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Cell Biosciences Launches First Platform Commercially

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Cell Biosciences this week made its first official commercial launch with the CB1000 protein analysis system.

The system measures post-translational medications such as phosphorylation using capillary-based nanofluidic immunoassays. Built on technology developed for its earlier instrument, the Firefly 3000, the new system uses a capillary that is filled with a sample filled with separation buffer and standards. Proteins are then separated by isoelectric points based on isoelectric focusing.

The capillary is then exposed to UV light, activating cross-linking chemistries and immobilizing the proteins. Specific proteins are probed with primary antibody and horseradish peroxidase-labeled secondary antibodies. Detection reagents are flowed into the capillary, producing chemiluminescent light, and finally the emitted light is captured with a CCD camera, digitized, and quantified.

The CB1000 "provides significant improvements in assay performance and automation, including a doubling of sample throughput," Cell Biosciences said in a statement.

The CB 1000 is the first platform to be made commercially available by the company in its five-year history. The Firefly 3000 was never introduced to the marketplace and had been available only to fewer than 10 select users, primarily at medical schools and medical research centers.

The Firefly 3000 will now be retired though Cell Biosciences will continue to offer customer support for it.

The launch also comes after a tumultuous year for the company as it transitioned from being a start-up technology shop to a full commercialization organization. Among the changes was a shake-up in top management as Tim Harkness, formerly the CFO of Molecular Devices, replaced Linda Cahill as president and CEO last June [See PM 01/15/09].

Earlier this month, the company announced it had a $10 million Series C financing round. At the time, Harkness said the financing would allow the company to "fully execute our plan to bring this revolutionary proteomics technology to the broad life sciences market."

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