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INDUSTRY BRIEFS: Jul 22, 2002

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BSI Proteomics + ArQule

Gaithersburg, Md.-based BSI Proteomics signed its first commercial partnership deal last week, agreeing to provide ArQule with three-dimensional structures of certain human ion channel proteins, the two companies said. ArQule, based in Woburn, Mass., will use the protein structures as part of its internal drug discovery program.

To determine protein structures, BSI uses a crystallization platform with electro-mechanical computer controlled dialysis capabilities to initiate, control, and monitor the entire protein crystallization process, including mid-experiment alterations, the company said. BSI said it has also received a patent for its method of using x-ray diffraction and topography for determining protein structures.

 

ABI and Spotfire Integrate Software

Applied Biosystems has signed an agreement with Spotfire to integrate protein expression analysis software, the companies said last week.

The software will integrate Spotfire’s DecisionSite for functional genomics software with ICAT software that Applied Biosystems developed with MDS Sciex.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“As a result of this collaborative effort, researchers using Pro ICAT software for the ABI QSTAR Pulsar Hybrid LC/MS/MS system and Spotfire’s DecisionSite for functional genomics software should have a unified interface for accessing and analyzing protein expression data,” Spotfire CEO Christopher Ahlberg said in a statement.

 

BioForce Nanoscience Gets $500K SBIR Grant for NanoChips

BioForce Nanosciences of Ames, Iowa, has received a $500,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research from the NIH to further develop its NanoArrayer technique for creating ultra-miniaturized microarrays, the company said this week.

The NanoArrayer’s microfabricated deposition tools allow the user to deposit as few as several hundred attoliters on each spot of an array. So far, BioForce has used the NanoArrayer to fit 1,521 antibody spots within the area of 85 square micrometers. Because of the size of the spots, the company has been able to use atomic force microscopy to detect binding interactions on the arrays.

BioForce has partnered with Lance Liotta and Emanuel Petricoin of the NCI-Food and Drug Administration proteomics program, to apply the NanoArray technology to protein chips.

This grant allows BioForce to develop the NanoArrayer for wider commercial use.

“The NanoArrayer will provide the end user with a turn-key system for the construction of simple to complex biomolecular NanoArrays,” stated company founder and chief science officer Eric Henderson. “The fully integrated hardware and software permits creation of novel patterns and opens the door to a wide range of applications.”

 

Illumina to Pay $7.7M in Damages to Former CSO

Illumina must pay at least $7.7 million in damages and litigation expenses in connection with a jury verdict for wrongful termination of co-founder and former chief scientific officer Anthony Czarnik, the company said last week.

Czarnik filed a complaint against the fiber optic bead array maker for wrongful termination in March 2001, in California Superior Court. The case went to trial, and the judgement against Illumina is set to be filed on July 22.

Illumina said it would take the $7.7 million charge on its second-quarter financial statement, which it plans to release next Thursday, but would appeal the ruling.

“We believe that this termination was lawful in all respects and that the verdict was unsupported by evidence presented at the trial. The company plans to vigorously defend its position on appeal,” said Jay Flatley, Illumina president and CEO, in a statement.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.