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Matritech, Sysmex, Actelion, Oxford GlycoSciences, Syrrx, Morewood


Matritech and Sysmex Partner to Automate Pap Smear Test

Matritech of Newton, Mass., and Sysmex of Kobe, Japan, have formed a partnership to develop an automated Pap smear test using Sysmex’s flow cytometry technology and Matritech’s patented NMP179 protein biomarker. Sysmex will market the new technology worldwide and pay royalties to Matritech; the first target will be the US market. Under the terms of the agreement, Sysmex will make a multi-million-dollar investment in Matritech and fund research and development of the product.


OGS and Actelion Sign Agreement; Drug Application On Its Way

Actelion and Oxford GlycoSciences have entered a five-year licensing agreement, extending their existing European marketing relationships. Under the agreement, Actelion received worldwide marketing rights — with the exception of Israel — to OGS’ Gaucher’s disease drug Zavesca. OGS will receive a share of the product’s net revenues. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the contract.

OGS also said it received feedback from the FDA, which reportedly said it “believes that management of benefit/risk ratio can be achieved through restricted use of the drug.” This follows on the FDA’s response to OGS’ initial new drug application, which indicated that OGS had not provided sufficient support of safety and efficacy of the drug for approval. OGS intends to submit an amendment to the NDA for Zavesca next year.


Syrrx Solves Cancer Protein Structures

Syrrx of San Diego has determined the X-ray crystal structures of three human cancer associated proteins, Aurora-A kinase, focal adhesion kinase, and ephrin receptor A2. This process used the company’s nanovolume crystallization technology, which requires very small amounts of protein.

The structures are being published in the November issue of Structure.


Morewood Gets $600,000

Morewood Molecular Sciences of Pittsburgh has received a second Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the NIH in the amount of $100,000, and raised $500,000 in angel financing. The company is developing high-throughput ways to screen compound libraries against enzymes, and diagnostic protein chips.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.