Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Michael Hunkapiller, Sigma-Aldrich, Cold Spring Harbor, Harvard Bio, Bayer Healthcare, OriGene, Pall, FDA, President Bush

People

Michael Hunkapiller, former president and general manager of Applied Biosystems, Celera founder, and Applera senior vice president, has joined the board of directors of NuGen Technologies.

 

BioCommerce Briefs

Sigma-Aldrich to Provide Complementary Protocols from Cold Spring Harbor

Sigma-Aldrich will provide complementary protocols from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, the company said this week.

The agreement will enable researchers to freely access a new set of protocols each month through the Featured Protocols section of BioSupplyNet.com, an online directory of laboratory supplies.

"Given the diversity of research tools needed to explore genomic and proteomic applications, we recognize the need for easily accessed protocols," Diane Gaige, eMarketing manager at Sigma-Aldrich, said in a statement.

The company said it will "extend [the resource] further by creating an easy-to-use materials list for each protocol."

The pact follows a similar arrangement announced a few months ago between Sigma-Aldrich rival Invitrogen and John Wiley & Sons to distribute Invitrogen's newly launched iProtocol (see BioCommerce Week 12/15/2005).

That agreement enables the publisher to provide free access to "selected" Current Protocols lab research manuals.

iProtocol was designed to provide selected content from Current Protocols titles starting with the "most basic" to the "most advanced" methods for molecular biology, cell biology, immunology, and neuroscience, Invitrogen said.


Harvard Bio President Initiates Stock-Trading Plan

Harvard Bioscience said last week that President David Green has established a stock-trading plan that will enable him to sell up to 894,963 shares of common stock over the next three years.

The plan is in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of a Securities and Exchange Commission act that permits directors or officers who do not have "material, non-public information" to establish prearranged plans to buy or sell company stock, Harvard Bio said. The company said that the plan has been established to allow Green to "gain liquidity in an orderly, prearranged manner."

Green's prior Rule 10b5-1 plan expired on Dec. 31, 2005, and a portion of the shares covered by his new plan are shares that were covered by this prior plan, but were not sold prior to its expiration, Harvard Bio said.


Bayer Healthcare Acquire's OriGene's cDNA Clone Library

OriGene said this week that Bayer Healthcare has acquired its collection of full-length cDNA clones for functional analyses.

"Having access to a comprehensive array of cDNA clones is of utmost importance in today's gene- or protein-based research labs," Ulf Bruggemeier, director of target research at Bayer Healthcare, said in a statement. "We believe that the OriGene cDNA collections are uniquely able to provide us with the necessary content to support the drug-related research and diagnostic projects across Bayer Healthcare."

Financial details were not disclosed.


Pall's New Center of Excellence in Bangalore Will Have Proteomics Component

Pall has opened a Center of Excellence in Bangalore, India, that will include a process proteomics lab for chromatography and down-stream systems, Pall said this week.

The center will also offer clients validation services for FDA approval.

"The process proteomics facility is a service to our customers," said Holly Haughney, vice president of Pall BioPharmaceuticals Marketing Asia. "In addition, we will have a training facility because while there is a very well-educated technical force [in India], we've found that much of it is theoretical."

Haughney recently relocated to the Bangalore office, along with Vinay Joban, general manager of Pall Life Sciences India.

Pall's biopharm business in Asia grew by 14 percent over the last fiscal year, the company said in a statement.


Biomarker Development Tops Priorities for FDA's Critical Path

The US Food and Drug Administration last week released a list of high-priority research projects for its Critical Path Initiative and highlighted biomarker development as one of the "most important areas for improving medical product development."

In particular, it empowered a newly formed Predictive Safety Testing Partnership to develop guidelines for biomarker use. The Partnership includes Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, and Pfizer and will be coordinated by the Critical Path Institute.

The Critical Path Opportunity Report is the first specific blueprint for the agency's Critical Path Initiative, an effort to streamline the drug-approval process by applying new strategies and technologies.

Among the 76 projects outlined, biomarker development and clinical trial reform were areas cited by researchers as most likely to improve the efficiency of product development.

In a statement announcing the priority list, the FDA said it would rely on "partnerships and consortia to accomplish a majority of the projects," as well as "a new, cooperative partnership among the primary ... divisions of HHS."

The agency said it would identify additional specific research projects for the initiative over the next few weeks.

Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, said the Report "cited substantial opportunities for better diagnoses, more efficient drug development, and safer and more effective therapies, such as the identification and qualification of new safety and efficacy biomarkers. These advances will play an essential role in helping industry, regulators and other stakeholders deliver on the promise of personalized medicine."


Bush Taps von Eschenbach to Head FDA

President Bush last week nominated Andrew von Eschenbach to head the US Food and Drug Administration, a potentially significant move for the genomics community because von Eschenbach has been an outspoken supporter of genomic-related technologies in drug discovery.

The nomination was widely expected because von Eschenbach, who is director of the National Cancer Institute, has been acting-FDA commissioner since Lester Crawford resigned in September 2005. But he still must be confirmed by the Senate.

Von Eschenbach's background in cancer, along with recent statements he made, suggest that his tenure as FDA head may encourage the use of genomics and other molecular technologies in medicine.

For example, as head of the NCI since 2002, von Eschenbach pushed a program of translational research, and in recent comments before a Senate subcommittee hearing he announced a goal to eliminate cancer by 2015 through an understanding of the interaction of genetics and other factors.

"Scientific advances and major discoveries from areas such as genomics, nanotechnology, proteomics, immunology, and bioinformatics allow us to envision a not too-distant future when a patient's genetic, lifestyle, and environmental risk for cancer can be combined with effective prevention and early intervention strategies especially for those at high risk," von Eschenbach was quoted as saying by the Biotechnology Industry Organization in April 2005.

Von Eschenbach was named acting commissioner of the FDA in September 2005 following the resignation of Lester Crawford, and he has held that title concomitantly with his NCI job.

Prior to being named NCI chief, von Eschenbach worked as a doctor and executive at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for 25 years, reaching the post of executive vice president and chief academic officer.

He earned a medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1967, and worked as an instructor in urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. From 1968 to 1971, von Eschenbach served as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Medical Corps.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.