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NEWS BRIEFS: Oct 12, 2001



Canadian proteomics company Integrative Proteomics of Toronto has raised $25 million in a second round of private financing, bringing total funding raised since the company’s inception one year ago to $33 million.

The company’s strategic partners, Aurora Biosciences, Bruker AXS, and Bruker Daltonics, participated in the round, as did investment funds Lombard Odier Immunology Fund and HBM BioVentures of Switzerland and Genesys Capital Partners of Toronto.

Integrative Proteomics said it would use the fresh influx of funding to expand its facilities and work with the Bruker companies to enhance its mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy, and x-ray diffraction technologies. The company also plans to build up its chemistry program to speed up the drug discovery process.



As part of a continuing effort to whittle down the range of tasks the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) should perform, the group will hold meetings at three proteomics conferences during the fall, according to Sam Hanash, president of HUPO.

HUPO’s 24 council members will meet in September at the International Meeting on Proteome Analysis in Munich, at the International Proteomics Conference in Canberra, Australia, in October, and at the Defining the Proteomics Agenda conference in October sponsored by the American Chemical Society in Leesburg, Va.

Although the HUPO council members are planning to meet privately, the group hopes to use the symposia at the conferences to seek out many perspectives on what projects HUPO should support.

HUPO currently does not receive funding from any public or private sector supporters. Hanash said he hoped the meetings would allow HUPO to fine tune its role as a coordinator of international proteomics projects before seeking sponsors. “Those three meetings we’re holding in the fall in the Pacific area, Europe, and in the US are going to be very critical to setting up the agenda that would provide the springboard to go to different public or private sources,” Hanash said.



Proteomics company SomaLogic has signed a multi-year deal to provide Celera with early access to its aptamers and aptamer arrays. In exchange, SomaLogic will receive access to Celera’s sequence data and to proteins it can use to design additional aptamers.

SomaLogic’s aptamer technology can manufacture nucleic acids that bind to individual proteins. Assembled in an array format, the company said its approach allows researchers to detect thousands of proteins and link them with particular diseases.

“SomaLogic’s aptamer technology complements our genomics and proteomics programs by providing a unique approach for identifying expression and function of multiple proteins likely to play a role in major disease,” Craig Venter, Celera’s president and chief scientific officer, said in a statement.

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.