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LabTech International, WaferGen Biosystems, The Wistar Institute, Coriell Institute for Medical Research, PerkinElmer, Celsis International, Apath

LabTech to Distribute WaferGen’s Incubation Systems in France, UK
Two LabTech International divisions will distribute WaferGen Biosystems’ cellular incubation systems in France and the UK, WaferGen said this week.
The exclusive agreement with Labtech International Limited in the UK and LabTech France covers distribution of WaferGen’s SmartSlide Micro-Incubation System, which is an integrated fluidic exchange product designed to function with inverted microscopes.
The company said the system allows scientists to conduct time-lapse imaging studies to characterize, differentiate, and proliferate cells, and to grow cells that are difficult to cultivate.
Fremont, Calif.-based WaferGen said its micro-incubator can “maintain cells at specific physiological conditions for prolonged cell or tissue imaging,” and it allows programmable fluidics exchange.

Wistar, Coriell Institutes Team Up on Hybridoma, Melanoma Cell Line Availability
Cell lines developed by scientists at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia have recently been made available to researchers worldwide through the catalog collection of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research of Camden, NJ, the Wistar Institute announced this week.
The initial Wistar collection to be distributed by Coriell includes hybridoma cell lines that produce monoclonal antibodies, and measure people’s exposure to influenza viruses and response to vaccines. These cell lines were developed over 30 years by influenza researcher Walter Gerhard.
The monoclonal antibodies produced by these cell lines are useful in the development of vaccines against a variety of influenza strains, including pandemic influenza.
Wistar and Coriell also are working to add to the Wistar collection at Coriell melanoma cell lines developed in the laboratory of Wistar researcher Meenhard Herlyn.

PerkinElmer Opens Spectroscopy-Focused Center in Singapore
PerkinElmer this week opened a new facility in Singapore that will focus on developing tools for drug discovery, environmental monitoring, food safety testing, and sustainable energy, the company said.
The PerkinElmer Center of Excellence in Singapore will make instruments for atomic absorption spectroscopy and UV/visible spectroscopy that can be used to detect organic and inorganic materials in the environment, food, materials, and oil industries.
The center also will also support R&D activities for the company’s EcoAnalytix solution line, which is an initiative focused on food and consumer product safety, water quality, and sustainable energy development programs.
The Waltham, Mass.-based company is currently “making significant and long-term investments in Asia-Pacific to support the expansion of the health and environmental infrastructures of emerging growth nations,” VP and CSO Daniel Marshak said in a statement.
The company said that it views Asia-Pacific as a “key growth region” for pharmaceutical research, neonatal and prenatal screening, and environmental monitoring.

Celsis, Apath Ink Deal to Launch HCV Drug Development Program for Other Pharmas
Celsis International announced this week that its Celsis In Vitro Technologies division has signed an exclusive global market development agreement with Apath to help customers evaluate drug candidates for their efficacy against the hepatitis C virus and their cytotoxicity. 
Celsis’ IVT division provides in vitro liver cell products and development services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The agreement is based on Apath’s intellectual property portfolio relating to HCV. Apath is a US-based drug discovery company focused on human viral diseases, and its IP portfolio was developed by its founder Charles Rice and others in the field. 

The companies plan to launch the program in the second quarter.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.