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Invitrogen and Quantum Dot, Qiagen and Institut Curie, Cellzome, Graffinity, and German Ministry of Research and Education

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Invitrogen to Acquire Molecular Labeling Firms Quantum Dot and BioPixels

Invitrogen will acquire Quantum Dot and the BioPixels business unit of BioCrystal, both molecular probe providers, the company said recently. In addition, Invitrogen said it has has struck a deal with Georgia Tech Research to exclusively license nanocluster technology.

"These acquisitions, when combined with the license from Georgia Tech, provide Invitrogen with a significant intellectual property position and robust platform for product development based on advanced inorganic materials science for molecular detection," said Invitrogen's general manager of molecular probes, Augie Sick, in a company statement.

Invitrogen did not disclose the terms of the two acquisitions and the license agreement.

Quantum Dot offers biomolecular labeling and detection using its Quantum Dot semiconductor nanocrystals, which emit bright light in a range of colors. BioPixels provides coatings and metal alloys for semiconductor nanocrystals. Combining the two technologies will allow the creation of improved particles, according to Invitrogen.

The agreement with Georgia Tech gives the company access to nanoclusters that permit "true single molecule detection and representing another approach to the next generation of high sensitivity labeling and detection applications."

Further, Invitrogen said it has closed its acquisition of Biosource International. In July, the company announced its plan to purchase Biosource, a provider of proteins, antibodies, and other reagents, for $130 million in cash.


Qiagen to Develop High-Throughput RNAi Tools as Part of Research Project with Institut Curie

Qiagen will work with the Institut Curie of France to develop high-throughput RNA interference screening tools, the company said last week.

The collaboration is part of Institut Curie's BioPhenics project, which aims to combine RNAi technology and phenotypic analysis for cancer research, using cell biology and microscopic imaging.

Qiagen will contribute siRNA design and its HiPerFect delivery reagent.


Cellzome, Graffinity Win $2.6M from German Gov't to Develop Immune System Treatments

Cellzome and Graffinity, a unit of Santhera Pharmaceuticals, will receive €1.1 million ($1.3 million) each from the German Ministry of Research and Education to discover new treatments for immune system disorders, the Heidelberg, Germany-based companies said last week.

Over the next two years, Graffinity will screen up to nine targets provided by Cellzome, using its fragment-based screening platform. It will also use part of the funding to increase the sensitivity of its technology. Cellzome will make use of its proteomics platform to identify targets and to profile hits and leads resulting from the collaboration.

The aim of the project is to discover small molecule leads directed against several kinases in signalling pathways of the immune system.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.