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GeneProt, Serono, Ciphergen, LumiCyte, Diagnostic Products, Compugen, MelTec, Fraunhofer Institute, Syn X Pharma, Biacore

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GeneProt Offers Proteins to Serono for Testing and Licensing

Last week, GeneProt of Geneva announced an agreement with Geneva-based biopharmaceutical firm Serono that might lead to a licensing deal for GeneProt’s proteins.

Under the agreement, which will initially last for one year, Serono will receive a set of less than 50 synthesized polypeptides and proteins from GeneProt to test using its screening platform. The company then has an option to license the proteins exclusively.

GeneProt discovered the proteins “using our own data mining capability,” said CSO Keith Rose in a statement. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. However, according to Nick Miles, Serono’s director of media, the agreement is “very small,” compared to other partnerships.

 

Ciphergen vs. LumiCyte Licensing and Trade Secret Trial Postponed to March 3

Ciphergen and LumiCyte, both of Fremont, Calif., have postponed their civil trial to March 3, according to officials at the Santa Clara County Superior Court in Santa Clara, Calif., where the trial is to be held. A settlement conference is scheduled for February 26th.

The lawsuit addresses the issue of who has the right to sell the chip-based SELDI technology, which both companies licensed from their common progenitor, Molecular Analytical Systems (MAS).

 

Diagnostic Products and Compugen to Develop Diagnostic Cancer Assays

Compugen of Tel Aviv has granted Diagnostic Products of Los Angeles an exclusive license to develop and market diagnostic assays based on two novel prostate-specific protein markers. The assays will be used to screen, detect, and monitor prostate and other cancers, the two companies said last week.

In exchange, Compugen will receive undisclosed milestone payments and royalties based on the commercialization of its intellectual property, including sales by Diagnostic Products of any immunoassay- based products.

Compugen discovered the two novel markers using its proprietary Leads computational biology platform, and published the findings last year in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The two proteins are encoded by alternative splice variants of the genes for prostate specific antigen and human kallikrein 2.

MelTec and Fraunhofer Institute Start Collaboration

MelTec of Magdeburg, Germany, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) of Sankt Augustin, Germany, signed a collaborative agreement last week to develop an information technology platform for the management and interpretation of high-throughput experiments that analyze protein networks of whole cells in situ.

Under the agreement, MelTec and FIT will develop software to analyze and visualize protein networks and to correlate the data with results from in vitro and in vivo experiments. MelTec focuses on characterizing protein networks in single cells (see ProteoMonitor 5-20-02). The Institute for Applied Information Technology is one of the 56 institutes of the Fraunhofer Society in Germany.

 

Syn X Pharma Co-Authors Nature Medicine Diabetes Article

Researchers from Syn X Pharma are co-authors on an article entitled “Autoimmune islet destruction in spontaneous type 1 diabetes is not ß-cell exclusive” that appeared online last week in Nature Medicine.

The article results from a collaboration the company has had since 1997 with Michael Dosch from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the corresponding author of the publication.

According to Syn X, the researchers discovered in an animal model of type 1 diabetes that a very early target of diabetic autoimmunity is not the insulin-producing ß-cells, but a fine layer of nervous system tissue that surrounds these cells. Using a vaccine-type approach to alter autoimmunity, they were able to reduce the development of diabetes in these mice.

Biomarkers identified by Syn X’s proprietary proteomics discovery platform can be used as therapeutic targets and as diagnostic markers for early screening of type 1 diabetes, the company said in a statement.

 

Biacore Expands Molecular Interaction Consulting Service

Biacore International of Uppsala, Sweden, said last week that it has expanded its contract consulting service to Japan.

The service, introduced in the US last year, provides researchers with expertise in chip-based SPR technology for molecular interaction studies. In addition, it delivers results for one-off projects.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.