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Bio-Rad, ABRF, Invitrogen, Applied Biosystems, Miraculins, Protagen, George Mason University, Fairfax-Northern Virginia Hematology Oncology

Bio-Rad Revs Up 33.4 Percent in Q2
Bio-Rad Laboratories this week reported a 33.4 percent hike in revenues for its second quarter, including a 10.7 percent jump in its Life Sciences segment.
For the three months ended June 30, receipts reached $452.4 million, up from $339.1 million a year ago. The increase was aided by the addition in October of DiaMed Holding, a developer of blood-typing reagents and screening tools. Excluding results from the acquisition, second-quarter revenues rose 14.7 percent year-over-year. On a currency-neutral basis, revenues for the quarter rose 25.4 percent, compared to a year ago.
Life Science revenues increased to $161.6 million, compared to a $146 million year ago. Excluding currency effects, receipts in the segment rose 3.2 percent.
Revenues for Bio-Rad’s Clinical Diagnostics segment shot up 51.4 percent to $287.4 million from $189.8 million a year ago. Without the DiaMed acquisition, sales were up 17.9 percent.
Net income during the quarter increased 69.1 percent to $43.4 million, compared to $25.7 million a year ago.
Research and development expenses increased to $42.1 million, compared to $35.8 million a year ago. Bio-Rad said it had $183.6 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30.

ABRF’s PRG Wants Participants for Relative Protein Quantification Study
The Proteomics Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities is seeking volunteers for a study looking at different approaches for determining quantitative differences for several target proteins in six samples of human plasma.
The goal of the study is to document the “breadth of approaches” used by the ABRF community and to highlight the type of information obtained by the different methods, according to a statement from the PRG.
An increasingly common request for proteomics laboratories is determining quantitative differences among samples in clinical matrices such as urine, plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid. “The major challenges associated with this type of analysis are detection and accurate quantification in these very complex matrices,” the PRG said.
Participants will be asked to provide relative quantification of three specified proteins in human plasma; information about methods used to analyze the samples; and information about the experimental design used for quantification.
Sequence information on the three target proteins will be provided. At least two of the target proteins will be currently relevant human biomarkers. The PRG will compile descriptions of the experimental methods that were used and highlight methods that successfully determined known differences in the sample sets. The information will be shared at the 2009 ABRF annual conference in February. 
The study is open to both ABRF members and non-members.
Samples are expected to be distributed in September. Participants are asked to return resulting data by Dec. 1.
Request for samples can be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] with “PRG2009 SAMPLE REQUEST” in the subject line.  

Invitrogen, ABI File Marriage Papers with SEC
Invitrogen announced this week it has filed a registration form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its proposed acquisition of Applied Biosystems.
The $6.7 billion deal was announced in June and is expected to close in late October or early November [See PM 06/12/08 and 06/19/08]. Last week, the two firms said that the waiting period under the Hart-Scot-Rodino Antitrust Act of 1976 had expired, clearing away one hurdle to the companies’ proposed merger. Invitrogen will soon contact the European Commission for a similar review process.

Miraculins Buying Biomarkers for Preeclampsia
Miraculins has agreed to purchase a portfolio of biomarkers from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto to develop into a diagnostic for preeclampsia, the company said this week.
The transaction is the first by Miraculins since it changed its focus to diagnostics development from proteomics research and development [See PM 06/26/08].
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The panel of biomarkers being brought by Miraculins “has shown evidence of its ability to diagnose the disease in its earliest stages,” the company said in a statement. The market for a diagnostic tool for preeclampsia in the US is about 6.4 million women, it added.

Protagen Raises New Financing
Protagen last week announced it has raised new financing to strengthen and expand its UNIarray technology and develop new diagnostics.
The German company did not disclose the amount raised. Funding came from existing institutional investors MIG, S-Venture Capital, and Kreditanstalt für Wideraufbau.
Protagen provides protein analytical services, protein bioinformatics, and protein biochips. UNIarray is for the development of novel diagnostics based on specific autoantibody patterns in patient sera.

GMU, Oncologists Partner for Multiple Myeloma Study
Cancer and proteomics scientists at George Mason University have created a partnership with Fairfax-Northern Virginia Hematology Oncology in a privately funded program aimed at finding the protein signal pathways involved in multiple myeloma.
The University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine said this week it will use funding from the Chris Walker Multiple Myeloma Foundation to work with the Fairfax clinic to study the effects of experimental treatments on living tumor cells from multiple myeloma patients.
The goal is to try to use pathway analysis to develop novel therapeutic targets for treatments of a blood cancer that, according to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, will be diagnosed in nearly 20,000 people in 2008. 
"This novel trial will test a large series of targeted inhibitors, alone and in unique combinations, which block key signaling pathways in the tumor cells,” CAPMM Co-director Lance Liotta said in a statement. “This is a key first step toward true individualized therapy for multiple myeloma."

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.