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NCI-Frederick, University of Victoria-GenomeBC, NextGen, GSK, Hybrigenics, Millipore, LSBC, CST, AstraZeneca, Nonlinear Dynamics, Fotodyne, Caprion, Sunol Molecular, Target Discovery, Groton Biosystems, PSB


NCI-Frederick Team Identifies 1,444 Proteins in Serum

The NIH announced this week that a group led by Thomas Conrads at the NCI-supported proteomics program at SAIC-Frederick has used classical fractionation techniques, combined with tandem mass spec, to identify 1,444 proteins in human serum.

The list of proteins, which has been made publicly available at, overlaps “only slightly” with previous lists — including the list of 490 proteins previously put forth by Joel Pounds and others at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (see PM 12-16-02) — according to Conrads.

“This study shows the extent of the number of proteins that can be characterized within serum using conventional technologies commonly available within proteomics laboratories around the world,” Conrads said in a statement.

Victoria Proteomics Center Spends CA$1M on Equipment

The University of Victoria-Genome British Columbia proteomics center in Victoria, Canada has spent CA$1 million ($740,000) in Genome BC funding on new mass spec, computer, and automation equipment, according to a The Ring, a University of Victoria newspaper. The funding came from Western Economic Diversification and MDS Metro Laboratory Services and was part of a CA$2.5 million grant to Genome BC that was announced last month.

NextGen Gets GSK as Second Pharma Customer

NextGen Sciences of Cambridgeshire, UK, this week announced that it has sold its expressionfactory system to GlaxoSmithKline. The sale is the company’s first in the UK, and its second to a major pharma company, according to Lorna Watson, marketing manager for NextGen.

Hybrigenics Adopts Millipore’s Montage Kits in Y2H Services

Paris-based Hybrigenics announced this week that it is using Montage PCRmu384 and SEQ384 kits from Billerica, Mass.-based Millipore as part of its protein interaction mapping services. The kits will be used to “optimize and simplify the automation of its high-throughput yeast-2-hybrid process,” according to the company.

“The integration of Millipore’s Montage PCRmu384 and SEQ384 kits has resulted in better quality and an increase in the percentage of conclusive sequences that exceeded our expectations,” Catherine Borg-Capra, director of industrial operation at Hybrigenics, said in a statement.

LSBC to Auction off Proteomics Equipment

Capital asset auction company DoveBid announced this week that it will webcast a June 16 auction of mass spec and HPLC equipment that currently belongs to Large Scale Biology.

The auction will be held on June 16 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Details about the event can be found here.

LSBC announced in November that it was shutting down its fee-for-service proteomics business, and that the future place of proteomics within the company was uncertain and would likely only be related to the company’s new product-centered focus (see PM 11-21-03). It closed its proteomics facility in Germantown, Md., earlier this year.

Items for auction include a Micromass Q-TOF; and HPLC Systems manufactured by Perseptive Bio Systems, Micro Tech, and Agilent; as well as liquid handlers, centrifuges, and robotic plate systems. DoveBid described the equipment as “surplus to [the company’s] continuing operations.”

The auction will be held in Germantown, Md., with previews available at that site on June 15, and at Vacaville, Calif., by appointment only, prior to that.

CST Snags AstraZeneca Collaboration

Beverly, Mass.-based Cell Signaling Technology announced this week that it will collaborate with AstraZeneca on a pilot study to find biomarkers of target inhibition using its phosphoproteomics technology.

Under the terms of the collaboration, CST will study compounds provided by AstraZeneca to look for phosphorylation profiles of cellular protein tyrosine kinases that indicate target inhibition.

The company will use its Global PhosphoSignature technology, which combines immunoaffinity purification with mass spectrometry.

Nonlinear Signs on with Fotodyne for 1D US Distribution

Nonlinear Dynamics announced this week that Fotodyne will distribute Nonlinear’s Phoretix 1D gel analysis and TotalLab image analysis tools.

“We feel Nonlinear’s software perfectly complements our photo-documentation systems, giving our life science customers a total solution for their capture and analysis needs,” Fotodyne president and CEO Brian Walsh said in a statement.

“Fotodyne [offers] high-quality image capture systems, catering for a wide range of needs and budgets within the life sciences, making them an ideal systems partner for us,” Nonlinear marketing director John Spreadbury said.

Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Caprion Buys Antibody Technologies from Sunol Molecular

Caprion Pharmaceuticals announced this week that it has acquired humanized monoclonal antibody technologies and therapeutic antibodies from Miramar, Fla.-based Sunol Molecular.

Caprion plans to apply the antibody technologies to develop therapeutics against tumor antigens it discovered using its CellCarta proteomic profiling technology. Initially, the company will focus on solid tumors.

The therapeutic antibodies, which are currently in phase I clinical trials, are being developed to treat Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome resulting from E. coli infection.

Target Discovery Partners with Groton Biosystems on CE

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Target Discovery announced last week that it is co-developing a capillary electrophoresis analysis system with Acton, Mass.-based Groton Biosystems, a subsidiary of Groton Technology.

The companies will combine Target Discovery’s CE technology with Groton’s process monitoring instruments for protein production.

They said that products from the collaboration have already entered the market.

European Center of Excellence to be built

The Partnership for Structural Biology announced this week that it is building a European Center of Excellence for Structural Biology in Grenoble, France.

The PSB includes the Grenoble component of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, as well as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the Institut Laue-Langevin, and the Institut de Biologie Structurale. Sixty scientists from these groups, as well as from the Institute of Molecular and Structural Virology, will work at the center. The building will house infrastructure for high-throughput protein expression, characterization, and crystallization.

The PSB is involved with structural proteomics initiatives in Europe, including the BIOXHIT initiative (see PM 2-20-04).

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.