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Evotec Technologies, Applied BioPhysics and Agave Biosystems, Alpha Innotech and GE Healthcare, and MDS Sciex


Evotec Technologies Lands Customer in Singapore for Cell Analysis Tech

Evotec Technologies last week said that it has installed an Insight Cell bench-top analyzer at the Biopolis complex in Singapore.

The sale marks Evotec's first Insight Cell installation in the Asia-Pacific region, Evotec said.

Insight Cell is a 3D enhancement of Evotec Technologies' Insight confocal research reader.

Biopolis is a complex of seven buildings completed in April 2004 that houses several government agencies, publicly funded research institutes, and R&D labs of pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Applied BioPhysics, Agave Biosystems to Co-Develop Instrumentation

Applied BioPhysics of Troy, NY, and Agave Biosystems of Ithaca, NY, have signed an agreement to develop a system for detection of airborne chemical and biological agents, the companies said last week.

The system will use Applied BioPhysics' Electric Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) technology in combination with respiratory endothelial cells as a "broad and highly sensitive detector with air samplers and microfluidic technology for continuous monitoring of the environment," the companies said in a statement.

The development of the system is under contract by the US Army Center for Environmental Health Research, and is being developed to combat biowarfare and bioterrorism agents, as well as for monitoring toxic environmental pollutants.

Applied BioPhysics is also attempting to market its ECIS technology to pharmaceutical companies for the purpose of drug screening (see CBA News, 8/15/2005).

Alpha Innotech to Develop, Manufacture Imaging Systems for GE Healthcare

Alpha Innotech has entered into an agreement with GE Healthcare under which Alpha Innotech will "develop, manufacture, and supply a full line of proprietary imaging systems" to GE Healthcare, Alpha Innotech said last week in a statement.

The products will be sold exclusively worldwide under the GE brand in the life science research market.

"Alpha Innotech's digital imaging systems are a good fit with GE Healthcare's DNA and protein electrophoresis products," Sia Ghazvini, Alpha Innotech's vice president for business development said in a statement.

It is unclear exactly what type of imaging systems Alpha Innotech will be manufacturing for GE. CBA News was unable to contact representatives from either company by press time.

Last year, Alpha Innotech introduced its NovaRay scanner for high-content cellular analysis. It was adapted from the company's existing detection instrument for reading microarrays and gels (see CBA News, 9/21/2004).

MDS Sciex Could Benefit from Parent's Restructuring

MDS Sciex could benefit from its parent company's plans to restructure and focus resources and management on life sciences markets.

MDS said last week it will restructure its business in order to refocus resources on markets served by its MDS Pharma Services, MDS Nordion, and MDS Sciex units.

MDS further plans to reduce its overhead costs and "better align resources and infrastructure costs," according to the company. As part of its restructuring, the company will reduce its workforce by approximately 500 of its 9,000 employees, resulting in savings of $40 million-$45 million in 2006.

"A review of company assets which are not part of MDS's core focus is underway and focused on maximization of shareholder value," said MDS President and CEO Stephen DeFalco in a statement.

It was not immediately clear how the restructuring will specifically affect MDS Sciex, which makes mass spectrometers for drug discovery and life sciences, and has joint ventures with both Applied Biosystems and PerkinElmer. MDS Sciex is also planning to introduce an instrument for cellular analysis based on electrical impedance measurements (see CBA News, 8/15/2005).


The Scan

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.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.