goal is to provide funding to promising entrepreneurial companies who may otherwise be caught in the middle of this funding gap,” Gary Held, CTEK’s president, said in a statement.
Companies applying to CTEK Angels will be screened for applicability to the fund, and the fund will have access to CTEK’s “deal flow” of early-stage companies and participate in the CTEK Angel network’s screening process. Members of CTEK Angels will be able to invest along with the fund in companies brought forward by CTEK.
CTEK is based in Denver, Col., and is the state’s largest formal angel investment network. AVP is a seed and early-stage VC fund with offices in Denver and Austin, Tex.

JHU, University of Manitoba Join Open Biosystems' RNAi Open Access Program
Open Biosystems said last week that Johns Hopkins University and the University of Manitoba have purchased access to its RNAi technologies under its Open Access Program.
The University of Manitoba will use Open Biosystems’ resources in a new gene discovery and validation program across the university.
The program gives all of the labs at the two facilities access to Open Biosystems’ RNAi resources, which include shRNAmir lentiviral and retroviral libraries for human and mouse genomes and the RNAi Consortium human and mouse lentiviral shRNA libraries.
The program also includes access to RNAi collections for Drosophila, C. elegans, and zebrafish.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

OncoMethylome Gains $2.7M for Women's Cancer Collaboration
Belgium-based OncoMethylome Sciences has received a €1.95 million ($2.7 million) grant from the Belgian government to work on a collaborative project that will study women’s cancers and cancer vaccines, the company said last week.
The four-year program, which includes research partners the University of Liege and GlaxoSmithKline, is funded with €3.5 million, of which €1.95 million goes to OncoMethylome and €1.55 million goes to the University of Liege.

OHSU Launches Clinical Genetics Program; Will Recruit Scientists, Start Educational Arm
The Oregon Health and Science University in Portland last week announced the launch of a multi-disciplinary Human Genetics Initiative to advance genetics and genomics research toward applications in “a healthcare setting.”
The HGI aims to speed the “translation of scientific knowledge to patient care,” particularly as research may be used to investigate the role of genetics in common disorders such as “obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis, and diabetes.”
OHSU said the initiative will recruit scientists, build a “bank” of technology, “develop new educational programs” and “establish a novel delivery model for genetics healthcare.”
The HGI is receiving funding from OHSU’s School of Medicine, the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, the Oregon Opportunity, and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, which is a partnership between OHSU and Kaiser Permanente that receives funding from the National Institutes of Health.

PatentCafe Launches IP-Management Software
PatentCafe last week introduced Portfolio-Xpert, an enterprise-level software application targeted to intellectual property managers and corporate patent counsel responsible for patent strategy and large patent portfolio management.
The new software “performs the heavy lifting” in the strategic portfolio management process, PatentCafe said. It features an advanced linguistics patent search engine, international patent data center, and patent quality-scoring system to evaluate key legal, commercial, and technology factors that contribute to the core value of portfolio patents.
The application is Web-based and enterprise-level, and scales from single user to global team collaboration. It expands from a single portfolio of as many as 1,000 patents to multiple portfolios with as many as 40,000 patents, PatentCafe said.

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.