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Amersham, General Electric, Serologicals, Ciphergen Biosystems, Frost & Sullivan, Inproteo, CombiMatrix, Definiens, Caliper Technologies, Structural Genomix, American National Standards Institute


GE’s Acquisition of Amersham Cleared by EU, US

Amersham and General Electric have satisfied the pre-conditions for GE’s acquisition of Amersham, the companies said this week.

The pre-conditions included regulatory clearance from the European Commission and from the US anti-trust authorities. The companies now expect the acquisition to be completed in early April, subject to approval by Amersham shareholders and other conditions.

GE and Amersham announced the planned acquisition in October (see PM 10-17-03).

Serologicals Licenses Cancer Proteins, Antibodies from Myriad Genetics

Serologicals’ Chemicon International division has licensed a number of tumor suppressor and breast cancer susceptibility proteins and antibodies made by Myriad Genetics for research use, the companies said last week.

The exclusive agreement, which enables Chemicon to use the targets only for research purposes, covers the BRCA1, BRCA2, p16, p15, and p14 proteins and antibodies. However, the agreement “excludes commercial therapeutic and diagnostic rights and rights to fields of use that Chemicon does not currently serve,” the companies said in a statement.

Ciphergen Expands License for Genencor Chromatography Technology

Ciphergen Biosystems has expanded its licensing agreement for a Genencor International chromatography technology, the company said this week.

The license covers Genencor’s hydrophobic charge induction technology, which Ciphergen uses in certain BioSepra separation products. Under the expanded agreement, Ciphergen has exclusive worldwide rights to use the technology for its products, as well as rights to sub-contract manufacturing to third parties under certain conditions.

F&S cuts forecast: Protein Array Market to Reach $575M in 2009

The market for protein arrays is likely to reach $575 million in 2009, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan. This assessment is less optimistic than the company’s 2002 report (see PM 5-13-02), which predicted a market volume of $660 million in 2007.

It is also slightly less optimistic than the projected market of about $600 million by 2008 that Steven Bodovitz, principal consultant for Select Biosciences, predicted last week (see story, p. 1)

The new study, “World Protein Array Markets,” found that the market created $87 million in revenues in 2002. Specificity, reproducibility, and reliability still need to be improved, according to the analysts. Clinical proteomics, the report says, will play a more important role in the future in the diagnostics market and in biomarker discovery.

Inproteo Licenses His-Tag Purification Technology to Genentech

Inproteo said this week it has licensed its patent for the His-tag fusion protein purification technique to Genentech.

Genentech’s license to the so-called Smith patent, U.S. Patent No. 4,569,794, covers all uses of the technology for the life of the patent.

Inproteo, formerly known as the Indiana Proteomics Consortium — a partnership between Indiana University, Purdue University, and Eli Lilly — recently licensed the patent from Eli Lilly. It holds the exclusive right to sublicense the patent and has already licensed it to a number of companies, including, for example, ZymoGenetics (see PM 1-16-04), Pierce Biotechnology, and Biogen (see PM 10-10-03).

CombiMatrix and Wash U to Create Chemical Libraries on Chips

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis will use microarrays from CombiMatrix, a subsidiary of Acacia Research, to develop chip-based chemical libraries, Acacia said this week.

The research, led by Kevin Moeller, is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Moeller and his colleagues plan to synthesize libraries of non-nucleic acid molecules on CombiMatrix’s NanoArrays.

CombiMatrix’s platform uses electrochemically and independently addressable microelectrodes on semiconductor chips. Last summer (see PM 8-1-03), the company said that it did not see significant business potential in antibody arrays.

Definiens and Palm Microlaser to Co-Develop Image Analysis/Microdissection Instrument

Definiens and Palm Microlaser Technologies plan to co-develop and co-market an automated image analysis and laser microdissection system, the companies said last week.

Palm will build the microdissection instrument, using its laser pressure catapulting technology, while Definiens will contribute its Cellenger software for the automated analysis of tissues and cellular assays.

Definiens, based in Munich, also offers 2D gel analysis software.

Caliper Technology Becomes Caliper Life Sciences

Caliper Technologies will change its name to Caliper Life Sciences, effective Jan. 23, the company announced last week.

Caliper is also looking for a new CFO, to be based in Massachusetts, and hopes to fill this position by the end of June.

“Caliper Life Sciences, the result of the combination of Caliper Technologies and Zymark Corporation, is committed to providing enabling microfluidic- and liquid handling-based laboratory automation solutions while, at the same time, developing new high- potential products for molecular diagnostic applications,” said Kevin Hrusovsky, Caliper’s president and CEO, in a statement. The company’s new website is

SGX Grants Lilly Access to Its Beamline

Structural Genomix said last week it will provide Eli Lilly with long-term access to the SGX synchrotron beamline facility at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.

SGX will generate X-ray crystallography data on drug targets and compounds provided by Lilly. In return, Lilly will pay SGX an upfront access fee and an annual fee to cover operating costs. Lilly also has the option to expand its access to the beamline in the future for additional payments.

Last April, SGX agreed to create a clone of its X-ray crystallography platform for Lilly (see PM 4-28-03).

Industry Group OKs New Microplate- Dimension Standards

The American National Standards Institute has approved four new standards for microplate design that were proposed by the Society for Biomolecular Screening, the groups said last week.

The approved designs, which cover the footprint, height, bottom outside flange, and well positions of 96-, 384-, and 1,536-well microplates, will govern the use of microplates used in drug discovery, according to ANSI.

SBS’ Microplate Standards Development Committee is now working on two additional standards, one that addresses microplate side-wall rigidity and another that addresses the “flatness” of well bottoms that are critical for use with imaging devices and other automated equipment.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

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.