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BioImagene, TissueInformatics and Icoria, Chip-Man Technologies and TCS CellWorks, Sigma-Aldrich, Oxford BioMedica and Open Biosystems, Cambrex and Cytori Therapeutics

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BioImagene Buys TissueInformatics from Icoria for Undisclosed Sum

BioImagene this week said it has acquired TissueInformatics from Clinical Data's Icoria business unit for an undisclosed amount.

TissueInformatics is a Pittsburgh-based tissue image-analysis company that develops and applies automated pathology software to enable the quantitative analyis of tissue changes in drug discovery, disease assessment, toxicology, and tissue engineering research.

BioImagene, based in Cupertino, Calif., said the acquisition will boost its presence on the East Coast; expand its footprint in the tox-path area market; and help meet a demand for integrated tissue image-analysis, image-management, and data-mining products.

BioImagene said it plans to "rapidly" integrate TissueInformatics' core technology into its platform and application suite.

TissueInformatics' management team will help plant BioImagene's presence on the East coast and will maintain its facilities in Pittsburgh, the company said.

Clinical Data acquired Icoria last year for around $12.5 million. In 2004 Icoria changed its name from Paradigm Genetics after its acquisition of TissueInformatics earlier that year enabled it to change the focus of its business from plant genomics to systems biology and healthcare.


Chip-Man's Cell-IQ Tech to Be Used With TCS CellWorks' AngioKit

Aiming to increase content and throughput in angiogenesis research, Chip-Man Technologies' Cell-IQ continuous cell culturing platform will now be used with TCS CellWorks' AngioKit model, the companies said this week.

Cell-IQ is a continuous cell-culturing platform that enables real-time analysis of morphological and physiological events in living cells, co-cultures, primary cells, and monolayer tissue models. Chip-Man claims the technology "learns to identify, follow, and measure morphological change in individual cells without traditional labels or dyes." (See CBA News, 5/19/2006).

TCS CellWorks' AngioKit, meantime, uses human cell lines to offer a cell-based system that quantitatively assesses pro- and anti-angiogenic agents, the company said. The kit is provided in 24-well plate format and is suitable for low-volume screening applications.

According to TCS CellWorks CEO Terry Cartwright, the alliance "raises our ability to track cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation within a complex co-culture model to a new level."

Financial details were not disclosed.


Sigma-Aldrich, Oxford BioMedica Sue Open Biosystems for Patent Infringement

Sigma-Aldrich and Oxford BioMedica have sued Open Biosystems for allegedly infringing two patents that cover lentiviral-based systems for the delivery of foreign DNA into mammalian cells.

The complaint, filed in US District Court Eastern District of Missouri, alleges that Open Biosystems is infringing US Patent Nos. 6,924,123 and 7,056,699.

Oxford BioMedica received the rights to the '123 patent in August 2005. It received the rights to the '699 patent last week, according to the US Patent and Trade Organization's database. Both patents are entitled "Lentiviral LTR Deleted Vector" and Oxford BioMedica exclusively licensed them to Sigma-Aldrich for research use in October 2005, the companies said.

Their suit claims that Open Biosystems' Lentiviral shRNAmir Library is being sold for "incorporation into viral particles that infringe one or more claims of the patents."

Shaf Yousaf, president of Sigma-Aldrich's research biotechnology business unit, said in a statement that the company has made "significant investments in creating the most comprehensive portfolio of intellectual property to allow [its] customers freedom to operate in the cutting-edge arena of RNA Interference" and its "actions will be to defend [its] investments and the valuable intellectual property."

In response, Open Biosystems this week framed the dispute in David vs. Goliath terms and said it plans to defend these claims and reaffirmes its dedication to The RNAi Consortium lentiviral libraries at the heart of the suit.

"These large, publicly traded companies have targeted a privately held and socially responsible company with these accusations," Open Biosystems Chief Technology Officer Troy Moore said in a statement. "The claims of patent infringement in the lawsuit are unfounded, and we intend to vigorously defend against them.

"We conduct our business on the highest plane and in a way that results in genomic materials being made available to the research community," Moore added. "It is our belief that there is a greater value in making technologies broadly available both to the holder of the intellectual property and to the research community."

In its statement, Open Biosystems said it that the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard developed the TRC lentiviral libraries and the company "continues to operate under license" from them. Open added that Sigma-Aldrich also distributes these libraries.

"It is never our policy to infringe upon intellectual property," Open Biosystems CEO Brian Pollock said in the statement. "Open Biosystems was founded upon an open source business model that supports basic and medical research by making the newest and best life sciences tools readily available to scientists in academia, government and industry.

"This business model is disrupting the strategy of large corporate gate-keepers that are determined to control, not advance, research efforts," he said, apparently referring to Sigma-Aldrich and Oxford Biomedica.


Cambrex and Cytori Therapeutics to Co-Market Adipose-Derived Stem Cells for Research

Cambrex Bio Science Walkersville, a subsidiary of Cambrex, and Cytori Therapeutics this week said that they have entered into an agreement to co-market adipose-derived stem cell products globally for use in basic and translational research.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cambrex Walkersville will manufacture and market products to the research community under an exclusive co-license from Cytori. In return, Cytori will receive royalties on all cells, media, and related future research products based upon the technology.

"Adipose tissue is now a validated source of regenerative cells," Shawn Cavanagh, senior vice president and general manger of Cambrex's bioproducts business, said in a statement. "The scientific potential of this population has only begun to be mined, yet already shows promise in clinical case studies. We look forward to offering the products to researchers that are conducting basic and pre-clinical research related to these cells."

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.