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Assay Designs, Protedyne, Genedata, NIH Chemical Genomics Center, SRI, SciTegic


Assay Designs Raises $5M in Series A Financing

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Assay Designs said last week that it has recently received a $5 million Series A equity investment from Ampersand Ventures.

Ampersand was the sole investor in the financing round, which was the first in Assay Designs' history.

Assay Designs, founded in 1992, develops and manufactures immunoassay kits, luminescent reagents, antibodies, and proteins for the life sciences research market.

Protedyne Opens UK Office

Protedyne said last week that it has opened an office in Essex, UK, to house the company's European sales and support groups.

The facility will be overseen by Ashley Gould, Protedyne's regional manager for Europe.

Protedyne, headquartered in Windsor, Conn., provides automation products to the life sciences market.

Genedata Provides Screening Analysis Software to NIH Chemical Genomics Center

Genedata will integrate its software for analyzing screening data with existing IT infrastructure from the NIH Chemical Genomics Center, the company said last week.

NCGC, which is developing a compound library and will perform screening assays, chose Genedata's Screener "because the software has been developed and tested successfully in a high-throughput industrial setting," Christopher Austin, the center's director, said in a statement.

Genedata Screener enables users to compare high-throughput screening data across different assays and to analyze dose-response test in high throughput.

SRI to Conduct Drug Discovery with Schering-Plough

The Southern Research Institute has entered into a collaborative research program with Schering-Plough to discover novel compounds to treat infectious disease, SRI said last week.

Building on leads generated from SRI's proprietary compound repository, scientists from both organizations will conduct lead expansion and optimization programs, SRI said. SRI will share in intellectual property and receive milestone payments resulting from the work.

Further financial details were not disclosed.

SciTegic Acquisition Helps Boost Accelrys Q4 Revenues 70 Percent

Accelrys reported 70-percent revenue growth amid narrowed losses for the fourth quarter of its 2005 fiscal year last week.

Accelrys said that sales from SciTegic, which it acquired in September 2004, along with "strong growth" in sales of its core products, led to orders of $19.1 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2005, an 88-percent increase over $10.1 million in orders reported in the same period of 2004.

Reported revenue, which includes the impact of deferred revenue from the company's subscription accounting model, increased 70 percent to $18.9 million, from $11.1 million in the year-ago period.

Accelrys did not break out quarterly orders or revenue numbers for SciTegic.

In January, CBA News reported that Accelrys believes its acquisition of SciTegic provides it with several products that may be useful for data management in high-content image-based screening (see CBA News, 1/25/2005).

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.