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Biolog, National Science Foundation, Euroscreen and Cephalon, and Sertanty and Specs


Biolog Recently Wins $2M in NIH Grants; Firm to Further Develop Phenotype Microrrary

Biolog has pocked approximately $2 million through four recent grants from the US National Institutes of Health, according to the NIH.

The company is developing living mammalian cell arrays for drug-discovery and -development applications. The four new grants, which the NIH said are effective as of Dec. 26, include:

• $920,940 for the detection of bioterrorism agents with [the company’s phenotype microarray] technology;

• $650,000 to develop the phenotype array for drug toxicity screening;

• $276,981 to develop the array for analysis of “fastidious pathogens;” and

• $123,238 to phenotype all the genes of S. cerevisae.

NSF Earmarks $2.5M for Biological Instrumentation Development in 2005

The National Science Foundation has set aside $2.5 million in 2005 funding to support approximately 15 projects to develop new instrumentation for biological research.

According to a program solicitation issued last month, the Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) program “supports the development of novel or of substantially improved instrumentation likely to have a significant impact on the study of biological systems at any level.”

Instrumentation under the program includes analytical instruments, microscopes, sensors, and “related devices for detection or measurement of biological molecules, structures, or phenomena at any level, from that of individual molecules to that of whole ecosystems.” Eligible projects should aim at providing instruments with new or enhanced performance, NSF said.

Software “for the operation of instruments, analysis of data, or the analysis of images” will also be supported, according to the NSF, “where these have the effect of improving instrument performance.”

Full proposals are due Oct. 5, 2005.

Euroscreen Pens GPCR Screeening Deal with Cephalon

Euroscreen said recently that it has forged a deal with Cephalon to discover and develop small molecule therapeutics targeting G-protein coupled receptors.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will apply Euroscreen’s AequoScreen proprietary functional assay technology to generate novel small molecule leads across a broad range of GPCR targets.

Euroscreen will receive upfront and R&D payments with the potential for additional payments for successful programs. Euroscreen retains the right to aspects of the program that are not pursued by Cephalon in this collaboration, the companies said.

Sertanty and Specs Collaborate on Small Molecules Targeting Kinases

Sertanty and Specs announced last month that they have signed a collaboration and service agreement to design and produce small molecule libraries targeting several kinase families.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sertanty will apply its Kinase KnowledgeBase and predictive eScreen technology to design targeted libraries that Specs will offer to its worldwide customer base of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, the firms said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.