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bioMerieux, ProteoSys, iPRG, ABRF, NIH, Proteome Sciences, Invitrogen, ABI, Agilent, Expression Pathology

bioMerieux Licenses Annexin 3 From ProteoSys, Developing Dx for Prostate Cancer
bioMerieux and ProteoSys are collaborating on the development of a test for prostate cancer based on Annexin 3, the companies announced last week.
Under the terms of the deal bioMerieux is licensing the rights to Annexin 3 to ProteoSys to develop a urine-based diagnostic test on its VIDAS immunoassay platform after a research phase. bioMerieux will initially focus on confirming the diagnostic application on VIDAS, but is also interested in developing treatment decisions and prognostic applications for Annexin 3, the company said in a statement.
The Annexin 3 test will be complementary to tPSA and FPSA tests currently available on VIDAS. Annexin 3 was discovered by researchers at ProteoSys who said that studies indicate the protein is highly specific for prostate cancer.
Development of an Annexin 3 test could reduce the number of biopsies for prostate cancer by up to 75 percent, the companies said. Biopsies are conducted when PSA test results are inconclusive.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

iPRG Wants Study Participants
The Proteome Informatics Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities is seeking participants for its study evaluating the ability of proteomics laboratories to determine different proteins in two complex samples.
The study will include datasets representing five technical replicates of each sample “enabling participants to evaluate reproducibility of differences,” according to an announcement from iPRG. Participants will be able to compare their capabilities and approaches in analyzing a common dataset.
Requests to participate must be made before Oct. 20 by e-mail to [email protected]. More information about the study can be found here.

NIH Starts Lung Cancer Biomarker Study
The National Institutes of Health this week launched a national clinical trial to determine the predictive value of epidermal growth factor receptor as a biomarker for lung cancer.
EGFR has been associated with the cancer in some cases.
The goal of the study, called Marker Validation for Erlotinib in Lung Cancer, MARVEL, is to definitively establish the value of selecting patients for treatment based on the presence or absence of EGFR activation, the NIH said in a statement.
About 1,200 lung cancer patients will be tested for the status of the biomarker and then be randomly treated. Both EGFR-positive and EGFR-negative patients will receive either erlotinib or pemetrexed after receiving initial, standard chemotherapy.
The phase III study, which is expected to last four years, will be led by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and include many other NCI-sponsored clinical trial groups.

Proteome Sciences Posts 309 Percent Rev Increase in H1
Proteome Sciences this week reported a loss of £2.3 million [$4.1 million] for the first half of 2008, ended June 30 on revenues of £813,420.
During the year ago period, the UK firm posted a loss of £2.3million on revenues of £198,718.
During the first half of the year, the company entered into a licensing agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific for Proteome Sciences’ isobaric tandem mass tagging technology, a deal that has “transformed [the company’s] prospects and will provide long term revenue from a range of applications including health care, life sciences, biotechnology, and environmental,” said RS Harris, chairman of Proteome Sciences.
The company said it had £108,414 in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30.

Invitrogen Completes Financing Syndication for ABI Purchase
Invitrogen last week announced the completion of the syndication of the financing for its acquisition of Applied Biosystems.
The Term Loan A for $1.4 billion and the Revolving Credit Facility for $250 million will bear interest at the London Interbank Offered Rate, a benchmark for short-term interest rates, plus 250 basis points. The Term A Loan has been committed to by 30 bank lenders.
The Term Loan B for $1 billion will bear interest at LIBOR plus 300 basis points. It has approximately 250 committed lenders.
The $6.7 billion merger between Invitrogen and ABI is expected to close in November, subject to shareholder and European Commission approvals.

Lloyds TSB Bank Refinances $1.5B Repurchase Obligation of Agilent Subsidiary
Agilent Technologies said last week that Lloyds TSB Bank has agreed to refinance a $1.5 billion repurchase obligation of Agilent Technologies World Trade, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.
Lloyds is buying the debt from Merrill Lynch Capital Services and expects to complete agreement on Nov. 17.
Under the deal, Lloyds will purchase the preferred stock of the subsidiary from its current owner and extend until Jan. 27, 2011, the date on which Agilent is required to repurchase that preferred stock. Agilent will make quarterly payments to Lloyds at a rate of LIBOR plus 175 basis points.

Expression Pathology and Alberta, Canada, to ID Breast Cancer Biomarkers
Expression Pathology, the Alberta Cancer Board, and the Tom Baker Cancer Center are collaborating to identify protein biomarkers of breast cancer metastasis.
The Alberta Cancer Board and Foundation is providing CAD$300,000 ($290,000) to fund the project. EPI’s Liquid Tissue sample preparation and Director laser microdissection will be used for the mass spectrometry analysis of tissue samples “that have detailed pathology and clinical outcome data,” the company said in a statement.

The Scan

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.

Machine Learning Improves Diagnostic Accuracy of Breast Cancer MRI, Study Shows

Combining machine learning with radiologists' interpretations further increased the diagnostic accuracy of MRIs for breast cancer, a Science Translational Medicine paper finds.

Genome Damage in Neurons Triggers Alzheimer's-Linked Inflammation

Neurons harboring increased DNA double-strand breaks activate microglia to lead to neuroinflammation like that seen in Alzheimer's disease, a new Science Advances study finds.

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.