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Glaucus Proteomics, PerkinElmer, Serenex, Astex Technology, Aptanomics, NextGen Sciences

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Glaucus Proteomics Has Closed Its Doors

Glaucus Proteomics ceased its operations in October and laid off 19 employees, after a failed financing round. The Netherlands-based company had “the ink wet on a financing round of $19.5 million,” when the fourth investor, an institutional bank, pulled out at closing, said Ian Humphery Smith, Glaucus’ founder and COO, adding that “the company died quickly.” Glaucus had been developing technologies to produce protein and antibody microarrays.

 

PerkinElmer Says MALDI-TOF in beta-testing; Combines Business Units

PerkinElmer said last week during its third-quarter conference call that its new MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer, which it is developing with MDS Sciex, was in beta testing. Meanwhile, the company said it would immediately merge its Life Sciences and Analytical Instruments business units into a single entity, headed up by current Life Sciences president Peter Coggins. Stephen DeFalco, the current president of Analytical Instruments, will help with the transition through the end of the year. The move is designed to rein in sales as well as general and administrative spending, and offer the company’s life-science customers “a single face,” the company said. The company reported revenues of $366 million for the quarter, compared to $348 million in the year-ago period. However, “weak instrument sales” in the third quarter pushed revenues for the Analytical Instruments division to $115.1 million, down from $130.2 million reported year over year, PerkinElmer said.

 

Serenex Signs Drug Target Discovery Deal with Johnson & Johnson

Serenex, of Durham, NC, signed a deal last week with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development to discover drug targets and identify drug compounds that interact with pharmaceutically relevant protein targets. In the project, Serenex will use technology built around a method developed by co-founder Timothy Haystead for screening a library of purine-binding proteins using affinity columns loaded with ATP. The technique detects whether a small molecule displaces one or more of the proteins bound to the column via ATP, then Serenex applies its mass spectrometry platform to identify the one or more potential targets. The company, which raised $15 million in financing at the end of August, has also signed partnerships with Pharmacia Pfizer, and with Chiron.

 

Astex Determines Structure of Cytochrome P450 Enzyme, signs Up Mitsubishi Pharma

Astex Technology of Cambridge, UK, said last week it had solved the 3-dimensional crystal structure of human cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), a key enzyme of drug metabolism. This achievement comes after the company solved the structure of the CYP2c0 cytochrome P450 enzyme. Astex has entered into research agreements focused on solving cytochrome P450 crystal structures with AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, and Mitsubishi Pharma.

The company recently signed another drug discovery collaboration with Mitsubishi Pharma to identify novel lead compounds against one or more protein targets associated with metabolic disorders. The two companies did not disclose any financial details.

 

Aptamer Technology Startup Aptanomics Raises €7M in Financing

Astex Technology of Cambridge, UK, said last week it had solved the 3-dimensional crystal structure of human cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), a key enzyme of drug metabolism. This achievement comes after the company solved the structure of the CYP2c0 cytochrome P450 enzyme. Astex has entered into research agreements focused on solving cytochrome P450 crystal structures with AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, and Mitsubishi Pharma.

The company recently signed another drug discovery collaboration with Mitsubishi Pharma to identify novel lead compounds against one or more protein targets associated with metabolic disorders. The two companies did not disclose any financial details.

 

Aptamer Technology Startup Aptanomics Raises €7M in Financing

Aptanomics, a Lyon, France, startup focused on developing drug discovery platforms using peptide aptamers, has raised € 7 million in a private round of financing. Peptide aptamers are combinatorial biology reagents that specifically bind to target proteins and inhibit them. The company is using them for in-house development of therapeutics as well as R&D partnerships with pharma. The company has one research collaboration with a pharmaceutical company at present. The four Paris-based venture funds subscribing to the offering include CDC Innovation, Bioam, Ventech, and AGF Private Equity. Massachusetts General Hospital is a founder and shareholder.

 

NextGen Sciences CEO Says 2D Gel Analysis System to Cost £50,000

At the GenomeX conference in London last month, NextGen Sciences CEO Kevin Auton described in detail the company’s automated 2D gel electrophoresis platform under development, called the a2DE [see ProteoMonitor 10-14-02]. According to a reporter for Genome Technology magazine, ProteoMonitor’s sister publication, Auton said the a2DE will be ready for beta testing in January, 2003, and that expects it will be available commercially by March.

The a2DE, including computer and Nextgen’s proprietary analysis software, will be priced at about £50,0000 ($78,000). Auton added that the system can accept sample loadings of about 300 to 7000 microliters, and perform reduction and alkylation steps in situ.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.