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Invitrogen, Hutchinson Cancer Center, ABI, Infometrix, MDS Sciex, Proteome Systems, Sanger Institute, BioCat, Kreatech, BioVision, Abbott


Invitrogen Inks Cancer Biomarker Deal with Hutchinson Cancer Center

Invitrogen will use its ProtoArray protein microarrays to develop diagnostic and screening tools for cancer under a collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the partners announced this week.

Invitrogen said it would apply its protein and antibody collections to the collaboration with researchers in the lab of Sam Hanash. The firm will have rights under the multi-year program to license technologies that result from the collaboration. Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

This is Invitrogen's second partnership within the past year aimed at discovering cancer biomarkers. The first, signed in December 2004, is with the Mayo Clinic. Under that collaboration, Invitrogen provides financial and research support for multiple biomarker discovery programs at Mayo, and has an option to license and develop resulting technology on an exclusive and non-exclusive basis.

ABI to Sell LEAP's Sample Handlers, Infometrix Software With Its Proteomics Products

Applied Biosystems will sell a robotic sample handler system made by LEAP and a chemometrics software developed by Infometrix with ABI's/MDS Sciex LC/MS products, the companies said this week.

LEAP' s sample handling technology, called PAL, is manufactured by CTC Analytics, based in Switzerland.

Infometrix's software, called Pirouette, is used by metabolomics researchers, the company said. Terms of the agreement call for Infometrix to retain "responsibility for customer training and technical support" of the software.

Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

MDS Sciex's Revenues Decline 5 Percent in Q3; Parent MDS Writes Off $8M in Protana License Fees

MDS last week reported a 5-percent drop in third-quarter revenue from its analytical instruments business, MDS Sciex.

Analytical instruments, which are part of MDS' life sciences businesses, recorded $74 million for the quarter, down from $78 million for the same quarter a year ago. This drop was due mainly to currency effects and weaker sales of ICP/MS mass spec-based products.

The company said it achieved "strong performance" from its QTRAP mass spectrometers for biomarker and small molecule analysis. Also, its 4,800 MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrometer "has been well received by our proteomics and biomarker customers," according to the company.

In addition, MDS said it wrote off $8 million of $10 million in license fees this quarter that the company paid for proteomics technology from Protana, formerly MDS Proteomics. "Based on our realigned operational plan for MDS Pharma Services, we have decided to use a different technology, and we do not expect to recover our investment in this license," according to a company statement.

Proteome Systems to Raise $7.7M in Private Placement

Proteome Systems plans to raise approximately AU$10 million ($7.7 million) through a private placement to institutional and professional investors in the UK, US, and Australia, the Australian company said last week.

In the placement, which still requires shareholder approval, Proteome Systems will issue up to 33.33 million fully paid ordinary shares to the investors at a price of AU$.30 per share.

The company expects net proceeds of approximately AU$9.75 million from the placement, allowing it to further develop its diagnostics and therapeutics business. In particular, Proteome Systems plans to accelerate the development of its diagnostic for active tuberculosis and to start clinical development of one of its lead scavenger drug compounds as a topical treatment for a range of dermatological diseases.

Sanger Institute to Use Definiens Image-Analysis Software

Definiens said this week that the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has licensed its Cellenger image-analysis software.

Researchers at the Sanger Institute will use the software two support two projects, the Atlas of Protein Expression and the Embryo Gene Expression program, Definiens said.

Both of these projects are developing terabyte-scale databases of expression data using high-throughput immunohistochemistry. The researchers are using Cellenger to improve the throughput, analysis, and annotation of images generated by these programs.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

BioCat to Distribute Kreatech's Labeling Tech in Germany, Switzerland, Austria

Kreatech Biotechnology has signed up BioCat to distribute its molecular labeling technology in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, the Amsterdam-based company said this week.

Under the agreement, BioCat, located in Heidelberg, Germany, will supply Kreatech's Universal Linkage System, which allows users to attach a variety of labels to DNA, RNA, or proteins, to laboratories in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

Kreatech said it expects to expand its distribution network further in the next few month, both in Europe and Asia.

BioVision to Discover Lung Cancer Biomarkers for Abbott

BioVision will conduct biomarker discovery research for Abbott, the Hanover, Germany-based company said last week.

Under the agreement, BioVision will analyze biological samples provided by Abbott to discover lung cancer tumor biomarkers. In return, the company will receive research fees and might obtain milestone and royalty payments, depending on the success of the research.

BioVision specializes in the identification of disease-relevant peptides and proteins.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.