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Prolinx, Proteome Sciences, Pierce Biotechnology, Agilent Technologies, Applied Biosystems, HTS Biosystems, Mitsubishi Chemical, Protein Pathways, Charles River Proteomic Services, Eurogentec


Update: Debts And Delays in Product Development Forced Prolinx Into Bankruptcy

Gregory Abbott, acting president and CEO of Bothell, Wash.-based Prolinx, recently provided an update on why the company shut down (see ProteoMonitor, 03-31-03).

After evaluating the company’s instrument project and reagent business, Prolinx management decided to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 27. “Given the overhang of debt that the company had accumulated, and the obligations that it had to the landlord and others, it was simply not viable for the company to go forward in that form,” Abbott said.

While the prototype for an SPR instrument Prolinx was developing was promising, several design decisions were made “that probably were not consistent with one another or optimal in terms of what the market needed,” he said. Beta-testing would not have been possible before the end of 2003. Combined with the fact that the company had shrunk to about 10 employees and was renting a 55,000 square foot building under a long-term lease, it was “absolutely impossible for the company to find enough wiggle room to achieve solvency and restart itself without going through the bankruptcy process,” Abbott said.

An appointed bankruptcy trustee will now decide on the future of the technology.


Proteome Sciences Licenses BSE Biomarkers to Idexx

Earlier this month, Proteome Sciences of Cobham, UK, said it has licensed its BSE biomarkers to Idexx Laboratories of Westbrook, Maine, and started a collaboration with the company. Idexx received exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize diagnostic assays for the detection of BSE in cattle and of TSE in other animals. The company is planning to use the biomarkers to develop a blood test to be used in live animals. Proteome Sciences will receive upfront and milestone payments as well as royalties on sales of products using the biomarkers.


Pierce and Agilent Will Co-Market Protein Microfluidics Chips and Reagents

Pierce Biotechnology of Rockford, Ill., and Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., said last week they would co-market Agilent’s 2100 bioanalyzer Protein 200 Plus, its Protein 50 LabChip kits, and Pierce’s protein reagents and consumables. Agilent jointly developed the microfluidics chips, which offer an alternative to SDS-PAGE to assess a protein’s purity and quantity, with Caliper Technologies. The two companies will focus on protein application areas where both companies have existing products and will develop a series of scientific application notes. Pierce is a division of Stockholm-based Perbio Science.


ABI, HTS Biosystems, Mitsubishi Chemical Sign Distribution Agreement, Collaborate on SPR

Applied Biosystems of Foster City, Calif., HTS Biosystems of Hopkinton, Mass., and Mitsubishi Chemical of Tokyo announced a distribution agreement last week, under which ABI Japan, a division of ABI, will exclusively distribute a new surface plasmon resonance system developed by ABI and HTS. In addition, the three companies plan to jointly develop applications. ABI plans to release the system worldwide this summer. Last spring, ABI and HTS reached a licensing and supply agreement to develop and commercialize SPR techno-logy for the high-throughput analysis of protein interactions. Prior to that, HTS granted Mitsubishi rights to distribute the system in Japan.


Protein Pathways and Merck Collaborate

Protein Pathways of Woodland Hills, Calif., said earlier this month that it has started a research collaboration with Merck of Whitehouse Station, NJ. Merck will apply Protein Pathways’ protein interaction prediction technology in its research. Protein Pathways, which exclusively licenses technology developed in the group of David Eisenberg at the University of California Los Angeles, predicts protein interactions based on a variety of experimental data.


Charles River Proteomic Services Opens

Charles River Proteomic Services, a joint venture of Charles River Laboratories International and Proteome Systems, has opened its doors in Worcester, Mass. It offers proteomics research services on a fee-for-service basis to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.


Eurogentec to Distribute Protein’expert’s Protein Expression Service

Eurogentec of Liege, Belgium, will distribute Protein’expert’s protein expression service, the companies said earlier this month. The service promises to deliver up to 500 µg of purified protein within four weeks on average. PX, founded in 2000 as a spinoff from the Institute of Structural Biology, is based in Grenoble, France.


The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.