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Proteome Systems, Indiana Centers for Applied Protein Sciences, Power3 Medical Products, Mayo Clinic, Illumina, Applera, LifeSpan BioSciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale


Proteome Systems Opens Australian IPO

Proteome Systems said last week that it has opened its AU$20 million initial public offering on the Australian Stock Exchange. The offer price gives the company a market capitalization of AU$120 million, Proteome Systems said.

The size of the IPO is significantly less than Proteome Systems had initially hoped for. The company had originally planned to raise AU$45 million, a figure later cut to AU$35 million (See PM 06-25-04).

Patersons Securities is underwriting the offering.

Indiana Protein Center Announces First Customers and Receipt of Key Grants

The Indiana Centers for Applied Protein Sciences, a start-up venture that provides proteomic technology validation and protein analysis services for academic and private sector clients, announced last week that it has made its first round of agreements with clients, and it has received two substantial grants.

INCAPS has committed to doing projects with Eli Lilly & Company, Dow AgroSciences and the Indiana University School of Medicine. In addition, the center is developing projects for several other clients, including Purdue University, Indiana University Bloomington, and Inproteo, a commercial research alliance of Eli Lilly, Indiana University, and Purdue University.

The center said it received a $2 million grant and a $400,000 grant from Indiana’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund.

“The clients that INCAPS has attracted, combined with the support of the Indiana 21st Century Fund, shows real market demand and support for our endeavor from the scientific and economic development communities,” said INCAPS CEO James Ludwig.

INCAPS also announced its initial hires last week (see p. 2).

Power3 to Collaborate with Baylor on Metabolic Syndrome Biomarkers

Power3 Medical Products said this week that it will collaborate with Baylor College of Medicine on the discovery of biomarkers in serum and plasma of metabolic syndrome.

The Woodlands, Texas-based proteomics company said that the seunm and plasma biomarkers would be used for diagnosis and drug targeting of metabolic-related disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and stroke.

The research agreement is the result of a collaboration between Christie Ballantyne, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease at the Baylor College of Medicine, and Ira Goldknopf, chief scientific officer of Power3.

Mayo Clinic Models SARS Enzyme; Identifies Potential SARS Drug Targets

After simulating the three-dimensional structure of a SARS enzyme responsible for the replication of the deadly virus, a Mayo Clinic research team used computer simulations to identify twenty molecules that could potentially interact with the enzyme to thwart its function.

The 3D structure of the functionally important SARS enzyme was published last week in the online version of the journal Proteins: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics, after Yuan-Ping Pang and his research group solved the structure using x-ray crystallography techniques and computer modeling.

Pang used a Mayo Clinic in-house chemical database to search for molecules that could potentially interact with the SARS enzyme. The computer structures of the 20 chemicals he identified were sent to the Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, Ala. for further testing to see if they could work as anti-SARS drugs.

Illumina to Pay $8.5M to Applera in Settlement and Net $15M From Property Sale

Illumina will pay Applera $8.5 million in a settlement of litigation relating to a 1999 joint development agreement, Illumina said last week. This settlement ends all outstanding lawsuits between the company and Applera’s Applied Biosystems unit.

An Applied Biosystems spokesperson confirmed that this settlement had been reached.

Illumina claimed in its suit, filed in December 2002, that ABI was in breach of the 1999 joint development deal to commercialize a genotyping system. At about the same time, ABI sued Illumina in Federal court for patent infringement related to the oligo ligation assay.

Under the settlement, the companies will exchange royalty-free cross licenses to unspecified intellectual property rights for their technologies.

The payment to Applera comes out of $10.0 million in R&D funding that Applera provided to Illumina in November 1999 as a result of the joint development agreement, Illumina said. This payment was repayable to Applera from the profits of any products to emerge from the collaboration, and has been recorded as a liability on Illumina’s balance sheet, according to Illumina. As a result of the settlement, Illumina said it will remove this item from its balance sheet and record a one-time gain of $1.5 million.

Separately, Illumina also said it had completed the previously announced sale of its San Diego facilities for $42 million, and had entered into a ten-year lease of these facilities. This sale and leaseback agreement will net the company more than $15 million, Illumina said.

LifeSpan Licenses DrugTarget Database to Undisclosed Pharma

LifeSpan BioSciences said last week that it has licensed its DrugTarget database to an undisclosed pharmaceutical company, marking the 50th database license the company has issued.

According to the company, the database contains proprietary human protein localization data for drug targets in eight gene families, including G protein-coupled receptors, nuclear hormone receptors, kinases, ion channels, phosphatases, proteases, phosphodiesterases, and transporters.

Under the new licensing agreement, the subscriber will nominate 50 additional genes for study and inclusion in the expanded database over a two-year period. The database already includes 822 immunohistochemistry reports with localization information on more than 400 potential drug target genes selected by subscribers, said LifeSpan. The expanded database will include ion channels, secreted proteins, phosphatases, and other families of genes.

SIUC Awarded $175K from NSF for MALDI-TOF

Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced last week that it has received a $175,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the purchase of a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer.

SIUC is now taking bids for the spectrometer, which is expected to be in place on campus by the end of the year.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.