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Peakadilly, NIH, Burnham Institute, Caprion, Centocor, Thermo Electron, InforSense, Alligator, AlgoNomics, AnalizaDx, Miraculins, Miami U, Bruker

Flanders Government Extends Peakadilly’s Grant to $2.14M
Peakadilly this week said that the Flanders Government has extended a grant to the company for the development of its protein biomarker discovery platform, bringing the grant total to €1.7 million [$2.14 million].
The funds will be used to expand Peakadilly’s relationships with pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies and to hasten its own diagnostic and pharmacodiagnostic products, the company said in a statement.
In August, ProteoMonitor reported Peakadilly had raised €8.5 million in the final close of its Series A financing, bringing the total raised during that phase of financing to €14.5 million [See PM 08/24/06].
In a statement, Koen Kas, founder and CSO of Peakadilly, said, “Moving forward, our goal is to deliver proof-of-concept for the development of the first high-throughput mass spectrometry-based serum protein profiling assay as we progress in the development of next generation molecular diagnostics.”

NIH Gives Burnham Institute $12.7M for NeuroscienceResearchCenter
The National Institutes of Health announced this week it has awarded $12.7 million to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research to create a neuroscience research center.
The five-year grant supports a collaborative program that includes the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Scripps Research Institute, and the University of California, San Diego.
Around 100 scientists from the four institutions will work under the program, which is funded by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research.
The grant will support neuroscience in 13 core areas — proteomics, stem cells, crystallography and nuclear magnetic imaging, structural biology, functional genomics, genetic analysis, neurobehavior in mice, diseases of nerve cells, electrophysiology studies of nerve impulse transmission, drug screening, and biostatistics and computational modeling.

Caprion to Provide Proteins to Centocor for Drug Development
Caprion Pharmaceuticals will supply protein targets to Centocor Research and Development for the development of monoclonal antibodies and other potential therapies for cancer under a licensing agreement announced by Caprion this week.
Caprion discovered the cancer targets using its CellCarta proteomics technology, the company said in a statement.
Under the agreement, Centocor, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, will have exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize therapeutics against any targets selected.
In exchange Centocor will provide an up-front payment, licensing fees, and milestone payments to Caprion. Centocor will also pay royalty payments on commercial sales of any product developed as a result of the agreement.
Other specific financial terms were not disclosed.

Thermo Integrating InforSense’s Workflow Informatics Platform Into Proteomics Software
Thermo Electron will bundle InforSense’s KDE workflow informatics platform into its BioWorks software for proteomics data analysis under a three-year OEM agreement announced this week.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BioWorks is a suite of software applications for protein identification. In a statement, InforSense said KDE provides “an open, extensible service-oriented architecture, built using industry standards including J2EE, XML, and WSDL.”

Alligator, AlgoNomics Collaborate to Reduce Protein Immunogenicity
Alligator BioScience will use AlgoNomics’ Epibase platform to evaluate potential immune responses to proteins used as biopharmaceuticals, the companies announced this week.
Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.
Alligator, based in Lund, Sweden, uses its proprietary FIND technology to develop new and enhance existing therapeutic and diagnostic proteins.

Firm Developing Cancer Dx Detecting Changes in Protein Structure Receives $300K
AnalizaDx, a Cleveland-based cancer diagnostic company, has received a $300,000 investment from JumpStart, a non-profit venture-development organization.
The company did not say how the funds will be used.
AnalizaDx is a newly formed spin-off of Analiza, a pharmaceutical and molecular testing technology company. In a statement, AnalizaDx said its technology tests for cancer by identifying biomarkers based on changes in the structure of proteins.

Miraculins’ Immunoassay Detects Prostate Protein Biomarker
Miraculins announced this week an ELISA test under development has detected the primary protein biomarker from its prostate cancer diagnostic.
The company said it plans to further develop a more sensitive and complex ELISA test under contract with an outside manufacturer.
Jim Charlton, president of the company, called the development “a critical step for marketing the final diagnostic test…While we use mass spectrometry as our main tool of discovery, it is not a readily available or accepted diagnostic tool in most clinical laboratories.”

Miami U First US Customer to Buy Bruker’s New NMR System
Miami University this week became the first US customer to purchase Bruker Biospin’s Avance II 850 US2 NMR system, the company announced this week.
The school will use the 850 MHz NMR alongside a Bruker AXS Proteum X-ray protein crystallography system, which it also has just purchased, to study protein structure and complexes, ligand binding thermodynamics and biofluid metabonomics.
The machine will be delivered in 2007. Financial terms of the purchase were not released.

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.