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Molecular Devices, Invitrogen and Plexxicon, and UK s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


MDCC Schedules Q1 Earnings Release, Conference Call

Molecular Devices said last week that it will announce its first quarter earnings on Thursday, April 28, after the close of regular market trading. It will hold a conference call the following day, Friday, April 29, at 8:00 am Pacific (11:00 am Eastern) to discuss operating results and other business matters.

A live webcast of the call will be available through a link on the investor page on MDCC”s website, Interested parties may also access the conference dial-in numbers by visiting the website. The audio replay of the call and the webcast replay will be available from April 29 until the company reports its financial results for second quarter, MDCC said.

Invitrogen Inks Kinase Screening Pact with Plexxicon

Invitrogen said last week that it will provide Plexxicon with kinase screening services for Plexxicon proprietary kinase inhibitor libraries for the development of drug candidates in oncology, inflammation, and other diseases.

Invitrogen will use its SelectScreen Kinase Profiling service, which features the company’s Z’-LYTE kinase assay platform. Invitrogen said its current assay portfolio consists of a panel of 100 enzymes, which will expand to 140 enzymes on April 15, and will exceed 200 by the end of the year.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

UK Research Councils to Fund Second Round of Systems Biology Centers

The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have opened a second call for proposals to fund several Centers for Integrative Systems Biology.

The opportunity is open to all UK universities. However, universities that received funding in the first round of the initiative, which began last June, are not expected to apply again.

Proposals may request up to £5 million ($9.4 million) from BBSRC, and an additional £1 million “is available to each center to facilitate the building of multidisciplinary teams through the engagement of physical scientists and mathematicians.” EPSRC will also contribute some funding for the initiative, but the amount was not disclosed. Applicants are “advised to contact” the EPSRC before submitting their outline to BBSRC.

The councils did not provide details about how many centers they expect to fund under the initiative.

The councils said they will consider requests for start-up funding, for up to five years, towards the costs of advanced research equipment, research and support staff, and support for an initial research program.

Expressions of interest should be submitted by June 13. From these, “a small number” will be selected to prepare full bids that will be due Dec. 1.


The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.