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Evotec, BioFocus, Galapagos, Guava Technologies

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Evotec Opens First Drug Discovery Center
 
Evotec this week announced the launch of its Innovation Center for Fragment Based Drug Discovery. Over the next two years, Evotec plans to create a number of Innovation Centers in areas that will provide tools to help researchers identify new therapeutic compounds.
 
Evotec has implemented a fragment screening platform, EVOlution, which can identify low molecular weight fragments in a biologically relevant environment. The initial step is carried out using Evotec's screening technologies and its library of 20,000 fragments designed and selected by its medicinal chemists.
 
Combining this screening process with subsequent protein-ligand X-ray crystallography, the EVOlution platform can identify novel small molecule fragment hits for various biological targets in a short period. Evotec can then rapidly progress the fragment programs to identify novel lead structures and preclinical development candidates.
 

 
BioFocus Extends Deal With CRT, Inks New Deal With URMC
 
Galapagos announced this week that its BioFocus DPI service division has signed agreements with Cancer Research Technology and the University of Rochester Medical Center. 
 
BioFocus DPI and CRT have extended their cancer drug discovery collaboration, initially announced in January 2006. Under the terms of the extension, BioFocus DPI will perform medicinal chemistry services for a series of CRT cancer drug programs. In return, CRT will fund the research of four BioFocus DPI scientists for one year.
 
The BioFocus DPI deal with URMC will focus on neuroAIDS drug discovery research. URMC has selected BioFocus DPI to develop assays and perform screening, hit characterization, and hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry work. The planned three year collaboration has a contract value exceeding €500,000 ($672,644.72) for BioFocus DPI in the first year. 
 

 
Guava Opens EMEA Office in Europe
 
Guava Technologies announced this week that it has established an office in Stamford, UK to help it build relationships with EMEA customers.
 
Todd Christian, Guava’s vice president of operations, said in a statement that the UK office will serve as Guava’s EMEA headquarters and will be run by Paul Wheeler, Guava’s director of EMEA operations.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

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.