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ABI, MDS Sciex, J&J, AxCell, Pluvita, Kodak


ABI, MDS Sciex Release QSTAR Software For Use with ICAT

Applied Biosystems and Toronto-based MDS Sciex plan to release software for use with ICAT reagents and the API QSTAR Pulsar hybrid LC/MS/MS mass spectrometer, ProteoMonitor has learned.

The new software, called Pro ICAT, will allow researchers to automatically identify and quantify proteins isolated from complex biological samples using the ICAT reagent technology and tandem mass spectrometry.

In an unreleased press release, Foster City, Calif.-based ABI said the new software includes “leading-edge features that take the quantitation of protein expression from LC/MS/MS data to a new level of performance.”


J&J Signs Exclusive Deal to Develop Caprion Antibody

Montreal-based Caprion Pharmaceuticals said Dec. 7 that Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has agreed to work exclusively with Caprion to develop a human blood test for variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (vCJD), the human form of Mad Cow Disease.

In March, the two companies announced a preliminary agreement to collaborate on the vCJD diagnostic program. The new exclusive license involves a “significant” payment up front, along with agreements to make future milestone and royalty payments, said Lloyd Segal, Caprion’s CEO.

While competitors’ tests involve a two-step procedure for identifying the aberrant, vCJD form of the prion protein, Caprion’s antibody can directly detect the vCJD protein, Segal said.

AxCell Signs on to Perform Pilot Study for Pluvita

AxCell Biosciences has signed a binding term sheet to conduct pilot studies for Bethesda, Md.-based Pluvita, AxCell said last week.

Under the pilot program, Princeton, NJ-based AxCell will study the protein interactions of a specific protein-based drug target for Pluvita. When a final agreement is signed, AxCell will attempt to identify the full-length peptides that bind to Pluvita’s compound and determine the apparent affinities of compound binding observed with the isolated peptides, AxCell said.

In late November, Pluvita signed a three-year, non-exclusive deal for access to AxCell Bioscience’s ProChart database, which contains information on signal transduction pathways.


Kodak to Market 20/20’s Multiplex Western Blot Gel

Eastman Kodak has agreed to market and distribute Rockville, Md.-based 20/20 GeneSystems’ multiplex electrophoresis gel product, 20/20 said last week.

The agreement is a coup for 20/20, which earlier this fall announced that it had developed “the first new proteomics product of the 21st century.” The company’s gel product allows researchers to perform Western blotting in a multiplex format. According to company literature, up to 10 proteins can be analyzed in parallel from one gel.

“The new BioMax MultiBlot Kit for Proteins increases the number of images and resulting data from each protein gel by up to tenfold, allowing researchers in both large and small laboratories to rapidly scale up their proteomic throughput,” Kodak said in a statement.


The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.