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Strategic Diagnostics, University of Delaware, Graham Cancer Center, Arginetix, UPenn, Johns Hopkins, Quaker BioVentures, MedImmune Ventures, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Novo Nordisk, Cellartis, Lund University

Strategic Diagnostics Joins Delaware Collaboration to Find Prostate Cancer Biomarkers
Strategic Diagnostics will collaborate with the University of Delaware and the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center to develop protein biomarkers that could be used to detect metastasis in prostate cancer patients, the company said last week.
SDI said it will work with UD to develop antibodies that identify protein molecule fragments that break away from primary tumors when cancer is spreading. Diagnostic tests using these antibodies could help doctors determine the stage and the severity of the cancer, and could help them develop effective treatment options specifically for metastasized cancer cases.
SDI President and CEO Francis DiNuzzo said in a statement that the company will use its Genomic Antibody Technology to develop the biomarker tests.
Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.
The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center is one of 14 National Cancer Institute centers in the US.

Arginetix Nets $2.3M in Financing to Develop Arginase Inhibtors from UPenn, Johns Hopkins
Arginetix said this week that it has completed a $2.3 million initial financing round to advance the development of therapeutic arginase inhibitors for cardiovascular, respiratory, and other disease.
The company was founded in 2007 upon discoveries made by scientific co-founders David Christianson of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dan Berkowitz of Johns Hopkins University.
Quaker BioVentures and MedImmune Ventures co-led the financing round. Other investors included Red Abbey Venture Partners, Maryland Health Care Product Development Corporation, and Acidophil LLC.
Arginetix also announced that it has completed a license agreement with UPenn for related intellectual property.
Details of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

GeneThera Inks Agreement with UNM for Option on Cattle Vaccine
GeneThera said this week that it has signed an agreement with STC.UNM, the tech-transfer arm of the University of New Mexico, giving GeneThera an option to license worldwide a vaccine designed to inhibit the carriage and shedding of E. coli in cattle.
The vaccine consists of live attenuated bacteria and was developed by Edgar Boedeker, a professor of internal medicine at UNM’s Health Sciences Center; and Chengru Zhu, formerly of UNM and now chief of environmental microbiology in the Maryland Department of Health.
The vaccine, when used in cattle, inhibits the carrying and shedding of bacteria that are known to induce food-borne illness such as E. coli O157:H7.
GeneThera, based in Wheat Ridge, Colo., provides genetic diagnostics for the veterinary and agricultural industries, with future plans to include the healthcare industry.

Indiana EDC Launches Database Linking Research, IP from State Schools
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation this week said that it has launched an online database of researchers, intellectual property, and ongoing sponsored research projects available for further development at Indian colleges and universities.
The Indiana Database of Research of University Expertise, or INDURE, was developed by Aditya Mathur at Purdue University to broaden awareness of research conducted at the school.
Earlier this year, IEDC led an effort to expand the site’s content to include researchers and projects at Purdue University, Indiana University, Ball State University, and the University of Notre Dame.
The site now contains information in more than 1,000 research areas from more than 12,000 faculty members at the institutions. Future phases of the project will include information from researchers at other state universities.

Novo Nordisk, Cellartis, Lund University Partner on Diabetes Rx
Novo Nordisk, Cellartis, and Lund University Stem Cell Center said last week that they have signed a collaborative research agreement to develop insulin-producing cells from human stem cells.
Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk acquires exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize potential products for treating diabetes, while Cellartis acquires exclusive rights to further develop and commercialize certain other products resulting from the collaboration.
The agreement is based on a longstanding research collaboration between Cellartis, Lund University professor Henrik Semb, and Hagedorn Research Institute, Novo Nordisk’s basic research center in Denmark.
To date, the collaboration has focused on understanding how the formation of insulin-producing cells during embryonic development can be mimicked by directing stem cells in culture.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.