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SBS, Immunicon, Serono, Cisbio, Lumiphore, Cyntellect, HudsonAlpha, Amaxa

SBS Announces October Webinar Series
The Society of Biomolecular Screening announced this week that it will present a five-module web seminar every Wednesday in October. The weekly, live, interactive series is entitled, “HTS Basics: Theory and Practice of High-Throughput Screening Against Chemical Libraries."
The five modules are: Overview of Strategies and Methods in HTS, led by David Dunn of Pharmacopeia; Liquid Handling and Detention Technologies in HTS, led by Daniel Sipes of Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation; Statistical Considerations in the Optimization and Validation of HTS Assays, led by Devanarayan Viswanath of Abbott Laboratories; Issues in the Storage and Management of Compound Collections, led by Chris Lipinski of Melior Discovery; and HTS Case Studies and Lessons Learned, led by Doug Auld of the NIH, Glenn Hofmann of GlaxoSmithKline, and Thompson Doman and Jeff Weidner of Eli Lilly.
Funding for the modules was provided by Promega, Beckman Coulter, and Corning.

Immunicon and Serono Ink Deal to Develop Biomarker Assays
Immunicon announced this week that it has entered into laboratory service and assay development agreements with Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA.
The agreements cover laboratory service testing and development of specialized biomarker assays based on circulating tumor cells, within the scope of an early clinical drug study.
Researchers at Merck Serono may be able to use the results of these tests to examine biological activity of the drugs being evaluated in the study, both early in the course of treatment and early in the drug development process. In addition, doctors may eventually be able to use the assays developed under the agreement to identify patients who have a high probability of responding to the investigational drugs.

Cisbio, Lumiphore Sign Deal to Incorporate Lumi4 Complexes Into Cisbio Assays
Cisbio and Lumiphore this week announced that they have signed an exclusive agreement for the incorporation of Lumiphore’s Lumi4 complexes in Cisbio assays.
Under the agreement, Cisbio holds the exclusive rights to apply Lumi4 technology to current and future research and development initiatives in time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assays for drug discovery.
Lumi4 complexes are a new class of fluorescent lanthanide detection reagents based on lanthanide technology patented by Kenneth Raymond, the chairman and president of Lumiphore, and his co-workers at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lanthanides are used as reagents by researchers due to their strong luminescent properties, and these patents relate to a shell surrounding the lanthanide molecule that enables them to be used as efficient FRET donors. These complexes have long emission lifetimes and offer a number of advantages over existing fluorophores used for detection, including higher signal-to-noise ratio and stability.

Cyntellect Completes $3M Closing on Series D Financing
Cyntellect announced this week that it has completed a $3 million second closing on its Series D Preferred private financing transaction. This closing follows the initial Series D closing of $15.1 million announced July 25 (see CBA News, 7/27/07).
Bru II Venture Capital Fund, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, was the sole participant in the second closing. In aggregate, Cyntellect has raised $18.1 million in the Series D round and under the terms of the transaction, the Series D investors may also choose to commit an additional investment of up to $10.3 million.
The company plans to use the funds to accelerate the development and commercialization of its cell manipulation products.
The Series D round was led by Third Security.

HudsonAlpha Signs Deal With Amaxa to Use Nucleofector Technology
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala., and Amaxa have entered into a collaborative agreement that gives the institute use of Amaxa’s Nucleofector Technology as a core technology in certain research projects.
One of the earliest projects will focus on a broad study across the NCI-60 cell line panel.
This technology will allow the HudsonAlpha Institute researchers to develop reproducible, non-viral based, optimized transfection protocols for the cell lines included in the National Cancer Institute’s drug discovery panel. These protocols will facilitate the study of gene control in the most extensively studied cell lines in the world.

The Scan

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.

Using Bees to Gain Insights into Urban Microbiomes

As bees buzz around, they pick up debris that provides insight into the metagenome of their surroundings, researchers report in Environmental Microbiome.

Age, Genetic Risk Tied to Blood Lipid Changes in New Study

A study appearing in JAMA Network Open suggests strategies to address high lipid levels should focus on individuals with high genetic risk and at specific ages.

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.