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The Institute for Systems Biology and PNNL, Cytokinetics, Pharmacopeia, Neurogen and Caliper, High-Throughput, High-Content RNAi Assays Webcast, and GSK

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Institute for Systems Biology, PNNL to Partner

The Institute for Systems Biology and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory said on April 26 that they have formed a joint program in systems biology.

According to the agreement, announced at last week’s ISB’s International Symposium on Systems Biology, the partnership “will focus on expanding and strengthening technical capabilities of each organization in systems biology and related areas.”

Specifically, the organizations said that goals of the partnership include building infrastructure to solve complex biological problems faster, refining technological and computational abilities to measure and predict complex cell behavior, and strengthening existing collaborative efforts in systems biology.


Cytokinetics Announces IPO

Cytokinetics of South San Francisco, Calif., announced Thursday the pricing of its initial public offering of 6,900,000 shares of common stock at $13 per share, all of which are being sold by the company. In addition, underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,035,000 shares at the IPO price less the underwriting discount, the company said.

Cytokinetics is a drug-discovery and development company focused on compounds that target the cytoskeleton. The company uses a variety of biochemical and cell-based assays and instrumentation, including its Cytometrix automated cellular phenotyping technology. It has drug-discovery collaborations with several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, and Exelixis.

Cytokinetics’ common stock will be listed on Nasdaq as CYTK.


Pharmacopeia, Neurogen, Caliper, Announce Financial Results Disclosure Dates

Pharmacopeia announced last week that it will release its financial results for the quarter ended March 31 on Tuesday, May 4, before the US financial markets open. The company will conduct a conference call and webcast to discuss the results at 9:00 AM EDT the same day. Interested parties can find more information on the company’s website, http://www.pharmacopeia.com.

Neurogen announced last week that it will release its first-quarter financial results on Wednesday, May 5, before the US financial markets open. The company will conduct a conference call and webcast to discuss the results at 10:00 AM EDT the same day. Interested parties can find more information on the company’s website, http://www.neurogen.com.

Caliper Life Sciences announced last week that it will release its first-quarter financial results on Friday, May 7, at 7:00 AM EDT. The company will conduct a conference call and webcast to discuss the results at 8:30 AM EDT the same day. Interested parties can find more information on the company’s website, http://www.caliperLS.com.


High-Throughput, High-Content RNAi Assays Webcast Scheduled

Genetic Engineering News and Assay and Drug Development Technologies are sponsoring an online seminar entitled “High-Throughput, High-Content RNAi Assays.”

The event is scheduled to occur on May 5 at 12 noon, EST, and will feature Christophe Echeverri, CEO and CSO of Cenix Bioscience, and David Dorris, director of RNAi technologies at Ambion.

The one-and-a-half-hour presentation will cover such topics as strategies for gaining meaningful information from RNAi assays and pitfalls to avoid in RNAi-based screening experiments. Details can be found at http://www.genseminars.com/rnai2.asp.


GSK Announces Drug Discovery and Development Research Grants

GlaxoSmithKline announced last week a $250,000 2004 Drug Discovery and Development Research Grant Program for HIV/AIDS research that includes a substantial assay component.

The grants range from $25,000 to $150,000 and are aimed at furthering development of HIV/AIDS therapeutics, prophylactic vaccines, or microbicides for prevention of virus transmission. They include grants for “development of an assay against a novel and specific HIV target; screening of compounds against an established assay; preclinical in vitro and in vivo potency and toxicology,” as well as “translational studies of novel therapies.”

The grants will be reviewed by leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS, and GSK will not be involved in selecting recipients, although it said it will have access to the applications.

The applications must be submitted by July 31, and grantees will be announced in October at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Washington, DC, the company said. More information on the program is available at http://www.dddresearchgrant.com.

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 is 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.