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Invitrogen, Celera Genomics, Seattle Genetics, Vivascience, Power3 Medical Products, Syrrx, NIGMS, European Commission

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Invitrogen Revenues and Earnings Up in Q2

Invitrogen’s revenues and earnings increased for the second quarter, the company reported this week.

Revenues increased approximately 32 percent to $254 million, compared to $192.4 million during the second quarter of 2003.

Invitrogen said the revenue growth included a 19 percent increase in its BioDiscovery unit, which is due principally to its Molecular Probes acquisition.

Research and development costs increased to $18.2 million, from $12.6 mllion during the same quarter last year.

The company’s net income for the second quarter also increased, to $19.7 million or $0.26 per share, from $16.9 million or $0.34 per share for the second quarter last year.

Invitrogen executives said during a conference call this week that they continue to expect $5 million in total revenues this year from Protometrix, the protein array company based on technology from Mike Snyder at Yale that Invitrogen acquired in April (see PM 4-9-04).

As of June 30, Invitrogen had $924 million in cash and investments.


Celera Genomics and Seattle Genetics to Co-Develop Proteomics Targets

Celera Genomics and Seattle Genetics will jointly discover and develop antibody-based therapies for cancer, the companies said this week. Under the multi-year agreement, the companies will explore a number of cell surface proteins discovered by Celera’s proteomics group as antibody targets. Seattle Genetics generate and select antibodies for joint development and commercialization. The two companies aim to co-fund preclinical and clinical development and will share profits resulting from the collaboration. Celera will also pay commercialization milestones to Seattle Genetics for co-developed antibody-drug conjugates.

The agreement followed on the heels of similar deals Celera announced last week with Abbott Laboratories and General Electric (see PM 7-16-04).


Vivascience has No Immediate Plans for IPO

Contrary to a recent news reports by Inpharma.com, German lab equipment manufacturer Sartorius is not planning an initial public offering of its protein reagent subsidiary Vivascience.

A Sartorius spokeswoman told ProteoMonitor this week that the company had planned an IPO for Vivascience in 2001 that was postponed indefinitely because of the unfavorable climate of the capital markets at the time. “Every few months, we look at how things have developed, on an ongoing basis. But at the moment, the probability [for an IPO] is no higher than it was some time ago,” she said, adding that the company has no plans to float Vivascience on the stock market later this year.

Vivascience, based in Hanover, Germany, sells protein purification reagents, cell culture reagents, and filtration devices.


Power3 Secures Exclusive License for Baylor’s Proteomics Methods, Biomarkers

Power3 Medical Products said this week that it has acquired exclusive worldwide licensing rights from Baylor College of Medicine for serum proteomics methods and biomarkers for the diagnosis of neurological disorders.

Power3 said that it co-developed the proteomics technology, which measures the concentration of proteins in the blood, in collaboration with Baylor researchers. The company said the biomarkers can be used to differentially diagnose a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS.

Under the terms of the agreement, Power3 has paid a licensing fee to Baylor, and will make additional payments upon reaching certain milestones. Power3 said it is responsible for continuing R&D costs for the technology, including the filing of patents.

Baylor is eligible for royalties on any product sales resulting from the commercialization of the technology.

Earlier this month, Power3 said it would soon begin clinical testing for a proteomics-based breast cancer test (see PM 7-16-04). In May, Power3 acquired proteomics start-up ProteEx, which had been developing the breast cancer test in collaboration with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.


Syrrx and Celera Publish 3D Structure of Cancer Target

Researchers at Syrrx and Celera Genomics have published the X-ray crystal structure of human histone deacetylase 8, a cancer target, the companies said. HDAC8 is implicated in cancer, and Celera Genomics is investigating HDAC inhibitors in preclinical trials as possible cancer treatments. This is the first crystal structure of a member of this class of histone deacetylases, according to the companies.

Syrrx used its crystallization technology for the project, while Celera contributed an HDAC inhibitor. The researchers also determined the structures of HDAC inhibitors from other parties. Both companies are now independently using the protein structure to design new HDAC inhibitors.

The scientists published their data in the journal Structure.


NIGMS Earmarks $3M for Protein Structure Modeling Projects

The National Institute for General Medical Science has committed $3 million in funding for the 2006 fiscal year for three to four projects to develop new comparative modeling methods for protein structure prediction.

Earlier this month, NIGMS issued a request for applications for the program, called “High-Accuracy Protein Structure Modeling.”

The grants fall under NIGMS’s Protein Structure Initiative, launched in 2000 with the goal of determining 8,000 experimental structures of protein family representatives by 2010. The purpose of this RFA, according to the agency, “is to foster rapid advances in high-accuracy protein structure modeling by promoting interdisciplinary collaborative research with the aim of producing models comparable in quality to experimentally determined structures for most proteins.”

With improved methods of comparative modeling, “it may be feasible to produce a million high-resolution protein structures from the 8,000 that will be directly determined experimentally,” NIGMS said in the RFA.

The NIGMS requires collaborations across disciplines that include, for example, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and statisticians who are new to the field.

Letters of intent are due Jan. 14, 2005, and applications are due Feb. 14, 2005. The earliest expected award date is December 2005.

Further details are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-GM-05-008.html.


EU Grants €10M for 3D Imaging of Protein Complexes, Cells

The European Commission has provided €10 million ($12.4 million) in funding for three-dimensional electron microscopy of proteins and cell organelles, the Max Planck Society said earlier this month.

The five-year funding, awarded under the EU’s 6th Framework Program, will go to a consortium of 15 electron microscopy research groups from seven European countries, including electron microscope maker FEI Electron Optics of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.