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PerkinElmer, Procognia, Charles River, Ciphergen, University of St. Andrews, Novartis, BioVision, AxOgenic, University of Sydney, Schott, Accelr8


PerkinElmer, Procognia to Co-Market Protein Array Platform

PerkinElmer and Procognia will co-distribute and co-market instrumentation for high-throughput, high-resolution analysis of the glycosylation of proteins, the companies said this week.

The firms intend to combine Procognia’s U-c fingerprint lectin array-based platform with PerkinElmer’s Protein Array Workstation and ProScanArray HT. According to a joint statement, Procognia’s U-c fingerprint technology requires no sample purification or pretreatment and allows for quantitative analysis of 20 samples in roughly 3 hours.

Sandra Rasmussen, business manager for functional genomics and proteomics at PerkinElmer, said this is the first array on the market that allows for high-throughput analysis of glycosylated proteins.

“The beauty of this approach from a throughput perspective is that many of the conventional approaches require purification of proteins and digestion of peptides. With the Procognia array, no purification of proteins is required,” she told ProteoMonitor.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Charles River Reaffirms ‘04 Revenue Growth of 21-24 Percent; ‘05 to Grow 48-52 Percent

Charles River Laboratories this week reaffirmed its previously announced guidance for the fourth-quarter and full-year 2004 and for 2005.

For the fourth quarter, at current exchange rates, the company said revenue will grow between 44 percent and 47 percent year over year. In addition, revenue for 2004 is expected to grow between 21 percent and 24 percent year over year.

Charles River also said 2005 revenues ought to increase between 48 percent and 52 percent year over year. Excluding Inveresk, which the company acquired in October, organic growth is “expected to be” between 12 percent and 13 percent.

As ProteoMonitor reported last week, Charles River said it will close its proteomics joint venture with Proteome Systems after less than two years of operation because the venture “has not achieved its strategic goals.”

The closure is part of a reorganization of Charles River’s Worcester-based division and the integration of its preclinical services organization, the company said.

“The actions we have taken to streamline our businesses and to implement targeted sales initiatives have enabled us to support our customers’ needs effectively and efficiently,” James Foster, chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement.

Ciphergen Unit to Help ADDNET Develop Urine-based Molecular Diagnostics for Renal Disease

A unit of Ciphergen Biosystems will collaborate with the ADDNET consortium to create molecular diagnostics for kidney disease that relies on urine samples as opposed to traditional tissue biopsies, the company said this week.

Existing blood and urine tests “cannot detect subclinical renal disease, and, although kidney biopsies are accurate, they are invasive and therefore cannot be a routine clinical test,” the unit, Ciphergen Diagnostics, said in a statement.

As a result, the Sixth Framework Programme has funded this multi-year, multi-institution project to employ genomic, proteomic, and bioinformatics tools to “identify and validate a set of key molecular markers directly from patient urine that may yield novel diagnostic markers for the early and accurate non-invasive diagnosis of renal disease,” the statement said.

Ciphergen Diagnostics will work with the ADDNET consortium, which is funded by the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Union. The consortium, which comprises six participants from four countries, is led by Harry Holthofer at the University of Helsinki.

New $11.5M Proteomics Facility Opens in Scotland to Find New Treatments for ‘Superbugs’

A new £6 million ($11.5 million) proteomics facility geared toward finding new treatments for “superbugs” was opened at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland last week.

The facility, called the Scottish Structural Proteomics Facility, features robotic equipment, cloning and expression technology, and Invitrogen’s flagship Gateway technology. It will serve scientists from 14 research groups, including groups from Glasgow and Warwick Universities, the US and Japan.

“The study of the structure of proteins is essential in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria, viruses and parasites, which afflict many people in Scotland and the world,” said James Naismith, a professor in chemistry and biomolecular sciences at the University of St. Andrews, who will be overseeing the SSPF projects along with Malcolm White, also of St. Andrews, and Bill Hunter of the University of Dundee.

The SSPF was originally funded by a development grant from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, a funding agency established by the University of St. Andrews’ biomolecular sciences department and the faculty of life sciences at the University of Dundee.

Projects that will be worked on at the SSPF include proteomics studies of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the construction of a database of enzymes. The projects aim to identify new targets for antibiotic development and to elucidate how a variety of dangerous human viruses enter into cells and evade immune responses.

Novartis Hires BioVision to Find Clinically Relevant Peptides

BioVision will evaluate clinical samples provided by Switzerland-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals as part of a service agreement, BioVision said last week.

Germany-based BioVision hopes to find and identify clinically relevant peptides, the company said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

AxOgenic, University of Sydney Win $116K Gov’t Grant to Advance Microarray Technology

Axogenic and the University of Sydney will use a AUS$150,000 ($116,000) Australian Research Council industry-linkage grant to examine new technologies for the interactive visualization of microarray data.

According to Axogenic, the technologies, when developed, will be integrated into the company’s product line to help speed genetic and proteomic research.

Research will be conducted at the National Information and Communication Technology Australia facilities under a research program led by Peter Eades, head of the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, Axogenic said.

ARC grants were created to encourage long-term collaboration between academia and industry.

Schott Licenses Microarray Slide Surface Chemistry from Accelr8

Schott Nexterion has taken an exclusive license to surface chemistry for microarrays from Accelr8 Technology, Accelr8 said last week.

The deal follows an earlier agreement under which Schott sold Accelr8 microarray slides under its name. Schott, based in Jena, Germany, now obtained a two-year exclusive manufacturing and marketing license to Accelr8’s OptiChem-coated microarrays for protein applications, which can be extended for one year.

The company also took a non-exclusive license for other microarray applications. Accelr8 will be Schott’s only supplier of permeable hydrogel coatings for microarray slides during that time.

Accelr8 will continue to manufacture OptiChem slides for Schott until Schott’s own production facility goes online next April.



The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

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.