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Proteomic Solutions to Distribute GeneBio's Phenyx Software in France

Geneva Bioinformatics has signed up Proteomic Solutions to distribute its Phenyx mass spectrometry analysis software in France, GeneBio said this week.

Under the agreement, Proteomic Solutions, a protein laboratory service and reseller of proteomics products based near Paris, will distribute GeneBio's Phenyx throughout France.

Phenyx, developed by GeneBio in collaboration with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, is used to identify and characterize proteins and peptides from mass spectrometry data.


Thermo Sells Biostar Dx Business to Inverness for $52.5M

Thermo Electron said this week that it has agreed to sell its Thermo Biostar point-of-care and rapid diagnostics business to Inverness Medical Innovations for $52.5 million in cash.

The sale is expected to close by Sept. 30, subject to the consent of Inverness management and other customary closing conditions.

Biostar had 2004 revenues of around $29.7 million and first-half 2005 revenues of approximately $18.5 million.

"Although the point of care and rapid diagnostics business has performed well, we do not believe it to be a strategic fit with Thermo's long term strategy for growth," said Marijn Dekkers, president and CEO of Thermo Electron, in a statement.

Dekkers added that Thermo's remaining clinical diagnostic products "have excellent market positions."

Inverness Medical Innovations, which focuses on diagnostics for women's health and cardiology, will acquire Thermo Biostar's line of point-of-care rapid tests, as well as 55 full-time sales staff.


NCI Renews Funding Program for Cancer Detection

The National Cancer Institute last week renewed a funding program called "Exploratory Studies in Cancer Detection, Diagnosis, and Prognosis."

The program, first released in October 2002, seeks to fund exploratory research to evaluate new molecular or cellular characteristics of pre-malignant cells or tumors or to develop assays that will be useful for cancer detection, diagnosis, or prognosis. It is sponsored by the NCI's Cancer Diagnosis Program, the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, and the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group.

Funding will be available through the R21 award mechanism, which allows up to $275,000 in direct costs over two years. The total amount awarded and number of awards are not predetermined.


Epitome Biosystems, EMD Biosciences to Develop Tools Based on Epitome EpiTag Tech

Epitome Biosystems and EMD Biosciences have signed a licensing and development agreement to develop products based on Epitome's EpiTag technology, the companies announced last week.

According to terms of the agreement, Epitome will develop reagents for the quantitative measurement of key interacellular signaling proteins. Products will be marketed and sold worldwide by EMD Biosciences under its Novagen and Calbiochem brands.

Epitome will receive a technology access fee, milestone-based development payments, and royalties on product sales.


PerkinElmer Says Acquisitions Could Help It Bolster Cell Reagent Play

PerkinElmer is "highly interested" in investing in its cell-based assay and reagent businesses, and will likely attempt to obtain core competencies in these areas through acquisition, partnerships, or both in the coming year, a PerkinElmer official said at the Society for Biomolecular Screening conference in Geneva, Switzerland, this week.

Deb Brusini, business unit leader for drug discovery within PerkinElmer's Life and Analytical Sciences division, said in an interview with ProteoMonitor's sister publication Cell-Based Assay News that the company will be looking to add reagents such as advanced photoproteins to better enable its newly launched LumiLux high-throughput live-cell ion-channel screening instrument.

The company will also aim to obtain optimized cell lines with the hope of enabling "mix-and-measure"-type assays on its CellLux and LumiLux instruments and, further in the future, acquire optimized reagents for conducting FRAP and FRET analysis on its UltraView confocal reader.

Brusini said that although PerkinElmer already has internal programs in place to address the development of these technologies, "it's very hard to get that internal capability on your own. So in the future what we'll be doing a lot of is acquiring competency in this area, as well as looking for technology to acquire in this area.

"The things that we'll be interested in will be anything that will allow these live-cell assays to be done more effectively," Brusini said.

Examples of possibly attainable companies with core competencies and key technologies in this area include Danish biotech BioImage and Italian biotech Axxam, though Brusini stressed that PerkinElmer is not necessarily interested in acquiring those particular companies. Brusini also said that Invitrogen would be an example of a company that would be attractive for a partnership in this area.

An extended version of this article appears in the current issue of Cell-Based Assay News.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.