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George Mason, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Caprotec Bioanalytics, NextGen, Harvard Institute of Proteomics, GeneData, Eurofins, Miraculins, ABRF

George Mason Proteomics Team, Inova Hospital Studying Breast Cancer Stem Cells
George Mason University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine and the Inova Fairfax Hospital Cancer Center in Virginia are partnering on a two-year, $750,000 study to determine whether cancer stem cells are present in the earliest stages of premalignant breast cancer tumorigenesis.
The team will study ductal carcinoma in situ to see how early invasive and metastatic cancer cells develop. CDIS is the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer in women, accounting for 30 percent of the 185,000 breast cancers detected by mammography each year, the university and hospital said in a statement.
The goals of the study are to determine whether DCIS has “pre-existing invasive potential that is suppressed by the ductal wall, and if a DCIS-specific stem cell exists that unlocks the invasive potential of the tumor,” according to the statement.
“The goal is not only to discover a premalignant stem cell, but also to use our unique protein array technology to crack open the protein pathways that are activated,” said Emanuel Petricoin, co-director of CAPMM.
The funding is provided by the newly created Synergistic Idea Award from the US Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

Caprotec Bioanalytics Debuts with $6.7M in Start-up Funding
Caprotec Bioanalytics said this week it has received €4.5 million [$6.6 million] in start-up funding, to be used for further development of the Berlin, Germany-based company’s technology.
Leading the funding round was VC Fonds Berlin, the ERP Startfonds, and private investors, including Henrich-Maria Schulte, cofounder of Evotec and owner of the Wölbern Bank in Hamburg, Germany.
Caprotec’s lead technology is its CCMS platform, based on small, tri-functional molecules called capture compounds. They allow for isolation of proteins and protein classes in complex biological samples. After isolation, they can be identified and characterized by mass spectrometry. CCMS technology complements 2D gel electrophoresis and affinity chromatography, the company said in a statement.

NextGen, Harvard Institute of Proteomics Integrate Data Management Systems
NextGen Sciences will integrate its Orchestrator IMS information management software with the Harvard Institute of Proteomics’ clone database under a collaboration announced this week.
Terms of the deal were not released.
The collaboration marks the start of NextGen’s Center of Excellence Program. The program gives participants access to NextGen’s proprietary automated platforms and software systems.
Participation in the program and having access to Orchestrator IMS will “allow us to design and complete what would have been lengthy and challenging projects in a much shorter period of time and with greater ease,” said Joshua LaBaer, director of the Harvard institute, in a statement.

Genedata Supplies Biomarker Discovery Platform to FDA
Genedata said this week it will provide its Genedata Expressionist biomarker discovery platform to the US Food and Drug Administration.
The Expressionist platform combines proteomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics data within a single enterprise software system.
“The automated quality assurance tools available in Expressionist will enable us to ensure reproducible and reliable results and to provide quantitative feedback where data quality is in question,” said Weida Tong, director of the Center for Toxicoinformatics at the FDA, in a statement.

Eurofins Buys Three Companies
The Eurofins Group last week said it has acquired three companies offering proteomic, synthetic nucleic acid, and DNA analysis services. Eurofins did not identify the companies or terms of the deal.
It said that the three combined companies have a combined 200 employees and in 2006 had more than €20 million [$29.7 million] in revenues.
"Through these acquisitions we will, together with our new partners, improve our market penetration in the area of molecular-biological research", Gilles Martin, CEO of Eurofins, said in a statement.

Miraculins Wants to Meet with FDA Officials in Preparation for Prostate Dx
Miraculins said this week it filed a pre-Investigational Device Exemption submission with the FDA in preparation for its planned clinical study for its P2V protein biomarker prostate cancer diagnostic test.
The pre-IDE process allows for early feedback from the FDA to medical device and diagnostic companies that are planning their clinical study path for regulatory approval. The process includes filing an investigational plan overview and meeting with FDA officials.

Online Voting at ABRF
The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities said this week that online voting for its executive board is now open and will run until Dec. 7. Voting is open to ABRF members and accessible here.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.