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PerkinElmer and Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Syngene, Strategic Diagnostics, MDS Sciex, OncoMed and MorphoSys, ProMetic Life Sciences, and Invitrogen


PerkinElmer and Israeli Medical Center to Create Neonatal Screening Program in Israel

Israel's Chaim Sheba Medical Center has selected PerkinElmer's neonatal screen technology to create a national newborn screening program, the company said last week.

The neonatal screening initiative will be built around the company's AutoDELFIA automatic immunoassay system. PerkinElmer will deliver multiple AutoDELFIA units as well as reagents and equipment.

Under the agreement, PerkinElmer will provide the center with instruments, reagents, scientific expertise, and an informatics system to enhance its neonatal screening and data-management capabilities.

Israel is following a mandate set by the Medical Research Infrastructure Development and Health Services Fund to substantially expand its newborn screening program to cover the entire population and to increase the number of tests screened for indications of disease.

Syngene Says Undisclosed Pharma Is Using Its Imaging Tech to Find Protein Targets

Syngene this week said that an undisclosed "leading US pharmaceutical company" is using its imaging system to help it discover protein drug targets.

Researchers at this drug maker are using the technology to automatically assess around 150 2D protein gels per week. These gels are up to 26 cm x 26 cm and are stained with dyes including Sypro Orange, Sypro Ruby, Sybr Green, Coomassie Blue, and Pro-Q Diamond.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Strategic Diagnostics Pens Genomic Antibodies Deal With Undisclosed Big Pharma

An undisclosed "top ten" pharmaceutical company has placed an "initial order" with Strategic Diagnostics for its Genomic Antibodies technology, Strategic Diagnostics said this week.

The company said that scientists for this drug maker "have unsuccessfully attempted to make antibodies to some of the protein targets in this initial order," which they hope to reverse with Genomic Antibodies.

Strategic Diagnostics said this represents the third "major" pharmaceutical customer to initiate a relationship with the company, "and although these represent initially small projects, we are increasingly confident in the commercial viability of this capability."

Strategic Diagnostics' most-recent deal before this one was with Berlex in April.

MDS Sciex Reports 1.5-Percent Gain in Fiscal Q2 Revenues

MDS reported last week that revenues for its MDS Sciex instruments business grew 1.5 percent to $66 million in the second fiscal quarter from $65 million year over year.

The company said more than one-third of those receipts came from products introduced in the last 24 months, including its API 4000 and API 5000, 3200 Q Trap, and 4800 MALDI TOF/TOF instruments.

OncoMed Licenses MorphoSys' HuCal Library to Help Develop Cancer Therapies

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals has licensed an antibody library from MorphoSys to research and develop therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of several cancers, the companies said last week.

According to the terms of the agreement, OncoMed will gain access to MorphoSys' HuCal Gold library for two years in exchange for an up-front payment and annual user fees, the companies said.

The firms did not disclose additional financial details.

OncoMed will use the library to develop therapies against cancer stem cells in breast, lung, colon, prostate, and other cancers, the company said.

ProMetic Closes $9.8M Private Stock Placement

ProMetic Life Sciences closed a private placement of 29.6 million subordinate voting shares valued at CA$10.8 million ($9.8 million) with JPMorgan and Third Point, the biopharmaceutical company said last week.

The shares were priced at CA$.365 per share.

The funds will be used to develop PBI-1402, an orally active drug for the treatment of anemia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as for general corporate purposes.

Investment Bank Upgrades Invitrogen Stock; Shares Climb 3.6 Percent

Invitrogen's shares were up 3.6 percent, or $2.29, at $65.37 in mid-afternoon trading on the day last week when Bears Sterns upgraded the company's stock to "Outperform" from "Peer Perform."


The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.