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Hydra Biosciences and Evotec OAI, Cell Signaling Technology and Aventis, HTG and Takeda Pharmaceutical, Sigma-Aldrich and IUBMB, and Galapagos Genomics


Hydra Biosciences and Evotec OAI Ink Screening Deal

Hydra Biosciences said last week that had signed an agreement with Evotec OAI for ion channel-related drug discovery.

Under the terms of the agreement, Evotec will provide Hydra with screening services to identify novel active compounds against a proprietary ion channel target being developed by Hydra, the companies said. Evotec said it will produce reagents, develop assays, and screen compounds using its high-throughput screening instrumentation platforms, and will further characterize hits generate by the campaign. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Hydra Biosciences, based in Cambridge, Mass., said that its ion channel program is one of the company’s two drug discovery and development initiatives. The company is also developing protein and small molecules to replace damaged tissue by reprogramming mature cells to develop new, healthy tissue, Hydra said.

Cell Signaling Technology to Conduct Biomarker Study for Aventis

Cell Signaling Technology said last week that it had signed a deal with Aventis to conduct a pilot study in which CST will identify phosphorylation sites and prospective biomarkers of protein tyrosine kinase targets for Aventis.

Under the terms of the agreement, CST, based in Beverly, Mass., will use its PhosphoScan technology to identify the biomarkers, which may enable target validation and profiling assays to monitor kinase-targeted therapeutic pharmacodynamics and efficacy, CST said.

PhosphoScan, according to the company, is a patent-pending phospho-proteomics technology that combines immunoaffinity purification and mass spectroscopy to determine cellular PTK phosphorylation profiles.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HTG to Analyze Gene Expression for Takeda Pharmaceutical

HTG will provide gene expression analysis services to Takeda Pharmaceutical of Japan, HTG said last week.

Under the agreement, Tucson, Ariz.-based HTG will use its ArrayPlate technology to analyze samples provided by Takeda, which is based in Osaka.

HTG’s ArrayPlate contains HTG’s patented Universal Array in each well of a 96-well microplate. The arrays can be programmed using HTG’s reagents for the simultaneous measurement of DNA and RNA from the same sample. The assays rely on a quantitative nuclease protection assay, which the company said only requires sample lysis and eliminates all sample extraction, purification, and amplification.

Sigma-Aldrich and IUBMB to Produce Metabolic Pathways Charts

Sigma-Aldrich and the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will co-produce and publish metabolic pathways charts, Sigma-Aldrich said last week.

The metabolic pathways charts were developed over a 15-year collaboration between the company and scientist Donald Nicholson, who donated the copyright of his work to IUBMB in 1997.

Under the current agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will retain an exclusive, worldwide license to produce, distribute, and sell the pathways charts in both printed and electronic form.

Sigma-Aldrich also said that it has enhanced the tool by placing it on the company’s Enzyme Explorer web site and adding more than 500 hyperlinks to its product listings.

Galapagos Genomics Splits Business into Drug Discovery, Service Units

Galapagos Genomics has split its business into a drug discovery and a research service unit, the Mechelen, Belgium-based firm said last week.

The service unit will operate under the name Galadeno from the company’s facility in Leiden. It will offer both individual adenovirus-based siRNA and full-length gene reagents for drug target discovery and validation. Galadeno will also provide access to its cDNA collection, FlexSelect, and its siRNA collection, SilenceSelect, and will continue to offer a human primary cell-based functional screening platform to partners.

The drug discovery business will continue to operate under the name Galapagos and will be located at the company’s Mechelen facility.


The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.