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GeneProt, Novartis, DiaDexus, SurroMed, Eli Lilly, Amersham


GeneProt and Novartis Team with Duke

Researchers at GeneProt and Novartis are working with cardiologists at Duke University Medical Center to characterize distinctive protein expression patterns in heart disease patients, the university said last week.

The researchers are using an “industrial-scale“ approach to protein analysis in order to uncover the subtle differences between protein levels in healthy people and those with coronary artery disease.

Duke has identified appropriate patients and provided access to clinical samples through its large database of cardiovascular patients. GeneProt is analyzing proteins of interest, and synthesizing some of them for further study by researchers at Novartis.

The collaborators have identified 106 matched healthy controls and heart disease patients, and plan to analyze a total of six liters of blood from each group. Large volumes of blood are necessary, according to the researchers, to accurately identify proteins relevant to disease.

At Duke, the heart disease protein study is led by Chris Granger, a cardiologist at the university’s clinical research institute.


DiaDexus to Collaborate with Hanash

DiaDexus will support University of Michigan geneticist Sam Hanash in research using proteomic techniques to develop new biomarkers to diagnose and treat cancer, the company said last week. DiaDexus did not disclose the financial terms of the arrangement.

DiaDexus will provide research funding in exchange for exclusive licensing rights to discoveries of commercial interest. The University of Michigan also stands to receive milestone and royalty payments on any products developed out of the collaboration.

Hanash’s research will focus on identifying cell surface membrane proteins as potential therapeutic targets or biomarkers. His team will analyze normal and cancerous biological samples and cell lines with a sensitive technique.


SurroMed + Lilly

SurroMed has launched a research collaboration with Eli Lilly to identify new biomarkers, the company said last week. Lilly will supply biological samples, which SurroMed will analyze using its mass spectrometry-based platform. The collaboration is broad, with the goal of identifying biomarkers that are relevant to drug development and disease progression. Financial details of the agreement were not revealed.


Amersham Licenses Protein Capture Agents

Amersham Biosciences has licensed a set of protein capture-related patents from UpFront Chromatography, the company said last week. The patents cover expanded bed adsorption techniques — streamlined methods of capturing proteins from crude biological samples. Amersham plans to use UpFront’s EBA technology to improve its Streamline protein separation platform.

As part of this agreement, UpFront Chromatography will receive non-exclusive rights to Amersham’s own EBA patents. UpFront Chromatography, which develops protein chemistry and chromatographic adsorption techniques, is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.