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Lumera, Plexera, Miraculins, Kinaxo Biotechnologies, Power3, Panacea, Crucell

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Lumera Spins out Plexera to Focus on Proteomics Work
 
Lumera this week said it has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Plexera Biosciences, which will concentrate on proteomics research. Lumera has transferred its biosciences operations to the new company.
 
Plexera will provide the life sciences market with tools, content, and methods to “simplify and accelerate proteomic discovery for therapeutic antibodies as well as predictive biomarkers,” Lumera said in a statement.
 
Joseph Vallner is chairman and CEO of Plexera. Tim Londergan is president and COO.
 
Lumera had formed a biosciences division within the company in 2006 to help commercialize products and to transition Lumera from being an R&D firm.
 

 
Miraculins Offers Private Placement, Seeks $500K for R&D
 
Miraculins this week announced a non-brokered private placement offering of up to 1.25 million units at a price of CA$.40 per unit for gross proceeds of up to $500,000 (US $480,000). The proceeds will be used for Miraculins’ R&D program and working capital purposes.
 
Each unit will consist of one share of Miraculins common stock and one half-share of a warrant. Each whole warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one share of common stock at a price of $.65 per share for up to 12 months after the date of the closing of the offering.
 

 
German Agency Gives Kinaxo $1.4M for Quantitative Platform
 
Kinaxo Biotechnologies said this week it has received €1 million ($1.4 million) from the German Ministry for Education and Research, which it will use to establish a “universally applicable technology platform to quantify small molecule-protein interactions in mammalian tissues and cell lines,” it said in a statement.
 
Spun out of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, Kinaxo recently closed on a second round of venture capital funding, which it used in part to purchase a liquid-chromatography-mass spectrometry platform [See PM 05/24/07].
 
Lothar Jänsch of the Helmholtz Institute in Braunschweig and Henrik Dabu of Max Planck will support implementation of the new technologies.
 

 
Boom Boom Times for Proteomics, Report Says
 
The proteomics market is projected to reach more than $3.6 billion by 2010, as research has shifted away from genomics, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts.
 
The report cites an “explosion” of scientific discoveries resulting from the human genome project and advances in high-throughput technologies for protein studies. It also said funding from the National Institutes of Health and sustained interest from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries is driving growth in the proteomics market
 
The report said the expression proteomics market is the largest segment at $1.9 billion in 2007. Functional proteomics, however, is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of more than 25 percent between 2003 and 2010. The US and Europe are the largest geographic markets with more than 75 percent of the global market in 2007.
 

 
Power3 Retains The Investor Relations Group
 
Power3 Medical Products said last week it has retained The Investor Relations Group as its investor relations and corporate communications firm. In a statement, Steve Rash, CEO of Power3, said that the company prepares to commercialize its products, including a minimally invasive blood-based breast cancer test, retaining the services of The Investor Relations Group would “fully communicate our message to the investing public.”
 
In March Power3 hired Noble International Investment Services and its Noble Financial Group for financial and investment banking services. In April, the company said it was forming a contract research organization with NeoGenomics to commercialize Power3’s portfolio of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.
 

 
Lung Cancer Dx from Panacea
 
Panacea Pharmaceuticals this week launched the LC Detect serum-based test lung cancer diagnostic test.
 
The LC measures levels of human aspartyl (asparaginyl) Beta-hydroxylase, a protein cancer marker in blood. HAAH has been detected by immunohistochemical staining in various cancers, including lung cancer, and been shown to be highly specific and absent in non-affected tissue and tissue from patients without cancer, Panacea said in a statement.
 
Panacea found raised levels of HAAH in 99 percent of 160 patients with cancer.
 
The test is available from Panacea Laboratories, a division of Panacea Pharmaceuticals and a CLIA certified lab.
 

 
Crucell Creates Protein Business Unit
 
Crucell this week said it has created separate units for its protein and vaccine businesses. Dedicated units will “enhance the focus on specific opportunities for both product units and will increase transparency to shareholders by separate reporting of financial results,” the company said in a statement.
 
Arthur Lahr will head up the protein business. He had been Crucell’s chief strategy officer and executive vice president of sales and business development. Bjoern Sjoestrand will head up the vaccines business unit. He had been CEO of SBL Vaccines, which was acquired last year by Crucell.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.