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Agilent, CeMines, Ciphergen, Europroteome, Abbott Laboratories, Caliper, BioVision, Roche


Agilent to Consolidate Proteomics with Other Units

Agilent Technologies said this week it has consolidated into a single corporate division its gene-expression, proteomics, and reagents businesses.

The unit, modeled on the systems biology approach, will “provide a single interface through which Agilent can better serve its customers in basic research, drug discovery, and early-stage drug development,” said DiNuzzo, whose new title is vice president and general manager of IBS. He also said the division will “enable” Agilent to better develop new products “that bridge multiple disciplines.”

Christina Maehr, a spokeswoman for Agilent, said that the company has no current plans to lay off staffers.

Cancer Diagnostics Startup Closes First Funding Round

CeMines, a startup based in Evergreen, Colo., has closed Round A funding in the “low seven figures,” a company spokesman said this week.

CeMines CEO Bailey Dotson said the company is “within 60 days of mass production” for a test kit for the early detection of cancer based on its Molecular FingerPrinting technology, which detects antibodies produced by the body in response to early-stage cancer.

Dotson said that the test kit will be used in large-scale clinical trials at “several world-class medical facilities.” According to the company’s website, CeMines will price its tests between $100 and $500 each.

CeMines plans to use the Round A private-placement financing to “fast forward” development of the cancer detection test, Dotson said. Discussions for a Round B funding are underway, she added. The com-pany expects to complete that round of funding by the end of the summer.

China Certifies Ciphergen’s Proteinchip System as a Medical Device

Ciphergen’s ProteinChip/SELDI platform has been certified as a medical device by China’s State Food and Drug Administration, the company’s diagnostics division said this week.

According to Ciphergen, this is the first time a mass spec has been approved as a medical device in China. The certification opens the door to approving mass spec-based diagnostic tests in China, the company said.

“This represents one more step in preparing the ProteinChip System for diagnostic use on a worldwide basis,” said Gail Page, president of Ciphergen’s diagnostics division.

Europroteome Nabs Abbott Deal for Breast Cancer Biomarker Discovery

Europroteome and Abbott Laboratories announced this week that they will collaborate in a breast cancer biomarker discovery project that the companies hope will lead to the development by Abbott of diagnostic tests for the early detection of breast cancer.

Under the deal, Europroteome will use mass spec-based biomarker discovery and multi-marker data-mining software platforms to analyze serum samples from women with breast cancer. Abbott will analyze the same samples, and the panels of markers that each company finds will be compared. Combinations of markers will be selected for further development and integration into Abbott’s instrument platforms, the companies said.

Abbott will pay Europroteome an upfront fee, as well as milestone payments. Abbott will also have an option for a royalty-bearing license to the results from the research collaboration, and will be responsible for commercial assay development and marketing.

Caliper’s Revenues Soar in Q4

Caliper Life Sciences last week reported a surge in fourth-quarter revenues, together with decreased R&D spending and a ballooning net loss.

Product revenues generated the brunt of the growth, increasing to $12.9 million in the current fourth quarter from $2.5 million year over year.

R&D spending in the fourth quarter, however, fell to $8.2 million from $9.9 million year over year. As a result, net loss in the quarter rocketed to $19.9 million, or $.70 per share, from $10.5 million, or $.43, year over year, Caliper said.

Caliper said it had around $8.9 million in cash and equivalents, and $57.8 million in short-term investments as of Dec. 31.

BioVision Licenses Peptide Difference Technology to Roche

BioVision announced this week that it has licensed its Differential Peptide Display technology to F. Hoffman-La Roche for biomarker discovery work. The Hannover, Germany-based proteomics company said that its technology provides the means to visualize peptides and small proteins in a sample and determine changes.

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.