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Fisher Scientific, Genevac, Thermo Electron, Waters, ACS Awards, Yale University, NFCR, ABRF, Goodwin Biotechnology, Caprion Pharmaceuticals, Syngene, and Wiley-VCH

Fisher to Shed Genevec as US Feds OK Thermo-Fisher Marriage, EC Approval Pending
US regulators have cleared the way for Thermo Electron and Fischer Scientific to move forward with their proposed merger after Fisher said it would divest its $17 million Genevac business, the companies said this week. If the European Commission gives its approval, the merger could be completed on Nov. 9.
The US Federal Trade Commission has approved a consent order requiring the Genevac divestiture and granted early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act to the companies. No further regulatory review in the US is needed, the companies said.
Thermo and Fisher said they also have been in discussion with the EC and anticipate the sale of the Genevac business will resolve any issues it may have with the merger proposal.
Genevac, a subsidiary of Fisher, develops solvent evaporation systems for drug discovery applications. Apogent Technologies acquired Genevac in 2000. Apogent merged with Fisher Scientific in 2004.
According to its website, Genevac employs around 85 people, and most are based at the company’s manufacturing, R&D, and marketing headquarters in Ipswich, UK.
Genevac also has a US subsidiary based in Valley Cottage, NY.

Waters Sponsors ACS Awards
Waters said it will sponsor two American Chemical Society Achievement Awards recognizing outstanding accomplishments in separations science and technology and mass spectrometry.
The winner of the 2008 ACS Separations Science & Technology award will receive $5,000, a certificate and fully-paid trip to the society’s annual meeting in New Orleans in April 2008. The winner will be announced in September. Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 1. The award was last given in 2004.
Waters is the new sponsor of the Frank H. Field and Joe L. Franklin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mass Spectrometry. The 2007 winner, Jean Futrell of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, will receive $5,000, a certificate, and a fully-paid trip to the national meeting in Chicago in March.

Yale, NFCR Create Center to Develop Beta-peptides
Using a five-year, $750,000 grant, Yale University and the National Foundation for Cancer Research said this week they have created the NFCR Center for Anti-Cancer Drug Design and Discovery to develop new beta-peptide inhibitors against cancer.
Researchers will use the grant from the NFCR to better understand how beta-peptides can be designed to disrupt protein-protein interactions that transmit cell signals. The lead investigators, Alanna Schepatz and William Jorgensen will focus on developing new approaches to inhibit such interactions.
The new center will work with scientists in 40 additional cancer centers and laboratories.

ABRF Wants Researchers for Study on Protein Quantitation Methods
The Proteomics Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities is making protein samples available to researchers as part of a study to evaluate techniques for determining abundance differences in such samples.
The PRG will provide three samples containing protein mixtures to participants. A protein database will also be provided. The study is open to ABRF members and non-members but because of a limited number of samples, priority will be given to members.
Requests for samples must be submitted by e-mail to [email protected]. The subject line should include “PRG SAMPLE REQUEST.”
The PRG expects to distribute samples in November and asks that data be returned by Dec. 31. It asks that each laboratory request only one sample.

Goodwin Agrees to Manufacture Caprion’s Shigatoxin Therapy
Caprion Pharmaceuticals has entered into a manufacturing agreement with Goodwin Biotechnology for Caprion’s Shigamabs, a dual antibody therapy for the Shigatoxin-producing E. coli infections.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Caprion, based in Montreal, recently completed Phase 1 studies for Shigamabs. Goodwin has been producing Shigamabs for the trials and conducting development for the production process, the companies said in a statement. It is now moving into production of materials for the pivotal trials.
Goodwin recently expanded its facility in Ft. Lauderdale, where it is based, and plans further expansion to meet the anticipated demand for Shigamabs and other products, it said.

Syngene’s Dyversity Detects Nanogram Amounts of Proteins
Syngene announced this week its Dyversity multi-functional imager can detect nanogram quantities of protein stained with Invitrogen’s Pro-Q Diamond in seconds, providing researchers a rapid method for imaging 1D and 2D protein gels.
Syngene researchers imaged 1D acrylamide gels containing 1000-0.1 ng Pro-Q Diamond stained phosphoprotein molecular weight standard using a Dyversity system fitted with a Cy dye lighting module, dual wavelength transilluminator, UV and Cy3 dye emission filters.
The researchers used two settings to capture the gel images, Cy3 excitation with a Cy3 emission filter and medium-wave UV excitation with a UV emission filter. They found that in both settings Dyversity produced “comparable results with identical exposure times, detecting as little as 5 ng of Pro-Q Diamond stained protein in less than three seconds,” the company said in a statement.

Wiley-VCH to Launch New Proteomics Publication
Wiley-VCH announced last week it plans a new publication, Proteomics-Clinical Applications. The stand-alone publication, which will start publishing next year, will publish 12 times a year and focus on clinical research, validation of disease biomarkers, novel drug targets, and clinical trials.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.