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National Institutes of Health and Norak Biosciences and AstraZeneca

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NIH to Award $2M in FY 2005 for Predictive ADME-Tox

The National Institutes of Health has issued a request for applications for new methods for predicting ADME-Tox profiles.

The project, “Novel Preclinical Tools for Predictive ADME-Toxicology,” is an NIH Roadmap initiative.

NIH said that it intends to commit around $2 million in fiscal year 2005 to fund four to seven new grants in response to the RFA.

Examples of preclinical ADME-Tox evaluation tools that will be considered for awards include statistical models developed from preclinical and available clinical data; computational models, including data integration tools that link mRNA levels, protein expression levels, protein activities, and metabolite profiles with chemical scaffolds and ADME-tox parameters; quantitative structure-activity relationship models; and experimental methods.

Letters of intent are due on Dec. 17, and applications are due on Jan. 21, 2005.


Norak Signs Second Transfluor Licensing Agreement with AZ

Norak Biosciences said last week that it has signed a second license agreement with AstraZeneca to continue the use of Transfluor fluorescence assays in AZ’s G-protein coupled receptor drug-discovery program.

AstraZeneca will use Transfluor to advance novel lead compounds discovered in a primary high-throughput screen using Transfluor under an agreement signed in June 2002, Norak said. The terms of that agreement called for Norak to develop a cell line for an AZ GPCR target of interest that was subsequently screened by AZ.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.