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GeneProt, Oxford GlycoSciences, SurroMed, Wyeth, Qiagen, Agilent

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GeneProt Lays Off Almost Half Its Staff

As ProteoMonitor went to press, news broke that GeneProt of Geneva, Switzerland, is undergoing a major reorganization. The company will lay off 45 of its 95 employees, starting in less than two weeks, according to CSO Keith Rose. Last fall, the company already underwent a round of layoffs that took effect in January (see ProteoMonitor 11-4-02).

 

OGS Shareholders Reject Celltech Offer; More Bids from Biotech Investors Expected

On the first closing date for its £101.4 million ($160 million) all-cash offer for Oxford GlycoSciences last week, Celltech received acceptance from shareholders adding up to less than 4 percent of OGS’ share capital. Combined with the OGS shares Celltech purchased recently, the company is now backed by only 14.4 percent of the share capital. Celltech extended its offer until April 15. The bidding will likely go on: UK biotech investors Sir Christopher Evans and Alan Goodman are planning to launch their own joint offer for OGS that would trump both CAT’s and Celltech’s offers, according to a source close to Evans.

 

SurroMed and Wyeth Start Biomarker Collaboration

SurroMed of Mountain View, Calif., said last week that it had started a collaboration on biomarker discovery with Wyeth. Wyeth will supply clinical samples, which SurroMed will analyze using its software and microvolume laser-scanning cytometry technology, which can profile several hundred cell populations and cell surface markers in blood and other biofluids. SurroMed has other biomarker discovery agreements with Eli Lilly, InterMune, PPD Discovery, and the MIND Institute.

 

Qiagen and Agilent to Co-Market Lab-on-a-Chip Technology

Qiagen of Venlo, the Netherlands, and Agilent Technologies said last week that they will co-market the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer and LabChip kits with Qiagen’s consumables and instruments for the separation, purification, and handling of nucleic acids and proteins. As part of the non-exclusive agreement, the two companies will develop a series of scientific application notes. Agilent developed the instrument and chips together with Caliper Technologies.

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.