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Chemicon, RheoGene, Remedi, Nikon, Lentigen, Galapagos, Idenix, Metabolon


Serologicals' Chemicon Arm Licenses RheoGene's RheoSwitch System

Serologicals subsidiary Chemicon International signed a semi-exclusive license to use RheoGene's RheoSwitch System for its stem cell biology products, Serologicals said last week.

Under this agreement, Chemicon can access the RheoSwitch technology to regulate the timing and level of gene expression in all types of eukaryotic cells. RheoGene will provide proprietary ecdysone-based receptors and molecule ligands for the system. Chemicon will apply the technology to generic cloning and expression reagents and to genes involved in cell differentiation.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

UK-Based Research Consortium to Use TAP Cell Culture System

The Automation Partnership last week said that UK-based Remedi research consortium has purchased a TAP automated cell culture system for use in the first major European study on automating the manufacture of regenerative medicine products.

The automated cell culture system, called the CompacT SelecT, will be installed at Loughborough University, a Remedi research site, and will be used to automate manual cell culture in standard T-175 flasks, TAP said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nikon Opens Imaging Center for Life Science Research

Nikon Instruments has opened an imaging center for life science research in collaboration with the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research and the University of California at San Francisco, Nikon said last week.

The new imaging center is endowed by Melville, NY-based Nikon and its dealer, Technical Instruments. The center will be housed in the UCSF Mission Bay Campus Center for Advanced Technology in Genentech Hall. The facility will feature specialty Nikon microscopes, including three laser-based confocals, a total internal reflection fluorescence scope, and high-content screening instrumentation, Nikon said.

Nikon also has imaging stations at Harvard University, the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and Hokkaido University in Japan.

Lentigen Closes Undisclosed Seed, Series A Financing Round

Lentigen has secured its seed and series A financing from Greenwich Biotech Ventures, the company said last week.

The company said the undisclosed funding will allow it to begin developing lentiviral vectors, which are vehicles that can deliver genes or RNAi into cells. The funding will also add to the company's commercial scale manufacturing capabilities, and increase its infrastructure.

Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

Galapagos, Idenix Pen Hepatitis and HIV Drug-Discovery Pact

Galapagos NV and Idenix Pharmaceuticals will collaborate on hepatitis and HIV infectious disease programs, Galapagos said recently.

Under the agreement, which is worth up to $2.5 million over two years, BioFocus, Galapagos' service division, will supply Idenix with its SoftFocus chemical compound collections. BioFocus will provide hit-to-lead and lead-optimization services.

Galapagos will receive technology access fees for SoftFocus, fee components for medicinal chemistry services, and success payments after identifying pre-clinical candidates. The amounts were not specified.

Metabolon Becomes Member of NCI's Early Detection Research Network

The National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network has selected Metabolon as a member, the company said last week.

As a member, Metabolon will share its technology and metabolomics expertise with Arul Chinnaiyan of the University of Michigan to discover disease biomarkers for prostate cancer, the company said. The collaboration is funded by an NCI grant as part of the Chair's Challenge program.

The network was established by NCI in early 2000 and aims to identify and validate cancer biomarkers for early cancer detection.


The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

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.