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Cell Signaling Technology, AstraZeneca, Definiens, Pfizer, Lentigen, ZGene, PerkinElmer, Luminex, SBS, Invitrogen, Quantum Dot, Serologicals


CST and AstraZeneca Expand Research Agreement

Cell Signaling Technology and AstraZeneca this week signed a second agreement expanding upon a pilot study for phosphoproteomic profiling, CST said recently.

Under the terms of the new agreement, AstraZeneca will use CST's PhosphoScan technology to identify phosphorylation profiles and prospective biomarkers of kinase-targeted lead compounds, CST said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Definiens to Provide Pfizer with Imaging Software

Definiens said this week that it will provide Pfizer with image-analysis software.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will globally implement Definiens' eCognition Enterprise Image Intelligence platform. Pfizer will gain access to all the features of the software along with maintenance, training, and consulting services from Definiens.

Lentigen Licenses ZGene Technology

Lentigen said this week that it has taken an exclusive license from ZGene to certain specified proprietary ZGene multisubstrate kinase genes for certain indications.

These genes will allow Lentigen to create lentiviral vectors with increased safety by providing the capability to eliminate genetically modified cells from the body, if required, the company said.

ZGene will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and stands to receive milestones based on development and commercialization goals, as well as royalties. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PerkinElmer to Use Luminex's xMAP Platform in IVD Development

Luminex will provide access to PerkinElmer to its xMAP technology and assay-development capabilities, PerkinElmer said this week.

Under the agreement, PerkinElmer will standardize its multiplex assay development on the xMAP platform. The company will use the technology in biomarker panels for pharmaceutical development and ADME/Tox, and to develop in vitro diagnostics in maternal, neonatal, and prenatal health.

SBS Announces Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting

The Society for Biomolecular Sciences this week announced its mid-Atlantic regional meeting will be held April 3-4 at the Tremont Plaza Hotel in Baltimore, Md.

The two-day meeting is aimed at biotechnologists and life science screeners within the academia, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries based primarily in the Baltimore-Washington, DC, area. The conference will feature session topics such as:

  • Life sciences in the chemical genomic era
  • Bridging industry and academia from the industry viewpoint
  • Target biology for rare disorders
  • Translation of academic drug discovery to the clinic

Those interested in the meeting can find more information at

Invitrogen to Develop 'Consumable' Instruments; Quantum Dot Assets Could Play Role

Invitrogen plans to develop instruments, acknowledging for the first time that it intends to expand beyond its consumables and services offerings, a company official said this week at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

As reported by BioCommerce Week, a CBA News sister publication, Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said the instruments would be based on the "unique abilities" of the firm's reagents. Specifically, he cited the technology the firm gained through its acquisition of Quantum Dot as a possible base for the development.

According to Lucier, the goal is to develop hardware that would be considered "consumable" and could be disposed of after a short period of use. This would disqualify capital equipment such as mass spec and liquid chromatography.

Lucier did not disclose what kind of instruments or the applications they would target. He also did not provide a timeline on when the firm expects to market such instrumentation.

Invitrogen has long eschewed the equipment market in favor of the more predictable sales that accompany reagents and other consumables. It has focused primarily on building its molecular diagnostics and protein offerings through several acquisitions over the past two years.

Serologicals Shutters Canadian Facility in Plant Consolidation Effort

As part of its ongoing consolidation effort, Serologicals closed a Canadian plant and will not open another facility as planned in 2006 in Lawrence, Kan., the company said recently.

A facility in Toronto will be closed and all cell culture product manufacturing will move to a facility in Kankakee, Ill., during the first half of 2006, the company said.

During the past six months, Serologicals has expanded the Kankakee facility's production capacity by more than 50 percent, making it unnecessary to open the facility in Lawrence.

Both the Toronto and Lawrence facilities will be prepared for sale and written down to net realizable value and will be included in the company's fourth-quarter 2005 results.

The Scan

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.

Clinical Genomic Lab Survey Looks at Workforce Needs

Investigators use a survey approach in Genetics in Medicine Open to assess technologist applications, retention, and workforce gaps at molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics labs in the US.

Study Considers Gene Regulatory Features Available by Sequence-Based Modeling

Investigators in Genome Biology set sequence-based models against observational and perturbation assay data, finding distal enhancer models lag behind promoter predictions.

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

Investigators in AJHG distinguish between aneuploidy events related to meiotic missegregation in haploid cells and those involving post-zygotic mitotic errors and mosaicism.