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Power3, Mercy Women s Center, Protana, Molecular Connections, Medibic, Inpharmatica, Chugai Pharmaceutical, Cell Signaling Technology, Aventis, Foundation for the Advanced Education


Power3, Mercy Women’s Center Ink Breast Cancer Biomarker Deal

Power3 Medical Products said this week that it has signed an agreement to collaborate with Mercy Women’s Center on the identification of protein biomarkers in blood serum that correlate to breast cancer.

Under this arrangement, Mercy Women’s Center will provide Power3 with up to 600 blood serum samples from normal subjects and subjects with various stages of breast cancer. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Last week, Power3 announced that the Institutional Review Board at the Women’s Hospital of Texas granted the company approval to begin a clinical validation study on the early detection of breast cancer using its NAFTest.

Power3’s NAFTest uses nipple aspirates to identify groups of breast cancer proteins. Previous studies by the company found differences in protein patterns of women with breast cancer, women of high risk for breast cancer and normal women.

Protana Expands Literature Curation Deal with Molecular Connections

Molecular Connections said this week that Protana, formerly MDS Proteomics, has renewed and expanded the companies’ literature curation and annotation services collaboration.

According to Bangalore, India-based Molecular Connections, its literature mining and annotation services are used by Protana to summarize scientific knowledge about proteins in order to help its scientific teams make appropriate research and development decisions.

“We have established a very productive relationship with Molecular Connections,” Thodoros Topaloglou, senior vice president and head of bioinformatics at Protana, said in a statement. “More importantly, Molecular Connections has the ... capability to scale up. Expansion of the collaboration is a logical move.”

Medibic to Launch Proteome Analysis Service Targeted Toward New Drug Development

Medibic, a Japanese pharmaceutical consulting company, announced this week that it will launch a proteome analysis service exclusively designed for new drug development.

The company will work with its overseas biotechnology partners, including Strand Genomics of India which develops biomarker detection technology, and SurroMed, a US bio venture firm that offers data analysis service, to provide advanced proteome analysis service.

The proteome analysis service will be aggressively marketed to Japanese pharmaceutical companies, Medibic officials said.

Inpharmatica Licenses Biopendium Database to Chugai Pharmaceutical

Inpharmatica, through its partner PharmaDesign, has licensed its Biopendium protein database to Chugai Pharmaceutical of Japan, the company said this week.

Chugai decided to take an online subscription to Biopendium, the protein annotation component of Inpharmatica’s PharmaCarta platform. Biopendium provides sequence annotations for over 150 organisms.

Chugai is the fourth Japanese subscriber to Biopendium, according to London-based Inpharmatica.

Cell Signaling Technology to Conduct Biomarker Study for Aventis

Cell Signaling Technology said this week that it has signed an agreement with Aventis to conduct a pilot study in which CST will identify phosphorylation sites and prospective biomarkers of protein tyrosine kinase targets for Aventis.

Under the terms of the agreement, CST, based in Beverly, Mass., will use its PhosphoScan technology to identify the biomarkers, which may enable target validation and profiling assays to monitor kinase-targeted therapeutic pharmacodynamics and efficacy, CST said.

PhosphoScan, according to the company, is patent-pending phospho-proteomics technology that combines immunoaffinity purification and mass spectroscopy to determine cellular PTK phosphorylation profiles.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Foundation for the Advanced Education in the Sciences Announces New Proteomics Workshop

FAE’s Bio-Trac program at the National Institutes of Health announced this week that it will be hosting a three-day workshop called “Proteomics: Methods and Applications” from Nov. 3-5 at the North Shore Hyatt in Lake Tahoe, Nev. Another workshop called “Modifying Gene Expression with siRNA” will also be held concurrently.

To receive more information about the workshops, contact Mark Nardone at [email protected]. There is a class limit of 50 participants for each workshop.


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.