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Ciphergen, UTMB, CyBio, Palico, NHLBI

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Ciphergen, UTMB Pen Liver Disease Biomarker Alliance

Ciphergen and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston plan to discover, validate, and characterize new liver disease biomarkers, the company said this week.

Under the deal, Ciphergen will provide UTMB with its suite of proteomic solutions, including Deep Proteome, Pattern Track Process, and ProteinChip systems. UTMB will apply the technologies to its own clinical samples, Ciphergen said.

Ciphergen will have the first option to negotiate an exclusive license to discoveries made during the agreement and will be part of UTMB's ongoing research in liver disease, the company said.

Additional terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.


CyBio Partners with Palico for Singapore Market; Supplies Protein Crystallization Workstation

CyBio partnered with Palico Biotech to enter Singapore's biotech market, the company said this week.

CyBio will supply its pipetting workstation CyBi-HTPC to an unnamed university in the country, which will use the workstation in its research on protein crystallization.

According to CyBio, Palico Biotech is an established drug-discovery and life-science products distributor in Singapore.

Financial details were not disclosed.


NHLBI Sets Aside $24.3M RFA for Systems Biology Research

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute last week issued a request for applications for collaborative research projects combining computational modeling and simulation approaches with experimental validation of model predictions to improve understanding of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

The NHLBI said it plans to award $24.3 million over the next five years to support nine new cluster grants, three in each of the next three years, focused on developing systems biology approaches to "explaining and predicting complex cellular and physiological phenomena of living organisms in terms of underlying physical and chemical processes and accompanying feedback regulations at molecular, cellular, tissue, or whole organ levels" in the context of heart, lung, blood, and sleep physiology and pathophysiology.

Examples of research topics that fall under this request include, but are not limited to: networks involved in regulating oxygen delivery, including regulation of hemoglobin levels though control of red cell production, changes in vascular tone, and regulation of distribution of blood flow in different vasculatures; electrical and structural simulations of the heart, including expression of ion channel genes, that predict occurrence of arrhythmias and responses to potential treatments; and the role of inflammation in the development of pulmonary, thrombotic, and cardiovascular diseases and responses to pharmacological intervention, targeting NSAID therapy.

Letters of intent are due by Feb. 8, 2006, with final applications due by March 10, according to the NHLBI. The RFA expires on March 11. Additional details about the funding opportunity can be found here.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.