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CeMines, Fisher Scientific and Apogent Technologies, Kalypsys, Health Discovery Corporation, and Metabolon and Massachusetts General Hospital

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CeMines Establishes New Division for Sell Drug Discovery and Research Tools

Biotech company CeMines, of Evergreen, Colo., said last week that it has created a biosystems division that will focus on offering products and services to the research and drug discovery market.

“We have the existing infrastructure necessary to enable CeMines to immediately accelerate the growth of sales from our existing product line of research tools, including antibodies, cDNA, and mRNA, and at the same time commence with our market introduction of a new family of products targeted at establishing CeMines as a premier brand in drug discovery and other markets,” Roger Attick, president and CEO of CeMines said in an official statement.

Founded in 2000, the company has primarily uses gene regulation technology to help develop diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer. In June, the company expanded its diagnostics and therapeutics division and moved it to a new facility in La Jolla, Calif.

The new 9,000 square-foot La Jolla facility will enable the company to “build automated analysis systems for high-throughput and high-content screening,” and to commercialize products, Attick said in June.

CeMines is attempting to commercialize its patent-pending Molecular FingerPrinting technology to aid in developing early-stage diagnostics and targeted therapeutics, the company said.


Fisher Completes Merger with Apogent

Fisher Scientific has completed its merger with Apogent Technologies in a deal valued at approximately $4 billion, Fisher said last week.

According to an official statement, the merger provides Fisher with a $1.1 billion footprint in the life-science market.

In a tax-free, stock-for-stock exchange, Apogent shareholders received 0.56 shares of Fisher common stock for each share of Apogent stock they owned. Based on Fisher’s closing price of $58.20 on July 30, the transaction was valued at $32.59 per Apogent share.


Kalypsys Raises $29M In Series B Financing

Privately-owned drug discovery company Kalypsys has completed a $29 million series B private equity financing round, the company said last week.

The financing was led by the Invemed Catalyst Fund, and included, among others, Sprout Group, Tavistock Life Sciences, Novartis BioVenture Fund, CMEA Ventures, Aravis Ventures, 5AM Ventures, Invemed Associates, and KT Venture Group.

Kalypsys was founded in 2001 as a spin-out of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. The company owns a proprietary suite of ultra-high throughput screening, chemical, biological, and informatics technologies that it uses for internal drug discovery purposes, and offers to other drug discovery operations. In June, the San Diego-based company inked a $30 million deal with the NIH to provide the agency’s small-molecule screening program with its suite of screening tools. (See Inside Bioassays, 7/13/2004 for more).


Health Discovery Acquires Diagnostic And Drug Discovery Patent Portfolio

Health Discovery Corporation last week announced that it has acquired the rights to a portfolio of 71 patents and pending patent applications relating to the use of Support Vector Machine technology for diagnostic and drug discovery.

According to an official statement from the company, the Support Vector Machine has been used for cancer gene selection, breast cancer diagnosis, leukemia classification, genomic analysis, proteomic research, and drug discovery.

Last week, Robert Braswell, a spokesperson for the company, told Inside Bioassays that the platform would be applicable to high-content cell-based screening, as well, though the company did not have a specific timeline for such an application.


Metabolon to Collaborate with Mass General on ALS Biomarker Study

Metabolon is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital on an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis biomarker study, the company said this week.

Terms of the deal call for researchers from Metabolon and Mass General to look for unique metabolic signatures for ALS as a means of developing a diagnostic test using biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid and blood, the company said.

The study, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is called Metabolic Signatures in ALS.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.