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ABRF, Myriad Proteomics, Xerion, CAT, Waters, Luminex

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ABRF Organizes Post-translational Modification Study

Calling all posttranslational modification junkies! The Proteomics Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) is inviting researchers to participate in a collaborative study to locate the sites of posttranslational modifications on an unknown protein. The study, which is open to both ABRF members and non-members, is designed to introduce researchers to strategies for identifying posttranslational modifications, help labs evaluate their strength in locating phosphorylation sites, and to compare and optimize the various techniques for performing these types of analyses, according to ABRF.

To carry out the study, ABRF will distribute an enzymatically digested protein sample isolated by SDS-PAGE to interested researchers in September, and researchers must return data on the phosphorylation sites by late November. ABRF will release the results of the study at its annual meeting in February. Because the supply of sample is limited, ABRF will give priority to members. For more information, visit http://www.abrf.org.

Myriad Proteomics to Purchase ABI MALDI-TOF/TOF

Applied Biosystems said last week that Myriad Proteomics has agreed to use the ABI 4700 Proteomics Analyzer MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometer as part of its proteomics platform. Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to develop applications for the instrument in analyzing protein complexes and protein-protein interactions.

Myriad Proteomics plans to produce a comprehensive map of all human protein interactions, and partner with the pharmaceutical industry to develop protein-based drug discovery capabilities.

Xerion and CAT Expand Research Collaboration

Xerion Pharmaceuticals has expanded its research collaboration with Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT), the two companies said last week. Specifically, CAT and Xerion will study a cell surface protein associated with allergic reactions in humans.

To do this, CAT will supply Xerion with human antibodies originally derived from its phage display libraries, as well as with expertise in performing assays of the protein target. Xerion will use the antibodies, in conjunction with its Xcalibur target validation technology, to study new mechanisms of treating allergies. The two companies will jointly own any intellectual property generated in the course of the work, and will share the costs of research.

Waters Adopts Shareholder Rights Plan

Waters said last week that it had adopted a shareholder rights plan, a common tactic for discouraging a hostile takeover. The company said the move was not made in response to any specific attempt to acquire Waters.

As part of the stock purchase rights plan, Waters will issue a special dividend of one preferred share purchase right for each outstanding share of Waters common stock. The company plan to distribute the dividend on or soon after August 27.

Luminex Spins Out New Business

Luminex today said last week that President and CEO Mark Chandler intends to leave the company to head a spinoff based on Luminex’s “rules-based medicine” business. Thomas Erickson, a professional interim president, will run Luminex while the company searches for a permanent replacement, Luminex said.

Created last winter, RBM hopes to develop an array of markers to use with Luminex’s xMap technology to map and measure proteins associated with various diseases. These markers can then be used to determine an individual’s risk of those diseases.

“Since Luminex really doesn’t need to be in the testing business it made sense to split this up,” Harriss Currie, a Luminex spokesperson, told GenomeWeb.com. “Our board feels that [the RBM project is] not in line with our core competency ... and that conducting this research and building this [new] company would distract us from working on selling instruments and selling beads.”

“When RBM was created, Currie said Luminex originally thought that it could stay in-house as a subsidiary company. “But there were a few management issues that [the idea] ran into,” he said, declining to elaborate. “This is something that [Chandler] has been stumping for a long time.”

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.