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Invitrogen, Sentigen, Prometic Biosciences, Novartis, Power3, University of Thessaly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CST, Aushon Biosystems, Sigma-Aldrich

Invitrogen Completes Acquisition of Sentigen
Invitrogen closed its $25.9 million purchase of Sentigen last week. Invitrogen paid $3.37 for each share of Sentigen stock in the all-cash transaction. At closing, Sentigen had cash and cash investments of approximately $11 million.
Sentigen becomes part of Invitrogen’s Discovery Sciences business, based in Madison, Wisc. In a statement, Invitrogen said Sentigen’s proprietary Tango assay system provides a novel approach to screen G-protein coupled receptors and other key drug target classes. The platform also provides a “methodology to convert live cell assays into convenient, ready-to-use products,” Invitrogen said.
The company said the purchase is not expected to materially affect Invitrogen’s financials for fiscal 2006.

Prometic Halts IPO, Reaches Deal with Novartis
Prometic Biosciences delayed its initial public offering indefinitely this week, saying that a better than expected business climate makes it more beneficial for the company to launch an IPO at a later date.
“Because [the company] is expected to be cash neutral with projected revenues in excess of $15 million in 2007, it makes more business sense for the benefit of our shareholders not to do an IPO at this time,” said Pierre Laurin, CEO of ProMetic in a statement. “If and when reconsidered, it could be done at a much higher value.”
The company makes synthetic proteins. This week, the company also announced an agreement with Novartis to develop a synthetic ligand affinity adsorbent for the purification of a recombinant protein vaccine. Novartis will fund Prometic to screen its chemical combinatorial libraries for ligands for the process-scale purification of new vaccines made by Novartis currently undergoing clinical trials.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Power3, U. Thessaly Collaborate on Biomarker Discovery
Power3 will use its proprietary technologies to search for protein biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease in samples provided by the University of Thessaly in Greece, under a collaboration announced this week.
The agreement calls for the university to provide clinically confirmed samples of neurodegenerative disease, including age- and gender-matched controls. Power3 will search for biomarkers for the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases to add to its portfolio. The collaboration focuses on Parkinson’s disease but also covers Alzheimer’s disease and ALS.
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Bristol-Myers Squibb, CST Ink Deal for Profiles of Kinase Inhibitors
Cell Signaling Technology will use its PhosphoScan technology to provide Bristol-Myers Squibb with cellular phospho-profiles of a small-molecule kinase inhibitor under an agreement announced this week.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The project will allow BSM to evaluate CST’s patent-pending PhosphoScan technology, which enables the discovery of cell and tissue phospo-profiles and the quantification of inhibitor-response profiles.

Aushon Ships Microarrayer, Raises $7.78 M in Series A
Aushon Biosystems announced this week it is now shipping its 2470 Microarrayer to clients including the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Applied Proteomic and Molecular Medicine at George Mason University, and the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Aushon, which provides microarray-based tools, instrumentation, and services for life science research, also said it closed its Series A financing on Oct. 12, having raised $7.78 million. North Bridge Venture Partners was the lead investor. The funds will be used to support Aushon’s current product launch and the development of new products, the company said in a statement.

Sigma-Aldrich Sells $100M in Senior Notes due in 2011
Sigma-Aldrich announced this week it closed on $100 million in private long-term debt with the sale of 5.11 percent Series 2006-A senior notes due Dec. 5, 2011. Bank of America facilitated the placement with an institutional investor, Sigma-Aldrich said in a statement.
It also said that it retired $75 million in 5.16 percent senior notes that matured on Nov. 20.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.