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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

Steps for Quick Review

The US Food and Drug Administration is preparing for the quick review of drugs and vaccines for the Omicron variant, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Moving Away From Using Term 'Race'

A new analysis finds that geneticists are using the term "race" in their papers less than in years past, as Science reports.

Point of the Program

The Guardian writes that some scientists have called the design of a UK newborn sequencing program into question.

Science Papers Present Multi-Omic Analysis of Lung Cells, Regulation of Cardiomyocyte Proliferation

In Science this week: a multi-omic analysis of lung cells focuses on RIT1-regulated pathways, and more.