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Biobase and Incyte, CombiMatrix and InBio, European Consortium, Vanderbilt and First Genetic Trust, NIH, Ambit and Bristol-Myers Squibb, GSK, and Pfizer, and UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council


Biobase Acquires Incyte’s Proteome Data Business

German bioinformatics firm Biobase has acquired Proteome, a subsidiary of Incyte, for an undisclosed amount.

Proteome, located in Beverly, Mass., produces the BioKnowledge Library, a six-volume database containing information about proteins, particularly pharmaceutically relevant targets and signaling pathways.

Biobase said that the acquisition broadens its biological database product line, and that the incorporation of Proteome’s US offices is expected to triple Biobase’s size. Biobase will, however, maintain its headquarters in Wolfenbuttel, Germany.

CombiMatrix Signs Up InBio to Distribute Arrays in Australia, New Zealand

CombiMatrix has signed up InBio to distribute its microarray products in Australia and New Zealand, the company’s parent, Acacia Research, said this week.

InBio, the life science arm of BioInsight, will market, sell, and service CombiMatrix’s CustomArray products in these regions. The company, which focuses on distributing products for gene expression analysis, already represents Cartagen, Expresson Biosystems, Genovac, Point Technologies, Schott Nexterion, Synthecon, and V&P Scientific, according to its website.

Combimatrix plans to further expand its product distribution, both internationally and in the US, the company’s director of sales, Michael Tognotti, said in a statement.

European Consortium, Including DeCode, Wins EUR8.1M to Study Genetics of Addiction

A consortium of eight European research organizations, including DeCode Genetics of Iceland, has won an €8.1 million ($10.6 million) contract from the European Union to study the genetics of addiction, the UK’s University of Surrey said this week.

The project, headed by Ian Kitchen at the University of Surrey, will combine human population genetics with animal genetics and gene expression studies to identify genes involved in addiction. DeCode will head the human genetics component, working with Iceland’s National Center of Addiction Medicine.

Funded through the EU’s Sixth Framework Program, the initiative also includes researchers from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain; Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France; Life and Brain in Bonn, Germany; the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow, Poland; and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary.

Vanderbilt Researchers to Use FGT’s Data Management System to Study Genetics of Drug Side Effects

First Genetic Trust will provide the Vanderbilt University Medical Center with its genetic data management system to further study the genetics of drug side effects, the two organizations said this week.

Vanderbilt researchers plans to use FGT’s web-based EnTrust study-management system to expand their research on the genetics of drug-induced prolonged QT, a side effect for many different drug classes.

The system allows the VUMC researchers to enroll patients referred by other clinicians electronically. FGT’s platform will be used to manage online informed consent, samples, clinical data, and genetic data. First Genetic Trust is headquartered in Chicago.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

NIH Earmarks $1 Million for Research Into Therapies Using Genomic, Proteomic Technologies

The National Institutes of Health last week issued a request for applications for projects designed to support “the career development of translational researchers in genomics.”

According to the NIH, it will award three-, four-, and five-year grants of between $150,000 and $230,000 to “clinicians who propose an integrated clinical research and bench research project that applies genomics and proteomics tools to the study of human patients whose disease has a genetic component.” This includes “the application of increasing knowledge of the genome and the proteome to the development and implementation of novel therapeutic strategies as applied to genetic diseases and complex diseases with a genetic component,” the NIH said.

According to the NIH, the funding will be awarded under the institute’s K23 mechanism, which “requires an integrated clinical-laboratory research project that directly involves patients affected by the disease being studied so that awardees can develop skills in both clinical research and basic science; [and] emphasizes career development and a research program that focuses on developing effective therapeutic interventions.” Additionally, this mechanism “requires significant utilization of genomic and proteomic tools and technologies in the research project,” the NIH said.

Letters of intent from applicants are due by May, 16. Applications are due by June 15. Additional details about the RFA can be found here.

Ambit to Profile Additional Compounds for Bristol-Myers, GSK, Pfizer

Ambit Biosciences will profile additional compounds for Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer using its kinase and screening technologies, the San Diego-based company said this week.

Ambit will use its kinase platform to profile the specificity of certain compounds from GSK and Bristol-Myers. The platform consists of more than 170 quantitative, high-throughput kinase assays.

The company will also try to identify and characterize the protein targets of certain Pfizer compounds using its reverse screening technology that covers a large fraction of all human proteins.

UK Research Council Sets Aside $26M to Fund Chemical Genetics, Metabolomics

The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council this week announced two new funding opportunities in the areas of chemical genetics and metabolomics.

Under the “Selective Chemical Intervention in Biological Systems” initiative, a new program funded with with £10 million ($18.7 mllion), BBSRC will fund projects in the area of chemical genetics for up to five years. The deadline for the first round of applications is March 2.

BBSRC is also seeking proposals for the second phase of its “Plant and Microbial Metabolomics” initiative, providing funding of up to £4 million in total for three-year projects that will apply metabolomic approaches to relevant biological questions about plants or microorganisms. Applications have to be submitted by April 13.

BBSRC is one of seven research councils in the UK distributing government funding for scientific research.

Filed under

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.