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Industry Briefs: May 6, 2002


Industry Briefs Zyomyx Hires VP; Director Joins Harvard Center

Zyomyx has hired Hirdey Bhathal as vice president of corporate development.Bhathal will be responsible for business development and sales of the company’s protein chip products and technologies.

Bhathal is a veteran of Agilent and LI-COR Biotechnology, where he sold microarray and sequencing technology.

In addition, Zyomyx director and former Albert Einstein College of Medicine molecular genetics chair Raju Kucherlapati is now scientific director of the new Harvard-Partners Center for Genetic and Genomic Research.

At Einstein, Kucherlapati led efforts to map human chromosome 12. He is a member of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, a co-founder and director of both Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Cell Genesys, and serves on the boards of Abgenix, Millennium, and Valentis.


AxCell Signs Second Partnership with Mount Sinai

AxCell Biosciences said last week that it will collaborate with Mount Sinai School of Medicine researcher Irwin Gelman to study HIV-associated nephropathy. The research seeks to identify new treatments for the disease. It is the second partnership between AxCell and Mount Sinai.

Under the agreement, AxCell will provide its expertise in signal transduction analysis to find molecules that inhibit interactions between cellular proteins and HIV proteins. Lead molecules will be tested in cell culture and with transgenic mice. The company has an option to negotiate exclusive, worldwide, royalty-bearing licenses from the medical school for any inventions developed in this collaboration.


Montreal Proteomics Center Snags Another $9M

The Canadian government, continuing its aggressive funding of genomics and proteomics, said last week that it would invest C$8 million ($5.12 million) in the Montreal Genomics and Proteomics Center, a research facility under construction at McGill University. In addition, the Canada Foundation for Innovation has pledged C$6 million ($3.84 million) towards the project. The money will go towards the creation of a biotech incubator at the research center, and towards other aspects of the project, which is expected to employ 200 full-time staff when completed.


Applied Precision Releases New Microarray Scanner

Applied Precision has introduced a new automated version of its microarray scanner, the arrayWoRxe Auto Biochip Reader. The new auto reader, which has a 25-slide cassette, is designed for high-volume users, such as core facilities, that need to scan arrays in high-resolution. The system allows a batch load to be scanned overnight unattended and for the analysis of one slide while others are still being scanned.

The system is designed to scan glass slides, beads, tissue arrays, photolithographic arrays, and protein arrays with up to 89 fluorescent dyes, and can collect up to four wavelengths per slide, in ranges from ultraviolet to near infrared. Scientists at MIT’s BioMicro Center have tested it as a quality control.


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.