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Cellomics and AnXing, Scimagix, Norak Biosciences and Roche, Cisbio International and Euroscreen, Ventana Medical Systems and Quantum Dot, Serologicals and Upstate Group, and TransTech Pharma and Merck

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Cellomics Signs Deal with AnXing to Distribute HCS in China

Cellomics said last week that AnXing will be the company’s distribution partner in China.

Under the terms of the agreement, AnXing will provide sales, marketing, service, and customer support for Cellomics products, including the ArrayScan and KineticScan HCS readers, BioApplications image analysis software, a suite of HCi software, and a portfolio of HitKit HCS reagent kits.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement comes on the heels of Cellomics’ first deal for HCS in China, with the country’s National Center for Drug Screening in Shanghai. (See Inside Bioassays, 9/7/2004).

AnXing, which is also known as the Shanghai AnXing Scientific Instruments and Materials Import and Export Co., was established under the auspices of the Shanghai Foreign Trade and Economics Committee. The company is also a commissioner of the Shanghai Association of Biopharmaceutical Industry and a member of the Shanghai Association of Foreign Trade.


Scimagix Installs HCS Application at Two Major Pharmas

Scimagix announced earlier this week that its CellMine HCS application agnostic for storing and mining cell-based assay data has been installed at two major, unidentified pharmaceutical companies using GE Healthcare’s IN Cell 3000 high-content plate reader.

Scimagix, based in San Mateo, Calif., said that it is currently working to interface the software with GE Healthcare’s IN Cell 1000 for another of its customers. The deal follows earlier integration of the CellMine software with Molecular Devices’ Discovery-1 HCS instrument.

The CellMine application is an instrument- and application-agnostic HCS data repository that was developed on top of the company’s SIMS (Scientific Image Management System) platform, an Oracle/Web-based database for searching, mining, and analyzing image-based high-content screening data. CellMine HCS features workflow automation; fast image transfer, storage, and retrieval; data and application integration capabilities; support for disparate and evolving workflows; data navigation, mining, and visualization; and a multi-tiered Internet-based architecture, Scimagix said.


Norak Biosciences and Roche Extend Agreement for GPCR Screening

Norak Biosciences said last week that Roche has exercised a second-year option to screen more of its GPCR targets of interest using Norak’s Transfluor assay technology.

The option extends an agreement originally signed between the companies on Sept. 30, 2002. Under the terms of the new agreement, Norak will provide its Transfluor cell lines expressing GPCR targets of interest to Roche for use in a primary screen of its compound libraries, Norak said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In August, Norak was issued a new US patent for a broad array of assays based on the Transfluor technology and used to screen drugs against GPCRs. (See Inside Bioassays, 8/10/2004).


Cisbio Collaborates With Euroscreen on HTRF-based Recombinant Cell Line Validation

Cisbio International said last week that it has initiated a partnership with Euroscreen, which will use Cisbio’s newly introduced HTRF-based cAMP assay to validate its recombinant cell lines and membranes expressing Gi- and Gs-coupled receptors. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Euroscreen will use the cAMP assay for testing its libraries for the presence of ligands that activate known and orphan GPCRs, Cisbio said.

Cisbio’s assays are based on homogenous time-resolved fluorescence, a patented technique based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer, in which one fluorescence molecule is excited by a light source, and then transfers its energy to another fluorescence molecule that is extremely close to it. When the fluorophores are attached to cellular proteins, researchers can determine if those proteins are interacting by assessing the fluorescence ratio of the fluorophores. The assays can in some cases be performed in live, intact cells, but are typically performed on whole-cell lysate, Cisbio said.


Ventana, Quantum Dot pen deal for Diagnostic, Drug-Discovery Applications

Ventana Medical Systems and Quantum Dot said last week that they had entered into comprehensive licensing and supply agreements relating to Quantum Dot’s Qdot nanocrystal technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ventana will market QDC’s nanocrystals for in vitro diagnostic applications in anatomic pathology and cytology. Ventana also will incorporate the nanocrystals in its research and pharmaceutical discovery platforms, the companies said.

Using the nanocrystals, Ventana will develop rapid, quantitative, and multiplexed assays for cancer diagnosis and disease management, the companies said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Serologicals to Acquire Upstate for $205 Million

Serologicals has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Upstate Group for a combination of cash and stock worth $205 million.

Atlanta-based Serologicals said that it will issue up to 5 million shares its common stock, and the balance of the price will be paid in cash. Serologicals shares trade on the Nasdaq exchange.

Privately held Upstate employs 260 people worldwide and recorded $44.4 million in revenues in 2003. The firm is based in Charlottesville, Va., and has manufacturing facilities in Lake Placid, NY, and Dundee, Scotland.

Upstate sells cell signaling research reagents to academic, biotech and pharmaceutical investigators. Serologicals expects the deal will provide the company with a significant presence in the preclinical drug screening and target validation market, with a focus on kinase screening and protein interaction. The firm also said that it expects the Upstate and Chemicon subsidiaries would launch approximately 1,500 new research products per year.

Serologicals, which anticipates closing the acquisition in the fourth quarter, said the deal will add roughly $80 million to its revenues and between $.03 and $.05 to its diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2005. The acquisition was approved by Serologicals’ board of directors and by holders of approximately 90 percent of the shares of voting stock of Upstate.


TransTech Pharma and Merck Forge $26 Million Drug Discovery Agreement

TransTech Pharma and Merck announced last week the signing of a research collaboration to discover and develop novel small molecules for an undisclosed therapeutic target of interest to Merck.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck has the exclusive right to develop and commercialize all compound directed at the target. TransTech’s potential windfall from the collaboration is estimated at $26 million. The agreement includes milestone payments for discovering and developing additional small molecules and lower priority indications. TransTech will also receive royalties on any product sales stemming from the collaboration.

TransTech will utilize its Translational Technology drug discovery process, which includes proprietary software modules, it said. The technology is highly automated and has been used for analyzing protein-protein interactions, receptor modulators, and enzyme inhibitors, TransTech said.

 

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more