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Molecular Devices, Arcturus, Sanger Institute, Caliper, Zygogen, DanioLabs, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Dharmacon, Sigma-Aldrich, LI-COR

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Molecular Devices Buys Arcturus' Laser Capture Microdissection Business for $10M

Molecular Devices has acquired the laser capture microdissection business of Arcturus Biosicence for $10 million in cash, the company said this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, Molecular Devices acquired Arcturus' LCM-related assets and hired 42 Arcturus employees. LCM operations will immediately move to Molecular Devices' headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. The company expects that the acquisition will increase its revenues by $8 million to $10 million this year.

"We believe that offering LCM systems with our existing genomics and cellular imaging products is a natural fit for our life sciences research customers as LCM is typically an upstream step for genomic or imaging analysis," said Molecular Devices CEO Joseph Keegan in a company statement. "We also believe that we can improve the distribution of the LCM platform by leveraging our worldwide distribution infrastructure."

Arcturus has more than 1,000 LCM systems installed worldwide. The company's LCM platform includes reagents for sample preparation, instrumentation and consumables for visualization and excision, and additional reagents for post-capture processing.


Sanger Institute Buys a Caliper LabChip Unit for Protein Expression Project QC

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has purchased a Caliper LabChip 90 Automated Electrophoresis System for quality control of DNA and proteins in Sanger's Atlas of Protein Expression project, Caliper said this week.

Specifically, the Sanger Institute will use the LabChip 90 system to generate quantitative sizing, concentration, and purity data for PCR products, expressed proteins, and antibodies used in immunohistochemistry experiments, Caliper said.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The goal of the Atlas of Protein Expression project is to systematically study protein expression in cells and tissues to create a database of protein-expression profiles that will be accessible to researchers worldwide.


Zygogen Licenses Transgenic Zebrafish Tech to DanioLabs for Drug Discovery

Zygogen has issued a non-exclusive license to DanioLabs for Zygogen's Z-Tag transgenic zebrafish technology, the companies said this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, DanioLabs will use the technology for internal drug screening purposes. The agreement calls for Zygogen to receive license and royalty payments from DanioLabs.

Additional financial details were not disclosed.

The Z-Tag technology combines the zebrafish's transparent organogenesis with physiologically relevant expression of modified genes and markers to allow the development of quantitative assays for automated compound screening.

Zygogen uses Z-Tag to provide in vivo preclinical drug-discovery services, including target validation, compound screening, and toxicity testing, and is the exclusive licensee of the technology.


Fox Chase Cancer Center Joins Dharmacon's Global RNAi Alliance

Dharmacon, a unit of Fisher Biosciences, said this week that Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center has joined its Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative.

Fox Chase becomes the 11th member of the alliance, and the first new member since the initiative was formed in October.

The alliance aims to use Dharmacon's complete siRNA library to conduct functional genomics screens of genes throughout the human genome.


Sigma-Aldrich Acquires Chinese Distributor, Expands in Shanghai

Sigma-Aldrich has increased its Shanghai operations and acquired Beijing Superior Chemicals and Instruments, the company said this week

The acquisition of Beijing Superior — Sigma's main distributor in China with locations in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou — will increase the number of Sigma employees in China almost 10-fold, to 87. Since 75 percent of Beijing Superior's $22 million in annual revenues result from Sigma products, the acquisition will not immediately impact Sigma's sales in China.

Sigma said it has also established a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise, called Sigma-Aldrich (Shanghai) Trading Company; expanded its administrative offices in Shanghai; and opened a leased transit warehouse in Shanghai.


LI-COR to Donate Odyssey Infrared Imaging System

LI-COR Biosciences will donate a complete Odyssey infrared imaging system to a public or private research institution based on a random drawing, the company said this week.

The system will include the company's new Odyssey MousePod small animal-imaging accessory, Odyssey application and analysis software, and installation. Registration for the drawing is open from April 1 to May 30 to entrants in the United States and Canada only, LI-COR said.

The MousePod accessory fits over the standard Odyssey scanning surface for in vivo imaging of up to three mice, according to the company. MousePod features temperature regulation and connection to any gas anesthesia system.

LI-COR's IRDye reagents for in vivo imaging include infrared dyes for labeling probes, an IRDye 800 CW labeling kit, and the new IRDye 800CW EGF Optical Probe.

Researchers may submit an entry via the company's website, at LI-COR exhibitions during April and May, or by mail, the company said. A winner will be selected by random drawing on June 1, with the winner announced by June 15 on LI-COR's website.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.