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ABI, Invitrogen, Life Technologies, BiOasis, Anderson Forschung, Oxford BioTherapeutics, Transgenomic Power3, AnaSpec, Proxeon, PROSPECTS, Oxford Expression Technologies

ABI and Invitrogen Shareholders Receive Cash/Stock Combo
Life Technologies, the new entity formed by the merger of Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen, said last week that all ABI shareholders will receive a mix of cash and Life Technologies stock, including those shareholders who elected to receive all cash, because the available cash consideration for the merger was oversubscribed.  
In an SEC filing, Life said that the consideration for the merger, which closed Nov. 21, consisted of $3.23 billion in cash and 80,835,108 shares of its stock. Invitrogen’s shares closed at $22.23 that day.
The company said last week that around 80 percent of ABI shareholders elected to receive all cash, while 2 percent elected to receive Life stock and 7 percent elected to receive a mixed consideration of cash and stock. Another 11 percent did not make a valid election and therefore will receive mixed consideration.
Under the terms of the pro-rated merger consideration, those shareholders who elected to receive cash will receive $18.65 in cash and .4427 shares of Life stock for each share of ABI stock. Those who elected to receive stock will receive $1.91 in cash and .8261 shares of Life stock for every share of ABI stock owned. Shareholders who opted for the mixed consideration and those who did not make a valid election will receive $18.15 in cash and .4543 shares of Life stock for every share of ABI stock owned.
The proceeds will be disbursed this week, Life said.
The original terms of the merger agreement called for ABI shareholders to receive $38 for each share of ABI stock they owned in the form of Invitrogen common stock and cash, but the offer was contingent on the 20-day volume-weighted average price of Invitrogen common stock being in the range of between $43.69 and $46.00 three business days prior to the close of the transaction.
Life’s stocks began trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “LIFE” on Nov. 24.

BiOasis, Anderson Forschung to Develop Proteomics Assays for Alzheimer’s
BiOasis said last week it has tapped the Anderson Forschung Group to develop a new proteomics assay for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.
Under the agreement, Anderson Forschung will develop an assay using a technique called Stable Isotope Standards and Capture by Anti-Peptide Antibodies, a proteomics platform aimed at biomarker quantification and qualification.  
Leigh Anderson, the founder of Anderson Forschung, headquartered in Washington, is on BiOasis’ scientific advisory board.
The SISCAPA technique was developed to measure protein levels in human plasma and is based on immunoaffinity enrichment of peptide surrogates of biomarker proteins and their identification by mass spectrometry.
The company said that the technique improves on standard immunoassays because the analytes are identified by mass spectrometry. The assay detects peptide surrogates rather than protein targets, allowing for less variability due to degradation, and is less subject to interference caused by antibodies that bind the analyte because those are destroyed during the sample preparation step.
BiOasis, based in Surrey, British Columbia, will use SISCAPA as a second, independent method for quantification of p97 in human plasma in parallel with a sandwich immunoassay, which could add confidence for qualification of the biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Oxford Genome Sciences Morphs into Oxford BioTherapeutics
Oxford Genome Sciences this week said it has changed its name to Oxford BioTherapeutics to better reflect its focus on the discovery and development of targeted antibody-based drugs for cancer.
In a statement, Christian Rohlff, CEO of Oxford, said the name change comes at a “key turning point in the company’s development as it evolves into an oncology-focused clinical development organization.”
Oxford Genome Sciences was founded in 2004 from the ashes of Oxford GlycoSciences Proteomics, which closed down in 2003, and focused on developing cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.
The company has cancer therapeutic collaborations with Amgen and Medarex and a protein cancer biomarker and diagnostic collaboration with Biosite.

Transgenomic Set to Buy Power3’s Neurodegenerative Biomarkers
Transgenomic has signed a letter of intent to purchase exclusive rights to Power3 Medical’s neurodegenerative biomarkers, including NuroPro, a proposed diagnostic for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, the companies announced this week.
Transgenomic plans to offer NuroPro in its CLIA-certified molecular diagnostics laboratory and to support the tests with development resources, it said in a statement.
The deal is subject to due diligence, the negotiation of a definitive exclusive license and/or acquisition agreement, and approval by the boards of directors of both companies.
No other terms of the deal were disclosed.
Power3’s technology assigns a probability score to a patient’s sample to compare how closely it fits a biostatistical model for a neurological disease. Based on the score, a clinician would decide whether further follow-up is necessary.
Craig Tuttle, CEO of Transgenomic, said Power3’s tests will provide physicians a tool to more accurately diagnose a patient and then determine a course of treatment. “These new assays will add significant depth to our neurological sales portfolio,” he said.

AnaSpec Inks Distribution Deals for India, China
In separate announcements AnaSpec said it has reached non-exclusive agreements for the distribution of its peptides, antibodies, and other catalog and custom products in India and China.
Last week, the company announced a distribution deal with Biogenuix Medsystems covering India. This week, AnaSpec said it had reached a deal with Yope Biotechnology covering China.
Both agreements also include AnaSpec’s dyes, assay kits, and synthesis reagents.
Financial terms were not disclosed for either agreement.

PROSPECTS Looking Good, And Proxeon Joins
Proxeon last week said it has joined PROSPECTS, a research consortium headed by Matthias Mann to annotate quantitatively the human proteome with respect to protein localization and dynamics.
The company’s participation in PROSPECTS, which stands for Proteomics Specification in Time and Space, will be headed by Ole Vorm and focus on increasing the sensitivity and dynamic range of nano-LC by up to two orders of magnitude, Proxeon said in a statement.
"We have committed to turning two of our research discoveries into novel “instrument solutions that could greatly advance proteomics research,” Vorm said. “Our involvement in PROSPECTS enables us to work even more closely with leading proteomics groups.”
PROSPECTS  was launched earlier this year with €12M ($15.2 million) in co-funding over five years from the European Commission within the Research Framework Programme 7. Proxeon is the 12th company to join the consortium. Other members include Thermo Fisher in Bremen, Germany, the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

OET Completes Second Round of Funding
Oxford Expression Technologies said this week it completed a second round of funding.
A spokesman for the company said it would not disclose the amount raised. Investors in the round included existing shareholders and Tim Bernard, whom the company said this week was appointed its business development manager.
OET, based in Oxford, UK, provides baculovirus-based protein expression products and services.

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.