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Dublin City University, Sigma-Aldrich, Scripps, Pfizer, Visen, Eli Lilly, Innovatis, Schärfe System

Dublin City University Joins Sigma-Aldrich's RNAi Program
Sigma-Aldrich this week said Dublin City University will become a member of the company’s RNAi Partnership Program, which will allow the university to use Sigma’s functional genomics portfolio and the shRNA libraries developed by Sigma and The RNAi Consortium.
Ronan Murphy, a researcher at the Vascular Health Research Center at Dublin City University, said the center will use the consortium's shRNA information and Sigma’s tools to continue its work studying the link between integrin receptor regulation in cells and vascular disease.

Murphy described the center’s work as being highly relevant to other research in areas such as immunology, hematology, cancer, and neurobiology. He added that using the shRNA library will “greatly accelerate our ability to prioritize genes that are functionally relevant” to its research.    

Sigma said the team at the VHRC has already begun using the company’s technology and the consortium's libraries.

The Partnership Program is a series of collaborations between Sigma and academic institutions to use, share, and to develop RNAi technologies and intellectual property, and to study the relationship between gene functioning and disease.

The RNAi Consortium comprises a group of representatives of companies and academic institutions including MIT, Harvard Medical School, Washington University, Novartis, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and Sigma-Aldrich, among others.


Scripps and Pfizer Enter Five-Year, $100M Drug-Discovery Pact
The Scripps Research Institute this week said that it has entered into a five-year drug-discovery collaboration with Pfizer Global Research and Development.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will pay Scripps $100 million over a five year period, during which scientists from both entities will work together to “identify and perform specific projects of mutual interest,” Scripps said in a statement.
Scripps and Pfizer will jointly study and evaluate therapeutic approaches to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and mental illness; and will develop new tests to validate these new therapies for potential development and regulatory approval.
Pfizer will pay Scripps milestones and royalties on therapeutic compounds created through the collaboration. In addition, Pfizer will have the first right to license discoveries made at Scripps during the research agreement.

Visen and Eli Lilly Collaborate on In Vivo Fluorescence Imaging
Visen Medical this week said that it has entered into a joint research program with Eli Lilly to expand the capabilities and accelerate the adoption of Visen’s in vivo fluorescence technologies in Lilly’s research programs.
Lilly has been working with Visen’s portfolio of in vivo fluorescence probes and fluorescence molecular tomography imaging systems as part of its new molecular imaging center and preclinical development programs, Visen said.
Financial terms were not disclosed.

German Firms Innovatis and Schärfe System Announce Merger
German biotechs Innovatis and Schärfe System this week announced that they have merged to jointly offer products for cell analysis, cell counting, and cell culture control.
Innovatis’ current investor, Ventizz Capital Advisor Partners, has increased its investment in the company to support the merger, Innovatis said.
Innovatis sells Cedex, a technology based on image recognition using Trypan blue to determine cell viability in cell counting and culture monitoring.
Schärfe System sells products for cell culture quality control under the brand name Casy. These products include electronic cell counters and size determiners; and cell analyzer with integrated work stations for complete cell culture control and documentation, Innovatis said.
Financial details were not disclosed.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.