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Axela, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Leiden University, Denator

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to Use Axela dotLab to Study Brain Injury Biomarkers
Axela said this week that the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will use its dotLab protein-detection technology in a study of childhood brain injury.
The researchers will use the system to study candidate biomarkers for shaken baby syndrome and other types of brain injury.
Rachel Berger, a pediatrician and researcher at the Child Advocacy Center at Children’s Hospital, said in a statement that the data generated so far on the dotLab system “correlated strongly” with results from previous studies using an ELISA platform.
“This platform continues to be the only system, to our knowledge, that has the capability of measuring serum biomarker concentrations in an [emergency department] setting,” Berger said.
Rocky Ganske, president and CEO of Axela, said in a statement that the test under development currently takes less than 20 minutes to complete using “less than two drops of blood.”
Financial terms of the agreement with Children’s Hospital were not disclosed.

Leiden University to Use Denator’s Tissue-Stabilization Tech for Proteomics Studies
Denator of Gothenburg, Sweden, said this week that the Leiden University Medical Center has become an early-access customer for its tissue stabilization technology.
Researchers in the Dutch medical center’s department of parasitology and biomolecular mass spectrometry unit have purchased a Denator instrument, which is scheduled for launch at the annual Human Proteome Organization meeting in August.
A Denator spokeswoman said that the agreement grew out of a collaboration between the medical center and the company that has been in place “for a period of time.”
André Deelder, head of the department of parasitology at the medical center, said in a statement that protein degradation can “interfere significantly” with proteomics experiments, particularly in the case of snap-frozen samples, in which “the risk of further degradation returns when samples need to be thawed.”
Deelder added that “preliminary results indicate that Denator’s rapid heat inactivation technology stabilizes tissues instantly and this stability is maintained during downstream analyses.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pressure BioSciences Gets $850K SBIR Grant
Pressure BioSciences said this week that it has been awarded an $850,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health that it will use to continue development of its pressure cycling technology.
The funds will be provided over a two-year period, and work under the grant is expected to begin this summer. The South Easton, Mass.-based company will be collaborating with researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Pressure BioSciences’ PCT is being developed to extract clinically important protein biomarkers, subcellular molecular complexes, and organelles, such as mitochondria, from cells and tissues. The firm has been working on these applications for the past 18 months under a previous SBIR Phase I grant of $149,000.
“This new grant will allow us to continue our efforts in the development and commercialization of standard, automated, and reproducible PCT-dependent methods for obtaining mitochondria and other organelle preparations,” Alexander Lazarev, Pressure BioSciences’ vice president of R&D, said in a statement.

GWC Licenses Surface Technology from WARF
Proteomics toolmaker GWC Technologies has licensed technology from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation that it plans to use in its imaging systems, the company said this week.
Under the agreement, GWC has taken an exclusive license to WARF’s carbon-on-metal surface technology, which the company said will allow its imaging systems to generate data more reliably.
WARF is the intellectual property arm of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Carbon-on-metal surfaces, in conjunction with GWC’s label-free array systems, enhance the quality of information that can be obtained in studies of protein function,” University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Lloyd Smith said in a statement.
Stephen Weibel, GWC’s director of engineering, said the new surface technology “allows the development of biochips and chemical sensors for use in medical diagnostics, environmental testing, and agriculture and food monitoring.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Strategic Diagnostics Supplying Antibodies for Usher Syndrome Research
Strategic Diagnostics will begin supplying antibodies to the University of Oregon and the Louisiana State University Health Science Center for the study of Usher Syndrome, the company said last week.
The agreement is an expansion of Strategic Diagnostics’ relationship with the universities. The company will retain commercial rights to the antibodies produced and will be the sole commercial distributor. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The antibodies will be used in zebrafish and mouse model systems of the disease used by researchers at the two universities.
In a statement, the company said that while strides have been made in understanding the genetics of Usher Syndrome, “progress has been hindered due to a lack of effective tools to understand the dynamics of the proteins associated with the disease.”

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.