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ChanTest, Ampersand Ventures, Cellexus, Summit Corporation, BioFocus DPI, AstraZeneca, Applera, ABI, Celera

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ChanTest Gets Equity Funds from Ampersand Ventures
 
ChanTest, a laboratory testing services company based in Cleveland, Ohio, announced this week that it has completed a private equity financing round with Wellesley, Mass.-based Ampersand Ventures.
 
This financing will enable ChanTest to pursue strategic investments that expand the company's offerings through its continued development of a library of ion channel-expressing cell lines.
 
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
 

 
Cellexus Announces September Open House and Product Launch
 
Cellexus Biosystems this week announced that it will be holding an open house for current and potential investors, as well as industry professionals, on September 20th at its Huntingdon offices in Cambridgeshire, UK.
 
During the event, Cellexus Biosystems will unveil two new products, the CellMaker Lite2 Hybrid and its new flagship product, the CellMaker PLUS. These are expected to be launched at the end of September 2007. 
 
Both new products have been developed around Cellexus’ core technology for which two patent applications have now been filed.
 

 
Summit Announces First Successful Z-fish Data Submission to MHPRA  
 
Summit Corporation this week announced that, for the first time, data generated by its zebrafish technology platform about the safety and toxicity of potential drug candidates has formed part of a successful submission to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
 
This submission has permitted Summit’s client, an unnamed UK biotechnology company, to advance its candidate into Phase I human clinical trials.
 

 
BioFocus DPI and AstraZeneca Embark On Third Partnership
 
Galapagos this week announced that its service division, BioFocus DPI, has entered into a new drug-discovery collaboration with AstraZeneca.
 
The collaboration involves BioFocus DPI performing medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, and supporting biology, as well as ADMETox services for AstraZeneca’s infection discovery program based in Boston, Mass.
 
Total contract value for Galapagos will be €680,000 ($939,000). 
 
This announcement marks the third collaboration between AstraZeneca and BioFocus DPI. While the earlier collaborations focused on AstraZeneca’s European-based R&D, the latest agreement expands BioFocus DPI’s drug-discovery services to AstraZeneca’s US-based R&D.
 

 
Applera Mulls Spinning Out ABI and Celera into Independent Firms
 
Applera said this week that it has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to advise the company as it considers restructuring its Applied Biosystems and Celera groups, which are currently traded as tracking stocks under the parent firm.
 
Applera said it will explore alternatives to its current structure, and will look into “creating two independent publicly traded companies in place of the two tracking stocks.”
 
ABI markets instruments, consumables, software, and services for the research and applied markets.
 
Applera’s board of directors also has nearly doubled its share repurchase authorization for ABI’s stock to $1.2 billion, which represents around 20 percent of the company’s outstanding common stock.
 
Through that repurchase, Applera expects to buy $600 million shares either through a tender offer or an accelerated share repurchase, the company said.
 
The balance of that deal will come “from open market purchases or privately negotiated transactions” over the next year to year and a half, the company said.

The Scan

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According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.