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MacroGenics, Proteome Systems, Biacore International, NIH, PharmOptima, Shamrock Structures, Fujirebio, Carna Biosciences, Luminex, PerkinElmer


MacroGenics Closes $30.5M Series B VC Round

MacroGenics, a genomics- and proteomics-tools company co-founded by Lee Hood and Ruedi Aebersold, has collected $30.5 million in a Series B round of private-equity financing, the company said today.

Alta Partners and TPG Ventures led the financing, which included investments by Mithra Group, Red Abbey Venture Partners, Emerging Technology Partners, and Series A shareholders InterWest Partners, MPM Capital, OrbiMed, Cogene BioTech Ventures, Vivo Ventures, and Hunt Ventures.

MacroGenics, which is also trying to develop antibodies and vaccines to treat cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases, will use the cash to support the clinical development of its certain drug candidates and “recent in-licensed opportunities in infectious diseases.”

The company was founded in 2000.

Proteome Systems Licenses Ovarian Cancer Protein from Westmead Millennium Institute

Proteome Systems of Australia has licensed a potential biomarker for ovarian cancer from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Millennium Institute of Sydney, the company said this week.

Proteome Systems plans to evaluate the protein biomarker for inclusion in a non-invasive test for the early detection of ovarian cancer the company has been developing. The biomarker, called TPD52, was recently discovered as a novel marker for ovarian cancer by Jennifer Byrne and Anna DeFazio of the Westmead Hospital.

The company said it is also currently evaluating two other proteins identified from plasma samples using its proteomics technology.

“The inclusion of TPD52 in this panel biomarkers is an exciting development and may be complementary to our existing biomarkers,” said Rebecca Harcorurt, the head of the ovarian cancer program at Proteome Systems. “As the development of ovarian cancer is a complex process, it is highly unlikely that a single biomarker will provide the necessary specificity and sensitivity to be clinically useful.”

Biacore Sells First SPR Array Instrument to Japanese Proteomics Center

Biacore International has sold its first Surface Plasmon Resonance array instrument to the Biological Information Research Center of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology of Japan, which specializes in proteomics, the company said this week.

BIRC-AIST plans to use the instrument to generate protein interaction data as part of its program to screen cDNA expression libraries.

According to Biacore, the new SPR array technology is particularly useful for interaction proteomics. The company plans to sell the instrument to pharmaceutical companies and life science research institutes.

NIH Roadmap Funds Proteomics, Bioinformatics Projects with $3.85M

The NIH has awarded two grants totaling $3.85 million to multi-institutional proteomics and bioinformatics initiatives under its Roadmap program, Rutgers University said this week.

A $2 million, five-year training grant goes to the BioMaPS Institute for Quantitative Biology at Rutgers and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium, and the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics/Protein Data Bank. It will be used to train graduate students and postdocs in proteomics.

The Computational Center for Biomolecular Complexes, a virtual research initiative involving scientists at Rutgers, Baylor College of Medicine, the Scripps Research Institute, and the University of Texas at Austin, has won $1.85 million to develop workshops, undertake pilot studies, and develop new computational systems to study large molecular complexes.

Pharmoptima, Shamrock Form Joint Services Alliance

PharmOptima and Shamrock Structures jointly announced this week that they will offer each other’s capabilities and services for drug discovery and research applications.

Woodbridge, Ill.-based Shamrock provides customers with proteomics services and access to X-ray synchrotron data collection. PharmOptima optimizes assays for high-throughput screening and is conducting research on its own portfolio of therapeutic products.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Fujirebio, Carna Biosciences Plan Kinase Alliance

Tokyo-based diagnostic company Fujirebio and Kobe, Japan-based Carna Biosciences announced last week that they will be working together to develop monoclonal antibodies, reagents for kinase measurement and protein chips. The companies said they expect the joint project to contribute to the comprehensive analysis of kinases — proteins that are important in cell signaling.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Luminex Expects to Report Third Quarter Earnings on Oct. 21.

Luminex announced last week that it expects to report third quarter 2004 results on Oct. 21. Management will hold a conference call to discuss the operating highlights and financial results for the third quarter at 5 p.m. EST on that day.

The conference will be webcast live by CCBN and can be accessed at Luminex’s website at

PerkinElmer to Discuss Third Quarter Earnings Results on Oct. 29.

PerkinElmer will be holding a conference call on Oct. 29 at 10 a.m.EST, hosted by CEO Robert Friel and chairman of the board Gregory Summe, to discuss third quarter earnings results. An earnings press release will be issued by the close of the business day on Oct. 28, the company said.

To participate in the conference call, members of the public should call 719-457-2661 between 9:50 a.m. and 9:55 a.m.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.