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In Brief This Week: Jackson Lab; Techcomp, Bruker; Sistemic, TC BioPharm; Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratory

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine officially opened this week on the campus of the University of Connecticut Health Center. The center's research will focus on the genetic causes of diseases and the development of treatments and prevention. It has hired 150 employees to date and anticipates hiring 300 researchers, technicians, and support staff within a 10-year period. Plans for the 183,500-square-foot facility were first announced in late 2011 with a proposed total capital and research budget of around $1.1 billion over 20 years, including $291 million from the state to build, outfit, and operate the facility.

Hong Kong-based Techcomp Holdings is buying Bruker's GC-Single quadrupole mass spectrometer assets for $13.5 million. The purchase consists of the inventories, intellectual property, trademark, licenses, and other assets related to the business. Bruker's GC-triple quadrupole mass spec products are not part of the transaction, Techcomp said.

Bruker said in July that it would sell parts of its Chemical and Applied Markets division after determining that business was not sustainable. In August, Bruker sold its inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry business to Analytik Jena in connection to its CAM divestiture/restructuring.

Sistemic and TC BioPharm are collaborating to develop biomarkers for predicting how cancer patients respond to TCB's cell therapy products. The deal leverages Sistemic's miRNA-based services and kit-based products. TCB's technology uses a patient's own immune cells grown in culture to target cancer. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratory was launched with plans to unfold its operations in two phases. In the first phase it will develop a partnership with Pathway Pharmaceuticals in Hong Kong to offer the OncoFinder technology in Canada. The platform maps gene expression data from a patient's tumor biopsy or a paraffin block onto a set of intracellular signaling pathways, and then measures the activation state of each pathway. Using the activation signature of the resulting signaling pathway, it predicts the efficacy of chemotherapy regimens and targeted therapies.

In the second phase CCARL plans to develop tools for personalized medicine of age-related diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. It will develop an analogue of OncoFinder to evaluate tissue-specific epigenetic changes in disease and aging processes for treatment and prevention, it said.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.