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Lumera, Helix Biopharma, Jerini, Applera, Pall, University of Washington, Institute of Systems Biology


Lumera Licenses Helix Biopharma Technology in Bid to Enter Protein Array Market

Lumera said this week that it has acquired the exclusive rights to protein surface chemistry from Helix Biopharma in order to further its development of a proteomic microarray.

Lumera said it will combine Helix Biopharma’s Heterodimer Protein Technology with its own NanoCapture Array technology. The integrated technologies will allow Lumera to produce and capture proteins on a silicon surface while keeping the proteins fully functional, the company said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not provided.

The company said it has already produced prototype chips using the combined technologies, and carried out enzymatic, binding, and proteomic studies.

Lumera said it plans to begin shipping a product based on the technology later this year.

Jerini’s Peptide IP to Help Alcon Develop Drugs for Opthamology

Jerini has entered into a strategic discovery and development collaboration with Alcon Research to generate new drugs for opthamology.

The companies will employ Jerini’s Peptides-to-Drugs discovery platform, including SPOT, pepSPOT, and pepMED, along with other technologies to generate peptidomemetic and small molecule drug candidates and validate their utility for the treatment of eye diseases.

Jerini will receive up-front and license fees, as well as personnel funding, milestone payments, and worldwide royalties on commercial sales of products resulting from the collaboration.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Applera Declares Quarterly Dividend of $.0425 Per Share

The board of directors of Applera declared last week a regular quarterly dividend of $.0425 per share on Appera-Applied Biosystem Group Common Stock. The dividend is payable on April 1 to stockholders of record as of the close of the business March 1.

The Applera companies released their fiscal 2005 second-quarter earnings on Jan. 27.

Pall Acquires Euroflow; Second Chromatography Purchase in Two Months

Pall said this week that it has acquired Euroflow, a Stroud, UK-based manufacturer of chromatography columns for the biotechnology industry.

Pall has held exclusive global marketing and distribution rights to Euroflow’s chromatography columns and associated technologies since 2002.

A Pall spokeswoman declined to reveal the financial terms of the acquisition, noting that Euroflow’s small size makes the purchase price “immaterial.”

Pall said that Euroflow’s sales are currently about $5 million a year.

The acquisition follows upon Pall’s purchase of the BioSepra Process Division from Ciphergen Biosystems for $32 million, which closed last month.

University of Washington Licenses Rosetta Protein Folding Software from the Institute of Systems Biology

The University of Washington TechTransfer recently licensed a software that predicts how proteins fold from the Institute of Systems Biology.

The software, called Rosetta, was licensed free of charge as part of the Human Proteome Folding Project, a collaborative effort between the Institute of Systems Biology, IBM and Austin-based United Devices to determine the structures of approximately 60 percent of human proteins that have no known function.

“How proteins fold determines how they are structured,” said Lars Malmstroem, head of the UW laboratory that developed the university’s protein folding program. “And how they are structured is related to their function in the body.”

To grapple with the large amount of data resulting from an astronomical number of possible conformations for a given protein, the researchers are calling upon IBM’s World Community Grid, a technology that enables millions of people to volunteer their personal computers to run Rosetta during periods of computer downtime.

By summoning the computing power of the IBM World Community Gird, the project should be completed in less than a year, said Richard Bonneau, a researcher at the Institute of Systems Biology.

Rosetta was developed by a large team of researchers in David Baker’s laboratory at the University of Washington. The software virtually folds protein sequences into thousands of possible shapes based on certain protein folding “rules,” then ranks the conformations according to a “Rosetta score.” The conformations with the lowest Rosetta scores are supposed to be the ones that come closest to the actual shape of the protein.


The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.