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MDS Proteomics, Chugai Pharmaceutical, SurroMed, Amersham, Beckman Coulter


MDS Proteomics Reports Third Quarter 2002 Earnings; Hopes for Partner by Year’s End

In MDS’ third quarter 2002 fiscal year earnings report, released September 19, MDS Proteomics’ revenue and burn rate remained unchanged from the comparable period a year ago. In both periods, MDSP earned $1 million Canadian ($630,000) in revenue, and spent $12 million Canadian ($7.6 million). The impact on MDS’ earnings due MDSP’s cash burn increased from six cents a share from 5 cents a share a year ago.

In the report, MDS President and CEO John Rogers said that he is confident MDSP “will be able to complete a strategic collaboration with a customer by the end of our fiscal year,” which ends October 31. “Terms of this agreement are expected to include an equity investment in MDS Proteomics,” Rogers continued. “This inflow of cash, combined with an earlier investment by MDS and recent steps taken to reduce the rate of cash usage, is expected to result in MDS Proteomics having sufficient cash resources to fund their development and research program for the next few years.”

Separately, MDS reported that strong sales of mass spectrometry instrumentation, particularly the MDS Sciex/Applied Biosystems API 4000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, helped boost Sciex’ revenues by 41 percent compared to the year-ago period.


Chugai Pharmaceutical Licenses CAT’s Phage Display Libraries

Chugai Pharmaceutical of Japan has licensed Cambridge Antibody Technology’s phage display libraries, the two companies said last week. Chugai will use the phage display technology to identify and develop new human monoclonal antibodies.

Under the agreement, CAT will receive license fees, as well as clinical milestone and royal payments on any product sales. In addition to access to the phage display libraries, Chugai will have exclusive therapeutic antibody product options. CAT’s other collaborators include Amgen, Human Genome Sciences, Merck, Pharmacia, and Wyeth Research.


SurroMed to Perform Contract Proteomics Research for PPD Discovery

SurroMed said last week that it had entered into an agreement to study specific tumor samples for PPD Discovery using its proteomics and small organic molecule analysis platform. Menlo Park, Calif.-based PPD Discovery will provide the tumor samples, and SurroMed, based in Mountain View, Calif., will analyze the biological components of the samples in an attempt to associate tumor types with cell surface proteins identified by PPD Discovery. Upon completion of the study, the two companies will choose specific cell surface proteins for in vitro and in vivo modeling experiments. PPD Discovery plans to seek a partner to develop therapeutic antibodies against any promising cell surface proteins SurroMed identifies through the research. Financial details were not disclosed. In early September, SurroMed signed a deal with Eli Lilly to use its proteomics platform to identify biomarkers from Lilly samples with relevance to disease and drug development, the parties said.


Amersham to Distribute Nonlinear’s ImageQuant TL 1D Gel Analysis Software

Nonlinear Dynamics has entered into a software product development and distribution agreement with Amersham Biosciences, the two companies said last week. Under the agreement, Amersham will have exclusive rights to distribute ImageQuant TL, Nonlinear’s updated version of its ImageQuant 1D gel analysis software. ImageQuant is currently used by 10,500 scientists worldwide, the company said.


Beckman Coulter to Distribute Eprogen’s 2dlc Protein Separation Technology

Beckman Coulter has signed an agreement with Darien, Ill.-based Eprogen to exclusively distribute ProteoSep, Eprogen’s protein discovery chemistry and software platform, the two companies said last week. Beckman will market ProteoSep along with its liquid chromatography instrumentation.

Eprogen’s ProteoSep technology, developed in collaboration with David Lubman, a researcher in the University of Michigan chemistry department, uses a two-dimensional liquid chromatography approach to separate whole proteins on the basis of isoelectric point, or pI, as well as by molecular weight.

In the first phase, Lubman has developed a method for separating large numbers of proteins on the basis of pI using commercially available Eichrom columns. Subsequently, the proteins in each of the pI fractions are separated by molecular weight using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). These columns, packed with a proprietary non-porous, hard-sphere packing media, provide a vast separation of large intact proteins that’s hard to do by regular HPLC, Lubman said in a previous interview with ProteoMonitor.

The Scan

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PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.