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Odyssey Thera, Pfizer, Dipsi Industrie, Genomatix, Bionaut, NCI Partner, Invitrogen, Magellan Biosciences, TekCel


Odyssey Thera Expands Pfizer Drug-Discovery Deal

Odyssey Thera said last week that it has expanded its agreement with Pfizer to profile compounds using Odyssey's panel of cell-based assays in order to characterize mechanism of action and pathway activity in human cells.

The project will focus on 500 compounds from multiple therapeutic areas, Odyssey said.

Odyssey Thera's cell-based drug-discovery platform is based on its patented protein-fragment complementation assay.

The companies began their collaboration in November 2003.

Dipsi Industrie to Sell Cellectricon's Dynaflow in France

Paris-based Dipsi Industrie will distribute Cellectricon's Dynaflow System in France, the companies said last week.

Dipsi will provide sales and technical support for the ion channel drug-discovery system in France, the companies said.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Cellectricon, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, recently expanded its ion-channel screening business to the US and UK by opening a subsidiary in Gaithersburg, Md., and signing on Scientifica as its official UK distributor (see CBA News, 2/1/2005 and 3/22/2005).

Genomatix Gets $500K in Series B Private Equity Round

Roanoke, Va.-based Genomatix last week announced that it has closed a Series B round of financing led by a $500,000 investment from NewVa Capital Partners, a venture capital fund managed by Third Security.

Robert Beech, CEO of Genomatix, said in a statement that the new funding will "accelerate the roll out and marketing of its proprietary genetic tools," and called NewVa's investment a "strong indicator" that the company was on the "right track, both scientifically and commercially."

Genomatix is a genetic tools company that enables scientists to modulate protein-protein interactions in specific sub-cellular locations for the purposes of target selection and toxicity studies, the company said.

Bionaut and NCI Partner on Cancer Compound Profiling

Bionaut Pharmaceuticals last week announced a research collaboration with the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bionaut and NCI will profile Bionaut cancer compounds that inhibit the ability of tumor cells to survive various stress conditions, Bionaut said.

Bionaut will provide its lead compounds for modulating stress response in tumors, and NCI will test the compounds against a panel of tumor cell lines and measure biomarkers that are induced or suppressed, Bionaut said.

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Invitrogen to Acquire Immunological Reagent Maker Caltag for $20M in Cash

Invitrogen will acquire Caltag Laboratories, a manufacturer of immunological reagents, for $20 million in cash, the company said last week.

Caltag, based in Burlingame, Calif., makes antibodies and reagents for flow cytometry applications, including tandem dyes for multi-color flow cytometry. In addition to research tools, the company has developed technologies for diagnostics. Fifteen of its products are FDA-approved class II in vitro diagnostic devices. The company's German subsidiary offers more than 200 antibodies approved for diagnostic sales in the European Union.

The acquisition is scheduled to close by the end of June, and Caltag is expected to have approximately $10 million in sales in the following year.

Magellan Biosciences Acquires TekCel for Undisclosed Amount

Magellan Biosciences, based in Chelmsford, Mass., has acquired Hopkinton, Mass.-based TekCel for an undisclosed amount, the company said last week.

Magellan provides instruments and consumables for biomedical research and clinical diagnostics. TekCel provides automated sample management and assay automation systems.

According to Magellan, TekCell employs approximately 35 people, all of whom are expected to remain with the company.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.