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BD Biosciences, Scanalytics, NIH, Invitrogen


BD Biosciences, Scanalytics Partner on
Automated Image Analysis for HCS

BD Biosciences has entered into a "strategic partnership" with informatics firm Scanalytics to develop image analysis software for BD Bioscience's automated microscopy platforms, a company representative said last week at the Marcus Evans High-Content Screening conference.

According to Dietrich Ruehlmann, BD Biosciences' product manager for imaging and analysis, BD began the partnership with Scanalytics a few months ago with the goal of developing image analysis platforms for BD Biosciences' CARV II Confocal Imager and Pathway Bioimager for high-content drug screening.

Scanalytics, based in Fairfax, Va., markets scientific imaging software, including deconvolution and 3D restoration and gel analysis software.

A development timeline for the image analysis software was not provided.

NIH Awards $89M in 'Roadmap'
Grants to Nine Screening Centers

Making good on a key element of the Roadmap for Medical Research initiative that it launched in 2003, the National Institutes of Health said last week that it has awarded $88.9 million in grants to nine institutions to establish a network of small-molecule screening centers.

The three-year awards will support development of screening methods to identify small molecules that can be used as molecular "probes" to learn more about key biological processes involved in human health and disease, NIH said.

The National Institute of Mental Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute will co-administer the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network, and a project team made up of staff from NIH's 27 institutes and centers will oversee its operations.

Data generated at the screening centers will be deposited in the National Library of Medicine's PubChem database.

Last June, NHGRI established the network's first screening center, the NIH Chemical Genomics Center, to "jumpstart" the roadmap effort, NIH said.

The nine new institutions receiving grants as part of the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network are:

— Columbia University Medical Center, New York (James Rothman, principal investigator).

— Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. (Raymond Dingledine, principal investigator).

— Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Ala. (Gary Piazza, principal investigator).

— The Burnham Institute, La Jolla, Calif. (John Reed, principal investigator).

— The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif. (Hugh Rosen, principal investigator).

— University of New Mexico Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM (Larry Sklar).

— University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Penn. (Scott Diamond, principal investigator).

— University of Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Penn. (John Lazo, principal investigator).

— Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. (David Weaver, principal investigator).

Invitrogen Raises $325M in Sale of Convertible Notes

Invitrogen last week said that it has raised $325 million in a sale of convertible notes due 2025.

The company initially planned to offer $300 million of the 3.25-percent senior convertible notes. Purchasers had an option to purchase up to an additional $50 million to cover over-allotments.

On Wednesday, Invitrogen said the purchasers exercised the option to purchase an additional $25 million in notes. The total offering size remains $350 million.

The company reiterated that it will use some of the net proceeds to repay around $124 million borrowed in a revolving line of credit with Bank of America, and intends to use the balance for "potential acquisitions and for general corporate purposes, including the potential repayment or redemption of other outstanding debt."


The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.