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Beckman Coulter, Protagen, Schunde Kangdi, Beijing PRC, Sage-N, Thermo Fisher, Pall Center of Excellence, Ariadne, Eurofins, Proteros, Boehringer Ingelheim

Beckman Coulter Backs Down, Biosite Says ‘Yes’ to Inverness
After a bidding war lasting more than a month, Biosite is on the verge of merging with Inverness Medical Innovations.
This week, Biosite said that it intends to accept a takeover bid by Inverness after its board determined the latest Inverness offer of $92.50 per share is superior to an offer by Beckman Coulter of $90 per share.
Beckman responded by saying it would not raise its bid.
Inverness made its offer last week, improving upon the $90 bid by Beckman to match an earlier offer by Inverness. Biosite gave Beckman until 12.01 AM PDT, May 18, to match or surpass Inverness’ offer. If Beckman doesn’t, Biosite will terminate their merger agreement to enter into one with Inverness.
Beckman responded this week by folding its hand in a high-stakes poker game with Biosite as the bounty. “Beckman Coulter believes that the long-term interests of Beckman Coulter stockholders would not be served by increasing the tender offer price,” the company said in a statement.
On deadline, Biosite had not officially terminated its merger agreement with Beckman.
In late March, Beckman and Biosite agreed to a $1.55 billion merger in which Beckman would pay $85 per share of Biosite’s outstanding common stock [See PM 03/29/07] Soon after, Inverness entered into the fray with a $90 per share offer [See PM 04/05/07]. Beckman then matched that offer.
Even at $85 per share, Wall Street had said Beckman might be overvaluing Biosite. This week, Scott Garrett, president and CEO of Beckman, said in a statement that the company’s goal was to “…to create sustainable value for Beckman Coulter’s shareholders. We continue to believe the combination of Biosite with Beckman Coulter is strategically sound.” 
He added that the $90 per share offer is “a full and fair price for Biosite,” and noted that the transaction has already received regulatory clearance, making it “highly certain.”
If Biosite terminates the Beckman agreement, it will pay Beckman a $54 million termination charge, which Inverness will cover as a cost of the acquisition.

Protagen, Schunde Kangdi, Beijing PRC Collaborate on Antibody Development
Protagen this week said it has entered into an agreement to develop antibodies against liver proteins with the Center for Applied Proteomics, Schunde Kangdi Antibody Biotech, and the Beijing Proteome Research Center.
The collaboration calls for the development of protein chips for the analysis of quantitative antibody binding profiles and off-target activities of antibody candidates. The Center for Applied Proteomics will use Protagen’s UNIchip products to assess about 200 monoclonal antibodies generated by Schunde Kangdi and Beijing PRC.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Helmut Meyer, head of the Human Brain Proteome Project and director of the Center for Applied Proteomics, and Fuchu He, head of the Human Liver Proteome Project and president of Beijing PRC, will be the scientific leaders on the collaboration.

Sage-N Sublicenses Sequest Technology from Thermo Fisher
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week granted Sage-N Research a sublicense to sell Sequest proteomics search engine products worldwide. Thermo has a license from the University of Washington to commercialize the Sequest technology.
Terms of the agreement between Thermo Fisher and Sage-N were not disclosed.
Development of products incorporating application-optimized versions of the base Sequest technology are planned for biomarker discovery for drug efficacy and safety, phosphorylation site localization for cancer research, and real-time protein identification with mass spectrometry, Sage-N said in a statement.

Pall Center of Excellence with Proteomics Lab Opens in Bangalore
Pall this week opened a Life Sciences Center of Excellence in Bangalore, India. The 20,000-square-foot center includes a proteomics laboratory to help customers in the drug discovery process. It also has a validation laboratory and training facility to support Indian and regional customers in the drug export market.
On deadline, it was unclear what equipment the center had.
According to Pall, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is the fourth-largest in the world in terms of volume and generates $6 billion in sales annually at a growth rate of 10 percent.

Japanese Rx Firms License Ariadne Software
Ariadne said this week that five Japanese drug companies have licensed its Pathway Studio Enterprise software from World Fusion, the Ariadne Enterprise Software distributor in Japan. The software will be used for proteomics, microarray, and other experimental data analysis, Ariadne said in a statement.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Aridane declined to name the Japanese drug companies.

New Eurofins Lab for Proteomics, Metabolomics Biomarker Discovery
Eurofins said last week its new laboratory in Fitzsimons Biotech Park in Aurora, Colo., is now fully operational. The lab provides mass spectrometry-based technologies for the development, validation, and measurement of biomarkers and biomarker strategies for proteomics and metabolomics, the company said in a statement. The services are targeted for the development of new drugs. The lab is located next to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Proteros, Boehringer Ingelheim Collaborate on Protein Crystallography Research
Proteros Biostructures said this week it has entered into research collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim for the generation and analyses of protein-ligand-structures of hits and evolved chemical entities from in-house Boehringer programs. Proteros will use its proprietary Free Mounting System and Picodropper technologies to maximize data quality and success rates.

The agreement lasts for 18 months. Proteros will receive research funding fees and success payments. No further details were disclosed.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.