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GenProt, Waters, Molecular Staging, Fluidigm, Compugen, Luminex, Bayer Diagnostics, Astex Technology, NextGen, Nonlinear Dynamics, Aclara BioSciences, Imaging Research, Pierce Biotechnology, Platform Computing, Matrix Science


GeneProt Paid Waters $7.7M in Termination Fees

In its recently released 10-Q report for the quarter ended September 30, 2002, Waters said that in connection with GeneProt’s canceled order of up to $20 million in mass spectrometry equipment, related systems, and services, Waters received approximately $7.7 million from GeneProt as a termination fee. The company collected $2.5 million of this in June of this year. The remainder was a customer advance that Waters received in December 2001.


Molecular Staging Wins SBIR Grant for Osteoarthritis Biomarker Chip

Molecular Staging of New Haven, Conn., has received a Small Business Innovation Research Phase 1 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to develop a biomarker protein chip for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis in patient serum. The chip will use MSI’s proprietary rolling circle amplification technology.


Fluidigm Raises Series C Funding

Adding to $37 million from earlier rounds, Fluidigm of South San Francisco has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding from Lilly BioVentures. The company will use the money to develop and commercialize its first product, a microfluidic chip for protein crystallization that will allow researchers to work with nanogram quantities of proteins.


Compugen Licenses 2D-Gel System to Organon, Procter & Gamble

Compugen of Tel Aviv has licensed its Z4000 automated system for 2D-gel experiments to Organon and Procter & Gamble.


Luminex and Bayer Diagnostics Execute Agreements

Luminex of Austin, Texas, and Bayer Diagnostics, a division of Bayer, have executed a license agreement, a supply agreement for Luminex’s xMAP technology, and a multi-year agreement relating to the development of a new cellular analyzer.

The license agreement grants Bayer Diagnostics the right to develop and distribute in vitro diagnostic products that are based on Luminex’s xMAP technology. In return, Luminex receives a one-time license fee as well as royalties from future products based on the technology.

Under the development agreement, Bayer will design and market a cellular analyzer based on Luminex’s technology and Bayer’s methods and software, which will be targeted to hospitals and reference laboratories. Bayer has obtained worldwide rights to market and sell the analyzer and associated reagent kits, while Luminex will manufacture the instrument platform and will receive royalties from the commercialization as well as revenues from instrument sales.


Astex Gets Beamline Access

Astex Technology of Cambridge, UK, has joined the Partnership for Structural Biology, an association of four European research institutes, at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France. As a result, the company has obtained access to a new X-ray beamline dedicated to macromolecular structural biology.


NextGen Obtains First UK Patent

NextGen Sciences has been granted its first UK patent (patent number GB 237 0039) entitled “Producing Protein Arrays and Fusion Proteins for use therein.”


Nonlinear Expands Market Dynamically

Nonlinear Dynamics of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, has chosen Aphelys of Plaisir, France, to distribute its 1D-gel, 2D-gel, and array image analysis software in France. Alphelys sells equipment, software, and reagents to research laboratories involved in genomics and proteomics.


Aclara’s Loss Increases to $11.2 M in Q3

Aclara BioSciences of Mountain View, Calif., reported a net loss of $11.2 million, up from $9.1 million the year before, for the quarter ended September 30, 2002. It also booked revenues of $0.5 million, similar to the year before.

Included in the net loss was a previously announced restructuring charge of $3.3 million related to a new focus on the company’s eTag assay technology. Aclara started lay-offs, primarily from its microfluidics business, in the third quarter, which will amount to 55 employees by the end of the year. The company expects to end the year with fewer than 120 employees.

Since early 2002, Aclara has started more than a dozen validation studies for its eTag technology with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that cover applications in gene expression profiling, protein expression, and protein-protein interactions.

As of October, Aclara had about $120 million in cash, short term and long term investments, and restricted cash.


Imaging Research and Pierce Biotechnology Sign Supply Agreement

Imaging Research, a majority owned subsidiary of Amersham Biosciences, of St. Catharines, Ontario, has signed a development and supply agreement with Pierce Biotechnology of Rockford, Ill.

Imaging Research will develop and supply Pierce with an imaging system customized for the analysis of Pierce SearchLight protein arrays. This also includes Imaging Research’s ArrayVision microarray analysis software. Pierce will market the imaging system together with its protein arrays.


San Diego Supercomputer Center Receives $1.18M for Protein Kinase Database

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.18 million over three years to the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD to extend a protein kinase database. More than 10,000 visitors per week currently use the resource, which countains 11,430 entries.

The funding will be used to integrate the protein kinase resource with other databases and to build an application program interface. SDSC already houses the Protein Data Bank, PDB.


Syn X Pharma Locks Distribution Agreement with Princeton BioMeditech

Syn X Pharma and Princeton BioMeditech finalized their agreement, announced in a letter of intent last month. It grants Syn X exclusive distribution rights for PBM’s LifeSign brand point-of-care diagnostic products in Canada.


Platform Partners with Matrix Science

Matrix Science of London, UK, has integrated Platform Computing’s Platform LSF software, which manages workloads across distributed environments, with its mass spectrometry search engine, Mascot.

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.