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Proteome Systems, Thermo Fisher, Affinity BioReagents, Cambridge Isotope, Spectra Stable Isotopes, Calibrant, AFIP, Power3, Phenomenex, AbD Serotec, Phadria, GeneGo

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Proteome Systems Drops Intended Prostate Dx
 
Proteome Systems is abandoning its efforts to create a semen-based diagnostic test for prostate cancer, the Australian company announced this week.
 
The decision was after results of a proof-of-concept study “demonstrated the project did not satisfy internal assessment hurdles,” Proteome Systems said in a statement.
 
The test was to be based on the human carcinoma antigen, discovered by researchers at the Harvard Medical School and licensed by Egenix. In early 2006, Proteome Systems entered into a deal with Egenix to develop the test.
 
Proteome Systems had identified a protein that specifically detects the antigen and had developed an assay against it. In its statement, however, the firm said that “commercialization of the assay would require significant resources along with an extended development timeline.”
 
Jenny Harry, CEO of the company, said that it remains committed to projects with near-term revenue potential and leveraging its existing intellectual property in infectious and respiratory illnesses. It is also seeking to expand the development of products using the company’s DiagnosticIQ test platform.
 

 
Thermo Fisher Acquires Affinity BioReagents
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week acquired Affinity BioReagents for an undisclosed amount.
 
Affinity, based in Golden, Colo., has a portfolio of more than 35,000 reagents, primarily monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. The acquisition enhances Thermo Fisher’s own portfolio, “which will drive growth as we combine these reagents with our current proteomics offerings to create end-to-end solutions for widely used protein-research applications,” said Marijn Dekkers, president and CEO of Thermo Fisher, said in a statement.
 
Affinity also makes proteins and peptides. In 2007, it recorded revenues of about $6 million. The company will be integrated in Thermo Fisher’s Analytical Technologies segment.
 

 
Cambridge Isotope Acquires Spectra Stable
 
Cambridge Isotope Laboratories last week acquired Spectra Stable Isotopes for an undisclosed amount.
 
SSI, which had been a division of Spectra Gases, a subsidiary of Linde Gas, produces stable isotope labeled biochemics, including growth media for bacterial, yeast insect and mammalian cell culture, RNA and DNA derivatives for oligonucleotide synthesis, fatty acids, carbohydrates, and amino acids.
 
In a statement, Maureen Duffy, vice president of sales and marketing for Cambridge, said the acquisition expands and complements the company’s portfolio of biochemicals and reagents for mass spectrometry- and biomolecular NMR-based research. 
 

 
Calibrant, AFIP Collaborate on Biomarkers
 
Calibrant Biosystems and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology will be collaborating on the discovery and development of novel protein biomarkers, Calibrant said this week.
 
Under a cooperative research and development agreement, the two parties will use Calibrant’s Gemini proteomics technology to evaluate and validate protein markers for a variety of unmet medical needs. The initial project will focus on brain cancer, with an ultimate goal of identifying predictive biomarkers for personalized medicine.
 
AFIP’s Tissue Microarray Laboratory will produce standard and custom tissue microarrays to Calibrant’s specifications. AFIP is an agency of the US Department of Defense, whose mission is consultation, education, and research.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 

 
Power3, Jordanian Biotech Center Validating Breast Cancer Dx
 
Power3 Medical Products announced this week it will conduct a clinical validation study of its BC-SeraPro Breast Cancer diagnostic blood test using patient samples from the Princess Haya Biotechnology Center at the Jordan University of Science and Technology.
 
Under the collaboration, the Princess Haya center will provide clinically confirmed breast cancer, benign breast disease, and age-matched control patient samples. Power3 will use its technologies for analysis of the samples to further validate the SeraPro test.
 
Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
 
The test was launched in March in parts of the Middle East, including Jordan [See PM 10/18/07].
 
The company said it expects to complete the validation study in the third quarter and to fully commercialize the BC-SeraPro test in the first quarter of 2009.
 

 
Phenomenex Opens Office Serving Benelux Region
 
Phenomenex this week announced the opening of its Phenomenex B.V. subsidiary in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
 
The new office will enable the company to expand research and development to meet needs in the Benelux region with direct sales and service, the company said in a statement. All Phenomenex products will be supplied exclusively from the new office to customers in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
 

 
Phadia Introduces Tests Using AbD Serotec’s HuCAL-based Antibodies
 
Phadia has implemented a series of AbD Serotec’s HuCAL-based recombinant antibodies in its marketed autoimmune tests, becoming the first diagnostic firm to introduce recombinant antibodies in an autoimmune screening platform, said AbD Serotec’s parent company, MorphoSys, this week.
 
AbD Serotec, MorphoSys’ division for research and diagnostic antibodies, and Phadia have a collaboration dating to 2005 for use of the HuCAL technology in Phadia’s blood tests. The tests covered by this week’s announcement are the Varelisa and EliA tests. The antibodies generated for them are in the IgA, IgM and IgG1 format.
 
Varelisa is in a classic ELISA microtiter format and EliA is an automated system for antibody measurement.
 
AbD Serotec will receive license fees as part of the introduction of the tests. No further financial details were revealed.
 

 
GeneGo Names U of Miami Medical School Center of Excellence
 
GeneGo said this week the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has been added as a company Center of Excellence.
 
Researchers at the medical school will have access to GeneGo’s MetaCore products, training, and advanced support. The center will provide a pathway analysis environment and support for the school’s researchers, and serve as a training facility for GeneGo at the University of Miami.
 
Last week, the company announced the Keck Microarray Center at Yale University as a Center of Excellence.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.