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GeneGo, ABI, Wyeth, Caprion, Thermo, Accelrys, University of Newcastle


GeneGo Wins SBIR Grant to Apply
Systems Bio to Proteomic Research

GeneGo has won a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from Department of Defense to help it develop a "systems biology suite of tools for visualization and analysis of proteomics data" the company said this week.

Under the program, GeneGo will use its MetaCore data-mining platform to study a "broad range of proteomics data types"; research the "connectivity" of these data with other '-omics' datasets; and develop "new algorithms to reconstruct protein-state specific biological networks and pathways," according to the company.

To fulfill this research, GeneGo, based in St. Joseph, Mich., will work with the University of Southern California. "By integrating the conventional proteomic analysis with a well-annotated network or pathway analysis program such as Metacore, we are able to quickly and objectively evaluate our proteomic results with high confidence," said Austin Yang, assistant professor pharmaceutical sciences at USC.

The grant comes two weeks after GeneGo received a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Institute of General Medical Science to develop computational methods for reconstructing pathways in human diseases.

ABI to Lay Off 250 Staffers in R&D, Marketing,
Operations; Plans to Hire Elsewhere

Applied Biosystems plans to lay off around 250 employees and to close undisclosed facilities — "primarily" R&D, marketing, and operations facilities.

The move, part of ABI's ongoing reorganization, will cost the company between $20 million to $22 million in a pre-tax charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 to cover costs of employee severance and "facilities closure," ABI said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear when the lay-offs would take place. ABI's fourth quarter ends June 30.

ABI said the move will help the company "rebalance" its workforce. As such, ABI said it will hire additional staffers "in other functional areas including field sales and support, manufacturing quality, and advanced research" during fiscal 2006.

"These adjustments are in keeping with our program to enhance Applied Biosystems' performance and should better align our resources with the needs of our customers," said ABI president Catherine Burzik. "We expect these actions, which include augmenting and upgrading of skills in critical functions, will support higher levels of sales over time. ... "

Wyeth and Caprion Expand Protein Biomarker Agreement

Wyeth has expanded its protein biomarker collaboration with Caprion Pharmaceuticals to identify disease-state biomarkers in the areas of asthma and renal cell carcinoma, Caprion said this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, Caprion will conduct proteomic analyses of human blood plasma samples from patients in two separate Phase II clinical trials in asthma and renal cell carcinoma.

Wyeth and Caprion had previously collaborated on preclinical biomarker research in inflammatory disease using Caprion's CellCarta protein expression profiling technology, Caprion said. The companies initiated the collaboration in July 2003.

Analysts Begin Coverage of Thermo,
Accelrys with 'Hold' Ratings

An analyst for Deutsche Securities has begun covering Thermo Electron, assigning the company a 'Hold' rating, the investment bank said this week.

Also today, investment bank WR Hambrecht said that one of its analysts has initiated coverage of Accelrys with a 'hold' rating.

UK University Seeks Biologists for New Systems Biology Center

The University of Newcastle upon Tyne is seeking 10 biologists to fill post-doctoral positions at the newly created Center for Integrated Systems Biology of Aging and Nutrition, the center said this week.

Made possible by a £6.4 million ($11.6 million) grant from two British government agencies, the center is charged with investigating "the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for aging and the effects of nutritional factors on these mechanisms," according to the statement.

Researchers will "use mammalian cells in vitro and in vivo and yeast as the principal experimental models. Extensive use will be made of technologies such as expression arrays and proteomics, according to the center.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Utility of Mutation Testing in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

Genetic mutations in BRAF and RAS are associated with patient outcomes in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, a new JCO Precision Oncology study reports.

Study Points to Increased Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots in COVID-19 Patients

An analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that even mild COVID-19 increases risk off venous thromboembolism.

Y Chromosome Study Reveals Details on Timing of Human Settlement in Americas

A Y chromosome-based analysis suggests South America may have first been settled more than 18,000 years ago, according to a new PLOS One study.

New Insights Into TP53-Driven Cancer

Researchers examine in Nature how TP53 mutations arise and spark tumor development.