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Protein Structure Initiative, Ciphergen, PerkinElmer, Matritech, and Toronto General Hospital

Protein Structure Initiative Announces Clones Repository, Database to Come Next Fall
The Protein Structure Initiative announced this week that the Harvard Institute of Proteomics will operate the PSI-Materials Repository. The repository will be under the direction of Joshua LaBaer and receive funding of $5.4 million over five years. The repository will store and ship PSI-generated clones used to make specific proteins for studies on their structures and functions.
Scientists will be able to order clones for a minimal fee, the PSI said in a statement. PSI research centers have produced more than 100,000 clones and expect to produce 20,000 clones annually.
The PSI also said that it will establish next fall a “knowledgebase” that will serve as “ headquarters for structural information generated by its centers.” From the database, scientists will be able to find information about a protein’s structure and function and details about each stage of the protein structure determination process regardless of whether the structure was successfully determined.
Scientists will also be able to submit requests for protein structures they’d like the PSI to determine.
The 10-year PSI project was started in 2000 by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Ciphergen Agrees With Shareholders to Convert $27.5M in Senior Notes
Ciphergen announced that it has entered into an agreement with certain shareholders to exchange $27.5 million in 4.5 percent convertible senior notes due in 2008 for $16.5 million in 7 percent convertible notes due 2011 and $11 million in cash.
The transaction is contingent on the successful sale of Ciphergen’s proteomic tools business to Bio-Rad.
The new notes mature on Sept. 1, 2011. The 7 percent interest rate can be lowered to 4 percent if Ciphergen receives approval or clearance for commercial sale of its ovarian cancer tests by the US Food and Drug Administration, the company said. The new notes are convertible into common stock at an initial conversion price of $2 per share.

PerkinElmer Board Approves Stock Repurchase
PerkinElmer this week announced its board has approved the purchase of up to 10 million shares of its common stock during the next four years. Purchases will be made through open market transactions or privately negotiated transactions, the company said.

Sales Slightly Up at Matritech, Losses Increase 35 Percent
Matritech this week announced a 1 percent increase in sales to $2.83 million for the third quarter from $2.8 million while losses rose 35 percent to $2.94 million from $2.17 million a year ago.
Revenue generated by its lead product, the NMP22 BladderChek, a diagnostic for bladder cancer, rose 11 percent for the three months ended Sept. 30 to $2.33 million.
R&D spending was at $699,536. The company had $1.79 million in cash and cash equivalents.
Matritech was recently told by the American Stock Exchange that the company was not in compliance with listing requirements and could face having its stock delisted. The company filed a compliance plan with the exchange last month.

Toronto Hospital Buys Thermo Proteomics Instruments
A Toronto General Hospital program has bought a Thermo Electron liquid chromatographer and mass spectrometer for around CA$1 million ($880,000) as part of an R&D and supply agreement, Thermo said late last week.
The company will also fund a postdoc for two years and offer training workshops for the program, which will study transplant rejection.

The purchases were made by the Research in Immune Tolerance in Transplantation program at General Hospital’s Industrial Biodevelopment Laboratory. The RITT will study the biology of transplant rejection and try to develop treatments to prevent it.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.