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LifeSpan Licenses DrugTarget Database to Pfizer

LifeSpan BioSciences last week announced that Pfizer has signed an agreement to license its DrugTarget database.

The multi-year agreement will enable Pfizer to gain access to the database, which includes information on more than 3,200 genes, along with 852 immunohistochemistry reports with localization information on more than 400 potential drug targets.

LifeSpan and Pfizer said they would add targets to the database over time.

Financial details were not disclosed.


Genethon to Use Hybrigenics' Y2H Platform, Software for Muscular Dystrophy Research

Genethon, a research center funded by the French Muscular Dystrophy Association, will use Hybrigenics' yeast two-hybrid screening platform to study muscle cell proteins, Hybrigenics said last week.

Genethon conducted a pilot screening study with Hybrigenics in 2004 and 2005 that identified several proteins involved in muscular dystrophies, the company said. Genethon will now use the screening platform along with Hybrigenics' protein interaction mapping software, PIMRider, to discover interactions between the proteins.

Hybrigenics said that Genethon will use the technology to map "genome-wide interactomes" to study protein mechanisms. Under the agreement, all data will belong to Genethon.

France's Muscular Dystrophy Association provided €894,000, or $1.2 million, in funding to support the project.


Invitrogen to Use ProtoArray Platform in Research Collaboration with FSMA

Invitrogen will use its ProtoArray protein microarrays in a collaboration with Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy to identify biological targets associated with spinal muscular atrophy, the organizations said last week.

SMA is a genetic disorder that causes a chronic deficiency in the production of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein.

Invitrogen scientists will use the ProtoArray technology to screen approximately 3,000 human proteins and 5,000 yeast proteins as potential targets for SMA therapeutic intervention. The work builds upon the identification of compounds that up-regulate SMN levels in an FSMA-sponsored program at DeCode Genetics, FSMA said.

"We hope that the discovery and characterization of critical protein targets and their associated pathways will lead to new drug discovery avenues and ultimately to novel therapeutic approaches to treat SMA," said Jill Jarecki, research director of FSMA, in a statement.

The organizations said that the initial target identification stage will be followed by "further collaborative work to validate the targets and develop new compound screening assays."

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.


Genedata Expands Screener Software Agreement with Roche

Genedata has extended an agreement with Roche to deploy its Screener software at all of Roche's high-throughput screening facilities in North America and Europe, Genedata said last week.

Under the terms of the original agreement, Roche used Genedata's software at its Basel, Switzerland-facility. The agreement expands the collaboration to include more facilities over several years.

Roche Scientists use Screener to estimate the biological potency of thousands of compounds, Genedata said.

The software has been already deployed to four sites in "a very short time period," Genedata said.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.