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Norak Biosciences and Purdue Pharma, Serologicals and Upstate Group, PerkinElmer, and Molecular Devices, Caliper Life Sciences, and Becton-Dickinson


Norak Strikes GPCR Screening Deal With Purdue Pharma

Norak Biosciences said last week that it has signed an agreement with Purdue Pharma to provide it with G-protein coupled receptor screening services using Norak’s Transfluor fluorescence assay technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Norak will develop Transfluor cell lines expressing an orphan GPCR target of interest to Purdue. Norak will then screen the cell line against a Purdue compound library at its Research Triangle Park, NC.-based facility, Norak said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

This is the second agreement in the past two weeks inked by Norak related to Transfluor, its flagship assay technology. Earlier in the month Norak agreed to grant full licensure of Transfluor to Merck, who said it would use the technology to screen compounds against GPCRs at its own facilities. (See Inside Bioassays, 10/12/2004).

Norak has also signed or extended GPCR screening agreements with Roche, Lundbeck, and BASF in the last six months.

The Transfluor assay is ideal for screening orphan GPCR receptors because no prior knowledge of the receptor’s signaling pathway is necessary, Roger Blevins, Norak’s president and CEO said in a statement.

Serologicals Completes $205M Acquisition of Upstate Group

Serologicals has completed its acquisition of Upstate Group for a total of $205 million, which includes $102.5 million in cash and approximately 4.3 million shares of Serologicals common stock.

Serologicals, based in Atlanta, first announced its plans to acquire the privately held Upstate in September. Upstate sells cell signaling research reagents to academic, biotech and pharmaceutical investigators. Serologicals said it expects the deal will provide it with a significant presence in the preclinical drug screening and target validation market, with a focus on kinase screening and protein interaction.

Upstate employs 260 people worldwide and recorded $44.4 million in revenues in 2003. The firm is based in Charlottesville, Va., and has manufacturing facilities in Lake Placid, NY, and Dundee, Scotland. Serologicals did not say whether it would retain the Upstate facilities.

PerkinElmer Lays Off 35 Employees

PerkinElmer has recently laid off about 35 employees from its Torrance, Calif.-based facility, GenomeWeb News, Inside Bioassays’ sister publication, reported last week.

“As part of a previously announced closure plan, and overall strategic/operational plan to form an automation and liquid handling center of excellence for its life and analytical sciences segment, PerkinElmer has completed the transfer of its Torrance ... operations to its Downers Grove, [Ill.],” Dan Sutherby, a company spokesperson, said in an e-mail.

“This will enable a more focused approach towards developing market-driven and integrated liquid handling, sample preparation, and automation solutions for customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic research markets,” he added.

Molecular Devices, Caliper, Becton Dickinson Schedule Earnings Releases

Molecular Devices will announce its Q3 2004 earnings on Thursday, Oct. 28, after the close of regular market training, MD said last week. Senior management will hold a conference call and live web cast to discuss the results the following day, Friday, Oct. 29, at 11:00 a.m. Pacific standard time (8:00 a.m. Eastern standard time) to discuss the operating results, the company said. Interested parties may access the webcast and obtain information about the conference call by going to the company’s website,

Caliper Life Sciences will issue a news release discussing its Q3 2004 financial results on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 4:00 PM Eastern time, the company said last week. Caliper will hold a conference call and webcast to discuss the results at 5:00 p.m. Eastern standard time the same day. Interested parties may access the webcast and obtain information about the conference call by going to the company’s website,

Becton-Dickinson said last week that it will release its Q4 2004 earnings the morning of Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004, and will hold subsequently hold a conference call and webcast to discuss the results at 10:00 a.m. Eastern standard time the same day. BD said that interested parties can access the webcast or find more information about the conference call by going to


The Scan

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Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

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For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.