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Plexera, CS-Keys, PerkinElmer, GeneGo

Plexera, Augoron Reach Deal on Protein Chips
Plexera has exclusive access to Auguron Biosciences’ Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Array technology under an agreement reached between the two companies this week.
Developed at the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, NAPPA enables “fresh, functional proteins to be generated on high density microchips from surface printed DNA,” the companies said in a statement.
Under the terms of the deal, Plexera will have exclusive access to the technology for one year with terms for a one-year extension. Plexera will test and develop NAPPA as a content source for Plexera’s label-free Kx Array platform with Auguron and “other strategic partners.”
Plexera has the option to negotiate an exclusive license to NAPPA “within the field of detection by or depending on SPR,” the label-free method used in the Kx Array platform. If Plexera exercises the option, the companies anticipate Auguron will produce and supply NAPPA enabled microchips to Plexera, they said.
Other financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Cancer Biomarker Firm Reels in $6.25M in Series A Financing
CS-Keys, a proteomics firm developing technology for cancer biomarker detection, said this week it has raised $6.25 million in Series A financing.
Triathlon Medical Ventures, which provided seed funding for Indianapolis-based CS-Keys, led the financing round. Clarian Health Ventures, Prolog Ventures, Ceres Venture Fund, and Spring Mill Venture Partners also participated.
The funding will be used to support the launch of the company’s first product — an immunohistochemistry stain to assist pathologists detect cancer-associated Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen in biopsies from tissues.

PerkinElmer Life Science Revs See 19 Percent Increase in Q4
PerkinElmer reported last week revenue growth of 20 percent during its fourth quarter.
For the three months ended Dec. 30, 2007, the company posted receipts of $511.5 million, compared to $427 million a year ago. In the Life and Analytical Sciences division, revenues rose 19 percent to $382.1 million from $320.6 million a year ago.
Profits during the quarter climbed to $52.6 million, a 26 percent increase from $41.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2006.
PerkinElmer spent $28.7 million on R&D during the quarter and had $203.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The company’s Optoelectronics division recorded revenues of $129.4 million, up 22 percent from $106.3 million a year ago.

US Army Continuing Use of MetaCore
The US Army has extended its license of GeneGo’s MetaCore, the company said this week. The Army will use the platform for its Biomarker Discovery Program to identify new biomarkers for exposure to toxic industrial chemicals and materials “to provide enhanced health surveillance for military personnel,” the company said in a statement.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.