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Biosite Still in Running for Large Scale Biology Partnership, Amersham Biosciences Teams with Dyax and Affibody, Ciphergen and LumiCyte Issue Dueling Press Releases


Biosite Still in Running for Large Scale Biology Partnership

Following Biosite’s announcement last month that it had developed an alternative method of using phage display to produce antibodies, Large Scale Biology chief scientific officer Leigh Anderson told ProteoMonitor that he was encouraged by Biosite’s new development.

Earlier this year, LSBC called off its partnership with Biosite, under which Biosite was to have produced some 2,000 to 5,000 antibodies to LSBC’s proteins, because of concerns about Biosite’s patent and licensing dispute with Xoma. However, Nadine Padilla, vice president for corporate and investor relations at Biosite, said that “we would not have made a public announcement if we were not confident” that the modified bacterial expression technology steered clear of Xoma’s claims. “The door is certainly open to LSBC” to resume their partnership, she added.

Anderson said that he thought Biosite is a great potential partner in antibody production, but that “we don’t yet know the details of how [the modified phage display technology] compares with the earlier method.”

Amersham Biosciences teams with Dyax and Affibody

Amersham Biosciences said last week that it had signed agreements with Dyax and Affibody to develop novel affinity chromatography media for large-scale protein separations.

Terms of the agreement call for Dyax to give Amersham non-exclusive rights to its phage-display affinity-ligand discovery process, which is designed to find ligands that may be used in chromatography separation. Amersham said it intends to use the technology for “specific customer needs and to develop more broadly-applicable products for the protein separations field.” Meanwhile, Amersham and Affibody will develop a class of small affinity proteins, which the companies call Affibodies, designed to bind to desired protein targets.

An Amersham spokesperson said the initial products to emerge from the collaboration would be directed towards large-scale separation processes, such as that used in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals, but that the company had not ruled out the possibility of developing bench-scale separation technology.

Ciphergen and LumiCyte Issue Dueling Press Releases

Ciphergen and LumiCyte, two rival California-based companies attempting to develop protein affinity chips based on the SELDI technology, separately announced that they had made progress in validating their respective platforms.

LumiCyte, which was founded by former Ciphergen executive William Hutchens in 1999, said March 5 that its collaborators at the Baylor College of Medicine had moved the biomarkers discovered using LumiCyte’s technology into clinical trials. Fremont, Calif.-based LumiCyte hopes the biomarkers can find application as diagnostics and to monitor disease progression.

Ciphergen, also of Fremont, said March 5 it had signed an agreement with Beckman Coulter to offer a customized version of Beckman’s Biomek 2000 liquid handling system to customers using Ciphergen’s protein chips. Combining Beckman’s liquid handling system with Ciphergen’s 96- and 192-well array processors could improve reproducibility and increase sample throughput by five-fold, the company said.

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