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Caliper, Amphora, CompuCyte, Asterand, Fujitsu BioSciences, Serologicals, GE Healthcare, MultiCell, CytoTherapies

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Caliper Inks Two-Year Purchase Agreement with Amphora

Caliper Life Sciences said last week that it has entered into a two-year purchase agreement with Amphora Discovery.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amphora will purchase a minimum total dollar amount per year of Caliper's LabChip products. Caliper said that the minimum total dollar amount was a multi-million dollar figure.

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.

Last year, Amphora sold cell culture and other related technologies to Caliper 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 CBA News, 5/18/2004).


CompuCyte and Asterand to Offer Human Tissue Analysis

CompuCyte and Asterand have signed an agreement that allows Asterand to include cytometric analysis of tissues and tissue microarrays as part of its molecular pathology services, the companies said.

Asterand will use CompuCyte's iGeneration Imaging Cytometer as part of its tissue analysis offering, which will be a part of Asterand's molecular pathology contract research service.

"We have many customers who are looking to quantify differences in protein or RNA expression between diseased and normal tissue sections," Victoria Blanc, Asterand's director of research said in a statement. "What is unique about the CompuCyte system is that it allows simultaneous quantitative analysis of both fluorescence and chromagenic labels."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

CompuCyte, based in Cambridge, Mass., also has products for high-content screening, the iCyte and iCys imaging cytometers.


Fujitsu BioSciences Moved to Fujitsu Computer Systems in California

Fujitsu has moved its BioSciences Group from Fujitsu America to Fujitsu Computer Systems, which is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., the company said last week.

Fujitsu BioSciences will remain in Westwood, Mass., according to a Fujitsu Computer Systems spokesperson. No layoffs are associated with the move, she added.

The move "will result in even stronger responsiveness and service for our customers in North America who will benefit from improved integration of support and logistics," Takahiro Tsunekawa, vice president of the BioIT Solutions Group, said in the statement.

Fujitsu's BioSciences Group makes hardware and software related to leads, targets, and molecular interactions for the drug-discovery market. Fujitsu Computer Systems is concerned with the design, development, and delivery of computer systems and managed services.


Serologicals' Upstate Group to Hold Second Annual Cell Signaling Symposium

Serologicals said last week that its subsidiary Upstate Group is sponsoring the second annual Cell Signaling Symposium June 12-15 at the Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee, UK.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee. The symposium, entitled "Implications of the LKB1 and AMPK Systems," is open to all scientists with an interest in cell signaling, drug discovery, and disease, Serologicals said.

The keynote lecture on cell polarity will be given by Tony Pawson from the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

To find out more about the symposium or to register, go to www.upstate.com/symposia/2005.


GE Healthcare Revenues Up 33 Percent for Q1 '05

GE Healthcare had total revenues of $3.3 billion for the first quarter of 2005, up 33 percent over $2.5 billion for the same quarter a year ago — before its acquisition of Amersham — the company reported today.

GE Healthcare contributed 8 percent of GE's total revenues of $39 billion for the quarter ending March 31, up 19 percent over last year's $33.3 billion.

The healthcare unit — the business segment headquartered in the UK and created to combine GE's legacy medical systems unit with the $10 billion Amersham acquisition of last April — had earnings of $409 million for the quarter, up 21 percent over $340 million in the year-ago period.

Total orders for the healthcare unit grew by 45 percent over the first quarter of 2004 to $3.5 billion. The company said that this growth was driven by 10-percent growth in services, to $1.3 billion; 19-percent growth in equipment, to $1.5 billion; and $700 million in revenues from the biosciences business unit.


MultiCell Leases New Headquarters from CytoTherapies

MultiCell Technologies on April 15 will be relocating its headquarters and laboratory from its current location in Warwick, RI, to a larger facility 23 miles away in Lincon.

The drug-discovery firm has signed a three-year lease for the offices that once housed StemCell, now CytoTherapies, which recently relocated to California.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.