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Amphora Discovery, Society for Biomolecular Screening, and Yale University School of Medicine and Pfizer Global Research


Amphora Discovery Raises $20 Million in Series C Financing

Amphora Discovery, based in Research Triangle Park, NC, said last week that it has completed a $20 million Series C financing round.

The fundraising effort was led by the 3i Group. In addition, new investors Novartis Venture Fund and Aventis Capital participated in the round, along with existing investors Arch Venture Partners, MPM Capital, Venrock Associates, and Versant Ventures.

The money raised in this round will “allow Amphora to remain focused on advancing drug discovery programs for our partners as well as accelerating the preclinical development of our internal drug candidates,” Peter Savas, Amphora’s chairman of the board said in a statement.

Amphora has developed a platform for drug discovery that integrates its own compound purification, characterization, and quantification technology, microplate processing system, and Caliper Technologies’ microfluidics. Amphora offers drug firms target-based discovery and pathway profiling services based on the technology, and is also developing a pipeline of small-molecule therapeutics, which are currently in preclinical development.

Earlier this year, the company sold cell culture and other related technologies to Caliper Life Sciences in exchange for cash, Caliper products, and royalties based on future sales of the assays. The technology allows users of Caliper’s microfluidics screening platform to screen against cell lines that were previously not conducive to such an approach (see Inside Bioassays, 5/18/2004).

San Francisco to Host 2005 SBS Regional Meeting

The Society for Biomolecular Screening said last week that its 2005 regional meeting will be held April 21-22 at the San Mateo Marriott in San Francisco.

SBS said that the meeting is aimed at biotechnologists and life science screeners within academia, biotech, and pharma based primarily in the San Francisco area. Early scheduled sessions will cover topics such as “Drugs from the Genome,” “Exploiting Cell Pathways,” and “Improving Preclinical Validation.”

Online registration opens Jan. 1, 2005. For further information about the meeting, go to

Yale and Pfizer Launch Visiting Professorship Program

Yale University School of Medicine and Pfizer Global Research have launched a pilot program to enhance scientific interaction between the institutions, Yale said last week.

The program is also intended to provide Yale faculty with an improved understanding of the drug discovery process in order to counsel its students more effectively on career opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry, Yale said.

The Scan

Latent HIV Found in White Blood Cells of Individuals on Long-Term Treatments

Researchers in Nature Microbiology find HIV genetic material in monocyte white blood cells and in macrophages that differentiated from them in individuals on HIV-suppressive treatment.

Seagull Microbiome Altered by Microplastic Exposure

The overall diversity and the composition at gut microbiome sites appear to coincide with microplastic exposure and ingestion in two wild bird species, according to a new Nature Ecology and Evolution study.

Study Traces Bladder Cancer Risk Contributors in Organ Transplant Recipients

In eLife, genome and transcriptome sequencing reveal mutation signatures, recurrent somatic mutations, and risky virus sequences in bladder cancers occurring in transplant recipients.

Genes Linked to White-Tailed Jackrabbits' Winter Coat Color Change

Climate change, the researchers noted in Science, may lead to camouflage mismatch and increase predation of white-tailed jackrabbits.