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Ordina and Erasmus Medical Center, Power3 Medical Products and New Horizons Diagnostics, and NIAAA

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Ordina, Erasmus Medical Center Ally to Provide Genomics, Proteomics Data Analysis

Ordina, a information-technology service provider based in the Netherlands, last week announced a collaboration to develop diagnostics services based on proteomics and gene-expression data with Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.

Ordina and the Erasmus Medical Center, which includes the faculty of medicine and health sciences of Erasmus University and the University Hospital of Rotterdam, will initiate projects providing services to analyze the clinical, biological and experimental information from DNA microarray-based experiments.

Financial details were not disclosed.


Power3, New Horizons to Co-develop Tests for Neurodegenerative Disease

Proteomics company Power3 Medical Products and New Horizons Diagnostics plan to use Power3’s protein biomarkers to co-develop antibody-based diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases, the firms said this week.

Power3 said it will develop a series of tests that monitor the concentration of panels of proteins in the blood. The company said it has discovered 34 biomarkers whose profiles are “relatively sensitive and specific” in distinguishing patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease from each other, from patients with other neuromuscular and neurological disorders, and from controls.

Through its deal with New Horizons Diagnostics, Power3 is “now positioned to take our biomarkers into the high-throughput immunodiagnostic test market,” the company said in a statement.

Specifically, New Horizons will employ monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to the biomarkers, which will be incorporated into immunoassays, the firms said. Once the assays are available, New Horizons Diagnostics will develop and validate diagnostic tests on its platform that is specifically designed to detect and discriminate among the neurodegenerative diseases.


NIAAA Seeks to Award $4M to Research Genomic, Proteomic Biomarkers of Alcoholism

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has issued two requests for applications for the identification of genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic biomarkers for alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced tissue injury.

One RFA is open to industry, while the other is open to academic researchers.

The NIAAA intends to commit up to $2 million in FY2006 for each RFA. Approximately three to six awards will be made to SBIR, and 6 to 8 awards will be made to academia.

“The ultimate goal of the genomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies in alcohol research is to decipher the interconnecting networks of genes, proteins, and metabolites in order to understand the information flow leading to alcohol use disorders and develop clinical interventions for these diseases,” the RFA for Small Business Innovation Research stated.

More information about the SBIR RFA can be found here, and information about the RFA for academia can be found here.

 

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.