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Tripos Reports 2 Percent Decline in 2006 Informatics Revenues, Sells Discovery Research to Management Team
 
Tripos this week filed its 2006 annual report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, in which it disclosed that total revenues for its discovery informatics group during the year declined 2 percent to $27.4 million from $28 million in 2005.
 
In a separate filing, the company said that a group of Tripos senior executives will buy its discovery research business for £548,000 ($1.1 million).
 
Revenues from software licenses and support declined 6 percent to $23.4 million from $24.9 million in 2005, while discovery informatics services revenues rose 29 percent to $4 million from $3.1 million.
 
The business unit had a net loss of $5.9 million for 2006, compared to a loss of $4.5 million in 2005.
 
Last month, Tripos sold the assets of the discovery informatics business to private equity boutique Vector Capital for $26.2 million [BioInform 03-23-07].  
 
The company’s discovery research business was classified as a discontinued operation in its annual report, but Tripos said that 2006 revenues fell 76 percent to $6.6 million from $27.4 million in 2005.
 
Tripos reported net operating losses of $32.7 million for the discovery research group in 2006, compared to a net income of $191,000 in 2005.
 
According to the company’s SEC filing, Thomas Mander, vice president of business development; Simon Cole, vice president of strategic alliances; and Mark Allen, vice president of finance and managing director, will acquire the segment.
 
The officials will pay £348,000 in cash for “certain existing receivables of the business” and £200,000 at the close of the sale.
 
According to the SEC filing, the Tripos officials may look to sell the business to a third-party buyer.
 

 
NIH Seeks ‘Preapplications’ for Cheminformatics Research Centers
 
The National Institutes of Health said this week that it is soliciting 20-page “preapplications” for the creation of cheminformatics research centers that will be part of the NIH Molecular Libraries Program.
 
In a funding opportunity announcement released last week, NIH said that the program is a “follow on” to six planning awards funded in 2005 as Exploratory Centers for Cheminformatics Research.
 
NIH said that the preapplication is not restricted to the six previously funded centers, which include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Indiana University at Bloomington, North Carolina State University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
“Preapplication is a necessary first step in order to be invited to submit a full application,” NIH said.
 
NIH said that the CRCs will provide infrastructure and technologies to address the requirements of “cheminformaticians and bench scientists involved in chemical biology, high-throughput screening, and probe discovery both within and outside of the MLP.”
 
The CRCs will also provide cheminformatics training and will develop new informatics tools “that will enable understanding of the general principles by which small molecules modulate cellular function,” NIH said.
 
Letters of Intent are due on June 7 and applications are due on June 28.
 
Further details of the program are available here.
  

 
Germany’s HepatoSys Project Secures $30M in Funding
 
HepatoSys, a consortium of German research centers generating mathematical models of human liver cells, said this week that it has secured €22 million ($30 million) in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
 
The funding will support the project for another three years.
 
In the first phase of the project, researchers developed an interdisciplinary network of more than 30 working teams. “The working methods had to be standardized and are now accessible to all members in the form of standardized protocols,” HepatoSys said.
 

 
EBI to Collaborate with FDA’s Center for Toxicological Research
 
The European Bioinformatics Institute said this week that it has signed a formal collaboration with the US Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research to develop a “pipeline” between the NCTR’s ArrayTrack microarray database and the EBI’s BioMAP infrastructure.
 
BioMAP is a new project at the EBI that includes the ArrayExpress and PRIDE databases, as well as the BioInvestigation index, a database for bioassays and corresponding data files, and Meda, a database for mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance experiments.
 
“A pipeline will be developed between ArrayTrack and BioMAP to support data exchange in both public use and regulatory application,” EBI said in a statement. “The outcomes of the collaboration will allow users of ArrayTrack to directly access the omics datasets deposited at EBI and conveniently upload the data from ArrayTrack to the public
repositories.”
 
The project provides “an opportunity for EBI to expand its user base into the regulatory arena,” the institute said.
 

 
PennState to Install GenoLogics' Geneus and Proteus Software at Several Labs
 
Researchers at Penn State will use GenoLogics’ Geneus and Proteus lab and data-management informatics software at multiple labs, the company said this week.
                 
GenoLogics said the Penn State College of Medicine and the school’s Hershey Medical Center will install the software in core labs. It will also be used at the Penn State Cancer Institute, which is trying to become a designated Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
 
Researchers at the Hershey Medical Center will use the software to manage sample data and workflows for research in functional genomics, molecular genetics, macromolecular, proteomics/mass spectrometry, cell science/flow cytometry, transgenic, microscopy imaging, MRI/NMR, and viral vector cores, GenoLogics said.  
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
Migenix Licenses GenomeQuest's Sequence Searcher
 
GenomeQuest said this week that it is has licensed its sequence search software to Migenix, a Vancouver, BC-based drug developer. 
 
The company, formerly known as Gene-IT, said Migenix will use its GenomeQuest product in its clinical programs, which include drug candidates for hepatitis C, catheter-related infections, and dermatological diseases.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 
Gene-IT said last week it has changed its name to GenomeQuest [BioInform 04-13-07].

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