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NCI, Tranche, Government of Canada, Bio-Rad, Bruker, Biotron, GWC, Crelux, ProQinase, Syngene, ABI, Sigma-Aldrich

NCI’s Mouse Proteomic Technologies Initiative Chooses Tranche as Host for Data
The National Cancer Institute’s Mouse Proteomic Technologies Initiative has chosen Tranche to host all the initiative’s proteomics data, the Tranche team announced last week.
The NCI MPTI has deposited its mass spectrometry data sets consisting of analyses of tissues and serum from mouse models of multiple human cancers into the Tranche data repository for storage and secure data-sharing among participating laboratories. Currently, Tranche hosts almost a terabyte of MPTI raw data.
The data sets were collected using analytical techniques and mass spectrometers such as LCQ, LTQ, and LTQ-FTICR instruments. The data sets are also available in publicly accessible formats such as mzXML and CPAS XAR files and are available for further study by the research community.
Tranche, developed by researchers at the University of Michigan, is a database into which researchers can deposit their raw proteomics data.

Proteomics Researchers Awarded $5.6M by Canadian Government
The Government of Canada this week awarded CAD$5.6 million [US$5.6 million] to seven projects that are either proteomics directed or will include proteomics as part of the Genome Canada Technology Development Competition. A total of $9.37 million was awarded to 13 projects under the competition.
The proteomics recipients, their affiliation, project titles, and GC funding amounts are,
  • Christoph Borchers, University of Victoria, “MS-based Structural Proteomics for Drug Development and Design,” $502,067;
  • Marco Marra, Steven Jones, and Rob Holt, BC Cancer Agency, “Production-scale Deployment of Next-generation Sequencing Instruments,” $956,260;
  • Daniel Figeys, University of Ottawa, “Proteomic Technologies for the Study of Rare Cells,” $764,657;
  • Mark Henkelman, Hospital for Sick Children, “Automated Three-dimensional Phenotyping of Mouse Embryos,” $768,887;
  • Scott Tanner, University of Toronto, “Massively Multiparametric Flow Cytometer Analyzer,” $1,416,168;
  • Rafick Sékaly, and Ryan Brinkman, University of Montreal, “High Throughput High-dimensional Multiparametric Analysis of the Immune System,” $383,907; and
  • Maryam Tabrizian, McGill University, “Integrated Proteomics Platforms for High-Throughput Biomarker Discovery and Validation,” $778,780.
In total, the competition received 51 proposals for technology development projects from across Canada. In addition to the $9.37 million from the government, $9.63 million in co-funding was secured from Canadian and international partners, the government said in a statement.
The researchers will begin work on their two-year projects this spring.

Bio-Rad Q1 Revs Rise 30.9 Percent, Profits Slip 1.9 Percent
Revenues for Bio-Rad Laboratories during the first quarter rose 30.9 percent, driven by its Clinical Diagnostics segment, the company said this week.

For the three months ended March 31, Bio-Rad posted receipts of $422.2 million, up from $322.5 million a year ago. On a currency-neutral basis, revenues rose 23.9 percent compared to a year ago. Revenues for its Clinical Diagnostics business spiked 48.4 percent to $263.7 million, compared to $177.6 million last year, while Life Science revenues rose 9.2 percent to $154.6 million from $141.6 million a year ago

The company's acquisition of DiaMed Holding contributed $62.7 million in revenue. Excluding the acquisition, total revenues were up 11.5 percent, or 4.5 percent on a currency-neutral basis, compared to a year ago.

In Life Sciences, growth was fueled by sales of its electrophoresis products and the company's Bio-Plex suspension array system reagents. Capital instrument sales for the segment were down "slightly" for the quarter, as spending in the academic and bio-pharmaceutical markets were soft, Bio-Rad said in a statement.

Excluding the effects of currency, revenues in Life Sciences rose 2.3 percent.

For the three months, Bio-Rad's profits shrunk 1.9 percent to $26.5 million, compared to $27 million during the same period a year ago. SG&A rose 29.6 percent to $139.7 million

R&D expenses totaled $37.5 million. As of March 31, the company had $129.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.


Bruker Q1 Revs Up 14.9 Percent, Posts a Loss of $685K
Bruker this week reported revenue growth of 14.9 percent to $238.4 million during the first quarter, compared to $207.5 million a year ago.

The figures treat the BioSpin Group as if it were part of Bruker during the year-ago period. Bruker BioSciences purchased Bruker BioSpin in February. Foreign currency contributed 9.9 percent to revenue growth for the three months ended March 31, 2008.

For the quarter, Bruker posted a loss of $685,000, compared to a profit of $14.4 million a year ago.

During a conference call accompanying the earnings results, William Knight, CFO of Bruker, said that the company incurred a pre-tax foreign exchange loss of about $12 million, driven by the weak US dollar and an unexpected strengthening of the Swiss franc relative to the US dollar and euro by approximately 11 percent and 3 percent respectively in the five weeks between the closing of the Bruker BioSpin acquisition and the close of the first quarter.
The company had warned about the loss last month [See PM 04/24/07].
R&D spending was $31.2 million. The company said it had $321.3 million of cash and short-term investment as of March 31. The company said it has repaid $55 million of debt incurred from the purchase of Bruker BioSpin and had plans in place to repay another $80 million this week.
For full-year 2008, the company is targeting revenue growth of 8 percent.

Biotron Exclusive Distributor of GWC’s Label-free Arrays in India
Biotron Healthcare will be the exclusive distributor of GWC Technologies’ label-free array systems in India, under an agreement announced this week.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Tim Burland, president and CEO of GWC, said in a statement that with eight sales offices in India, in addition to its headquarters in Mumbai, Biotron has a broad reach across India.

Crelux, ProQinase Announce Protein Kinase Agreement
Crelux and ProQinase announced an agreement this week to supply customers with crystal-grade protein kinases and readily available kinase complex structures.
Under the agreement, the two German firms will create and expand an off-the-shelf crystal-grade protein kinase portfolio. They will also provide new crystal-grade protein or crystal structures.
ProQinase, based in Frieburg, will exclusively produce and market recombinant protein kinases. Crelux, headquartered in Martinsried, will continue to provide crystallization and X-ray crystallography services to customers. Crelux will provide ProQinase crystallization quality control for each crystal grade protein batch.
Financial details were not disclosed.

SMART Installs Syngene’s Dyversity 6 Platform
Syngene said this week its first Dyversity 6 2D gel imaging system has been installed at the Singapore Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alliance for Research and Technology Center.
The system was installed by Syngene’s exclusive distributor in Singapore, Insta BioAnalytik Pte.
The system at SMART features a 16-bit, 6 megapixel CCD-based camera and can generate 2D protein gel images up to 10 times faster than a conventional laser-based scanner, Syngene said in a statement. It will be initially used in the center’s infectious diseases’ interdisciplinary research group to automate 1D and 2D gel imaging in research focusing on respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, tuberculosis, and malaria. 

Applera Board Declares Dividend for ABI Shares
The board of Applera this week declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.0425 per share of Applera-Applied Biosystems common stock, payable on July 1 for shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 2.

Sigma-Aldrich Declares Dividend
Sigma-Aldrich this week said its board has declared a quarterly dividend of $.13 per share of the company’s common stock to shareholders of record on May 30. The dividend is payable on June 13.

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.