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Beyond Genomics, Matritech and Bruker Daltonics, Genome Canada, Syrrx


Beyond Genomics Signs Wide-Ranging Collaboration with BU

Building on CEO Steve Ober’s close relationship with Aram Chobanian, dean of the Boston University School of Medicine, Waltham, Mass.-based Beyond Genomics has signed a multi-year agreement to collaborate with BU in applying proteomics and other technologies in the study of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, oncology and central nervous system disorders, the two parties said last week.

The agreement is potentially quite broad-ranging, said Beyond Genomics director of marketing Ted Marple, because it will allow BU scientists access to the company’s systems biology technologies for a number of research projects. “It’s not so simple as just getting access to clinical samples,” he said. “It’s very broad, and umbrella-like in structure.”

Marple declined to disclose the financial and intellectual property conditions of the collaboration, but characterized the partnership as involving mutual decisions as to which disease programs to pursue together. Joseph Loscalzo, chairman of the department of medicine at BU, will play a major role in helping guide the research partnership, he added. Loscalzo’s research at BU centers around the vascular biology of nitric oxide and the vascular pathobiology of atherothrombosis.

Although Beyond Genomics will continue to develop partnerships with other commercial and academic parties, Marple said the arrangement with BU “is the focus for now.”


Bruker Daltonics to Supply Mass Specs for Matritech Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic test developer Matritech has signed up Bruker Daltonics to collaborate on protein diagnostic tests for breast and prostate cancer, the two companies said last week. Bruker will supply the MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and associated sample handing systems, while Matritech will supply the intellectual property for the joint offering, said Steve Chubb, CEO of Matritech. The systems will test patients’ blood for NMP66, a nuclear matrix protein associated with breast cancer, and NMP48, a nuclear matrix protein associated with prostate cancer. Matritech discovered the protein markers using a 2D gel and mass spectrometry platform, Chubb said. The company chose to work with Bruker primarily because of its past relationship with Bruker as an instrument supplier, Chubb added.


Genome Canada Awards BIND $8M

Protein interaction database BIND has received CA $12.5 million ($8.14 million) from Genome Canada, ProteoMonitor learned last week. Christopher Hogue, a project leader for BIND, could not be reached for comment, but in the past BIND representatives have said the money will go toward hiring additional curators and validating the interactions in the database generated from yeast two-hybrid experiments.


Syrrx Files Infringement Suit Against Oculus Pharmaceuticals

Syrrx filed a patent infringement suit against Oculus Pharmaceuticals earlier this month, claiming the Birmingham, Ala.-based company has infringed on Syrrx’s patent covering nanovolume technology for crystallizing molecules in volumes of less than one microliter. The suit is the first action taken by Syrrx in defense of US Patent 6,296,673, which the company was awarded in February.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.