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Celltech, Aclara BioSciences, Frost & Sullivan, Cambridge Antibody Technology, Front Line Consulting


Celltech Plans to Divest Part of OGS

Celltech said last week that it has completed its initial evaluation of Oxford Glycosciences’ business, and integration plans are underway. The company has installed management to direct the integration of parts of OGS and the divestment of other areas. The company said it has identified “a number of high quality programs and personnel, particularly in the oncology area” of OGS which it intends to keep. “Several assets” will be divested. “We believe that our acquisition of OGS will add important new scientific capabilities to Celltech, and will substantially accelerate and complement our own emerging efforts in the field of oncology,” said Göran Ando, Celltech’s CEO, in a statement.

Celltech now controls nearly 90 percent of OGS’ shares and intends to initiate shortly a compulsory purchase process for the remaining outstanding shares. Celltech expects the integration to be largely completed by the end of September.


Aclara SIGNS R&D Systems AS Supplier

Aclara BioSciences of Mountain View, Calif., has signed a supply agreement with Research and Diagnostic Systems, a subsidiary of Techne, for cytokines and antibodies. These are to be incorporated into Aclara’s eTag assay system.


Protein Standards Initiative Progresses

EBI’s Henning Hermjakob told ProteoMonitor’s sister publication BioInform that the Protein Standards Initiative, launched in October, is progressing. A draft of an XML schema for protein-protein interactions is currently being circulated among its developers for further refinement, Hermjakob said, and a paper on the format will likely be submitted to a journal within a month. In addition, he said, “a number of instrument vendors” are on board to develop a mass spec data standard, and a meeting is planned as part of the upcoming ASMS meeting in June in Montreal.


F&S: Structural Proteomics Market to Grow

The markets for protein purification and molecular structure might grow to $221.4 million and $319.9 million, respectively, by 2009, according to an analysis by Frost & Sullivan entitled “World Structural Proteomics Market.” Last year, those markets had a size of $87 million and $151.6 million, the report says. What has been impeding growth, it claims, is the difficulty of obtaining pure proteins and protein crystals, as well as the high cost of instrumentation.


CAT Reports Mounting Losses

Cambridge Antibody Technology, which earlier this year unsucessfully tried to acquire Oxford GlycoSciences, reported its results for the six months that ended March 31, 2003. The company had revenues of £4.0 million ($6.5 million) during this period, less than the £4.9 million ($8.0 million) during the same period last year. Its losses amounted to £18.8 million ($30.8 million), more than twice the £9.1 million ($14.9) during the same period a year ago. CAT said it spent £1.6 million ($2.6 million) on the offer it made for OGS. As of March 31, the company had cash and short-term investments of £188.2 million. CAT also said it is currently in discussions with a potential buyer for a spinout business that will develop antibody microarrays.


Front Line: Microarray Markets to Grow

The market for microarrays might grow to $1.6 billion by 2008, according to a strategic market report by Front Line Consulting entitled “DNA, Protein, and Tissue/Cellular Arrays: Opportunities and Technical Analysis.” The report predicts that DNA arrays will have a market share of 84 percent this year, while protein arrays will likely experience strong growth.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.