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Affitech, Purely Proteins, Abcam, Inproteo, Lilly, BioCrossroads, Amersham Biosciences, Bio-Rad, ABI, Cohesive Technologies, Proteome Sciences


Affitech Wins 900K For Cancer Immunoproteomics Work

Affitech, an Oslo, Norway-based antibody discovery firm, said this week that Norway’s Functional Genomics funding program has awarded it a NOK6.2 million ($900,000) grant to support a collaborative research project with the Norwegian Radium Hospital.

The award will fund research that Affitech and the hospital began several years ago in the area of cancer immunoproteomics. Researchers from the two organizations are working together to develop techniques to identify tumor-specific or tumor-associated antigens and antibodies.

Affitech said it plans to use human antibodies against tumor-associated antigens to directly attack tumors, while the research team at the Norwegian Radium Hospital will use tumor antigens to stimulate the T-cell dependent arm of the immune system with the goal of creating a cancer vaccine.

Purely Proteins and Abcam Join Human Antibody Proteome Quest with Collaboration

Purely Proteins and Abcam today announced a collaborative agreement under which the firms will jointly identify and produce a set of protein-antibody pairs that spans the entire human proteome.

The companies will join several other proteome-wide antibody initiatives, mostly centered in Europe, that seek to use a variety of methods to grow up antibodies or antibody-like molecules to every protein in the human body (see PM 9-19-03, 10-10-03). Most of these are being coordinated under the auspices of HUPO.

Under the collaboration, Purely Proteins and Abcam said they will produce families of therapeutically relevant proteins and protein domains together with their corresponding antibodies. The companies will use Purely Proteins’ TargetBase protein database to gather information about known members of specific protein families, while Abcam will design and produce specific antibodies to these targets.

The companies will jointly market protein/antibody combinations developed as part of the collaboration.

Inproteo, Lilly, and Others Launch Proteomics Service Center with $3.2M

BioCrossroads, a public-private consortium of life science institutions from central Indiana, said this week that it has established a protein center of excellence called the Indiana Centers for Applied Protein Sciences.

The center will provide proteomics tools and services — including technology validation, protein analysis services, instrumentation, and technical support — for academic and industry investigators in central Indiana and beyond, BioCrossroads said.

INCAPS is located in the Indiana University Emerging Technologies Center in downtown Indianapolis. James Ludwig, head of proteomics programs at Eli Lilly, will serve as the founding CEO of the center.

Institutions involved in launching INCAPS include Lilly, Roche Diagnostics, Dow AgroSciences, Indiana University Bloomington, the Indiana University School of Medicine, Purdue University, the City of Indianapolis, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, and Inproteo.

Lilly has committed $3.2 million to INCAPS in a combination of participation fees, executive support, instrument training, and prepayment for services that the center will provide to Lilly through 2006.

Amersham Biosciences Reports Rise in Q4 Earnings

Amersham Biosciences reported increases in fourth-quarter revenue this week, in preliminary results for the fiscal year 2003.

Fourth-quarter 2003 sales were £196 million ($249 million), compared to £181 million ($230 million) in the year-ago period. Full-year revenues for Amersham Biosciences were £679 million for 2003 and £670 for 2002.

Protein Separations accounted for £95 million in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2003 and £295 million for the full year, compared to £276 million for the full year of 2002. Discovery Systems, which includes proteomics products, accounted for £101 million in revenues in the fourth quarter and £384 million for the year, compared to £394 million for the full year of 2002.

Amersham had £35 million cash on hand and £27 million in short-term deposits and investments as of Dec. 31, 2003, compared to £33 million cash on hand and £22 million in deposits and investments in Dec. 2002.

The company said that its pending acquisition by GE has been cleared by US and European regulatory authorities, and should be completed by early April.

Bio-Rad Posts Revenue Increases, $1B Milestone

Bio-Rad Laboratories of Hercules, Calif., last week reported a 9.5 percent increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2003 as it reached the $1 billion mark for full-year sales.

Bio-Rad reported $266.2 million in fourth-quarter revenue, up from $243 million in the year-ago period. Revenues for the Life Sciences segment in the quarter were $130.2 million, up 6.6 percent year-over-year. Net income rose by 12.2 percent from $67.9 million, or $2.70 per share, in Q4 2002; to $76.2 million, or $3.00 per share, in Q4 2003.

R&D expenses for the fourth quarter rose as well, from $22.9 million in 2002 to $26.4 million in 2003.

As of Dec. 31, 2002, Bio-Rad had cash and cash equivalents of $148.6 million.

ABI and Cohesive Technologies Make Deal on LC-MS/MS Products

Applied Biosystems and Cohesive Technologies said last week they will jointly develop and sell liquid chromatography and mass spec systems.

The agreement covers LC/MS/MS systems that ABI and MDS Sciex developed and Cohesive’s TurboFlow technology for high-throughput LC.

The companies plan to develop and sell joint systems consisting of a common operating software and new applications.

Proteome Sciences Takes in EU and UK Grants for Alzheimer’s Biomarkers

Proteome Sciences has won €438,000 ($563,000) from the European Union, and £419,000 from the UK government, to conduct research into anti-depressant drugs and into Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, the company said last week.

The EU award is part of a €7.5 million, three-year multi-center pharmacogenomics grant from the EU’s 6th Framework Program. The UK government grant, jointly awarded to Cobham, UK-based Proteome Sciences and the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, London, will fund the discovery of new biomarkers and targets for Alzheimer’s.

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.