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Proteome Sciences, Vermillion, Applera, Applied Biosysems, Celerea, NextGen, Expression Pathology, Aushon, Proteros, Merchachem, Hybrigenics, Dualsystems

2007 Revs Up Sharply for Proteome Sciences
Proteome Sciences said last week that revenues rose nearly three-fold to £265,593 [$528,601] in 2007, compared to £68,469 in 2006 while losses shrank to £5.25 million last year from £5.64 million in 2006.
During 2007, Proteome Sciences received patents for its isobaric tandem mass tagging technology in parts of Europe and in the US, leading to a licensing deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific for the technology in April [See PM 04/10/08]. Meanwhile, it also said revenues for its ProteoShop services division saw a “considerable uplift” in 2007, though it did not elaborate.
“The combination of the developments … transforms the prospects for Proteome Sciences and from which we expect sustainable and rising revenue from all areas of our activities,” Steve Harris, chairman of the company’s board said in a letter to its shareholders. Through five months of 2008, the company said it had revenues of £810,000. It did not provide year-ago figures.
As of Dec. 31, 2007, the company had £530,195 in cash and cash equivalents.
The company also said that it has filed a “highly robust and comprehensive response” to the European Patent Office related to a letter of opposition from Applera, now called Applied Biosystems, asking that the patent for the TMT technology be revoked [See PM 03/27/08].
Proteome Sciences also said last week that entered into a further loan agreement with Christopher Pearce, CEO of the company, for £8 million. A year ago, Pearce increased a loan he had made to the company to £6 million from £4 million.

Vermillion Shares Remain on Nasdaq — For Now
The Nasdaq exchange has given Vermillion until Sept. 22 to meet certain requirements or face having its shares delisted, the company said this week.
The Nasdaq told Vermillion its decision on June 25 after company officials met with a panel from the exchange to plead its case to have its stock remain trading on the Capital Market board. 
Vermillion had been told in February by the Nasdaq that because the company’s stock did not meet certain listing requirements, it faced delisting. Those requirements include: at least $2.5 million in stockholder equity; $35 million in market capitalization; or $500,000 in net income from continuing operations for the most recently completed fiscal year or two of the three most recently completed fiscal years.
The exchange gave Vermillion until late March to meet the listing requirements. When the company didn’t, the Nasdaq threatened Vermillion again with delisting [See PM 04/03 08].
In May, company officials met with a Nasdaq panel to present a plan for compliance and request continued listing on the exchange pending completion of its compliance plan.

Applera – Celera = Applied Biosystems
Applera this week completed the separation of its Celera business and has renamed itself Applied Biosystems.
Applied Biosystems’ stock is trading under ticker symbol “ABI” on the New York Stock Exchange, while Celera stock is trading on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “CRA.”
ABI is currently in the midst of being acquired by Invitrogen. The combined company would adopt the ABI name.

NextGen, Expression Pathology Provide Biomarker Services for FFPE Tissue Samples
NextGen Sciences and Expression Pathology announced an agreement this week for protein biomarker services in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples.
Under the agreement, customers will be able to send in FFPE tissue samples to either company. The samples will be processed using Expression Pathology’s Liquid Tissue MS Protein Prep and Directory laser micro-dissection technologies, and proteins will then be analyzed with NextGen’s LC-MS/MS technologies to identifty and quantify protein levels.
In a statement, the companies said the new offering will give researchers an alternative to the commonly used immunohistochemistry method for identification and analysis of tissue proteins.
Financial terms were not disclosed.

Aushon Offers Reverse-Phase Arrays
Aushon BioSystems last week said it has expanded its microarray services to include reverse-phase arrays.
The company had been offering RPA services through its custom microarray printing services, and is now offering downstream array processing and data analysis.
The arrays are especially useful for high-throughput analysis of protein levels and post-translational modifications, the company said in a statement. The new offering by the company is anticipated to lead to greater adoption of RPA technology, it said in a statement.

Proteros, Merchachem Provide Services for Drug Development
Proteros biostructures and Merchachem Holding announced last week a joint agreement for services covering fragment-based discovery, fragment evolution, hit-to-lead generation, lead optimization, and the preparation of pre-clinical development candidates.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Proteros offers services in protein-structure analysis, while Merchachem is a contract research organization specializing in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and process R&D services. Both are based in Germany.

Hybrigenics, Dualsystems Co-Market Yeast 2-hybrid Technology
Hybrigenics this week announced a co-marketing agreement for Dualsystems’ Dualmembrane yeast 2-hybrid technology for the screening of membrane proteins.
The technology was designed to screen for membrane protein interactions and is relevant for membrane receptors, which represent about 40 percent of all targets for drugs either on the market or in development, Hybrigenics said in a statement.
The deal is based on a profit-sharing agreement. No other financial details were disclosed.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.