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RTI International, Eidogen-Sertanty, Medisyn, Sangamo BioSciences, Novo Nordisk, Kreatech, GSK, ABI, MDS Sciex

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RTI International Wins Two NCI Bioinformatics Contracts Worth $5.6M

RTI International's Partnerships for Genomics and Molecular Epidemiology group has won two bioinformatics contracts from the National Cancer Institute worth a total of $5.6 million, the Research Triangle Park, NC-based organization said last week.

Under a four-year, $4.3 million contract, RTI will provide bioinformatics support for the NCI's Breast and Colon Cancer Family Registries. RTI will manage the informatics support center, which facilitates data and sample collection from more than 20,000 cancer patients and family members. RTI will also help researchers design studies and analyze data. Research partners in this project include Alpha Gamma Technologies and Duke University.

Under a three-year, $1.3 million contract, RTI will support the management of several bioinformatics projects under the NCI's Center for Bioinformatics. Specifically, RTI will help with a proteomics biomarker discovery project, a multi-center trial called I-SPY, and the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid, caBIG.


Eidogen-Sertanty Licenses Protein Kinase Database to Medisyn

Eidogen-Sertanty has licensed its protein kinase database Kinase Knowledgebase to Medisyn Technologies, ES said this week.

Medisyn has taken an annual license and will use the database — which contains 160,000 structure-activity relationship data points and 390,000 kinase compounds — in its Fast Forward Engineering drug discovery platform.

David Land, president of Minnesota-based Medisyn, said in a statement that access to the database would broaden Medisyn's "palette of experimentally characterized compounds, saving preparation time and money."

Financial details were not discussed.


Sangamo BioSciences Licenses Protein Expression Technology to Novo Nordisk

Sangamo BioSciences has licensed its zinc finger DNA-binding protein technology to Novo Nordisk, the companies said this week.

Novo Nordisk, based in Bagsvaerd, Denmark, plans to evaluate the technology for enhanced protein production.

Sangamo, located in Richmond, Calif., said it has engineered zinc finger protein transcription factors that can increase protein production from genes.


Dutch Biotech Kreatech Opens Shop in US

Kreatech has opened a US office in San Diego, the Dutch genomics and proteomics firm said this week.

Kreatech has tapped Brent Keller, the company's current vice president of commercial operations, as general manager of US operations.

The new office will "support the company's growing customer base and distribution system in the USA," Kreatech said in a statement.


GSK to use Molecular Connections Protein Interactions Database

Molecular Connections has licensed its NetPro hand-curated protein interaction knowledgebase to GlaxoSmithKline.

The current version of NetPro covers more than 100,000 manually curated and annotated protein-protein interactions from published biomedical literature, Molecular Connections said.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.


ABI's Japanese Division Creates Science Center to Foster Research Collaborations

Applied Biosystems Japan, a division of ABI, has founded Science Center Japan, a center to promote collaborations between Japanese researchers and business partners in the life sciences, the company said this week.

Science Center Japan will receive personnel, equipment, financial resources, and information from ABI and ABI Japan. Application specialists from ABI also plan to collaborate with outside organizations.

"By building relationships with our customers and encouraging cooperative efforts, Applied Biosystems intends to expand research and technology in fields where Japan is already leading," said ABI Japan President Masahide Habu in a statement.


MDS Sciex Could Benefit from Parent's Restructuring

MDS Sciex could benefit from its parent company's plans to restructure and focus resources and management on life sciences markets.

MDS said last week it will restructure its business in order to refocus resources on markets served by its MDS Pharma Services, MDS Nordion, and MDS Sciex units.

MDS further plans to reduce its overhead costs and "better align resources and infrastructure costs," according to the company. As part of its restructuring, the company will reduce its workforce by approximately 500 of its 9,000 employees, resulting in savings of $40 million-$45 million in 2006.

"A review of company assets that are not part of MDS's core focus is underway and focused on maximization of shareholder value," said MDS President and CEO Stephen DeFalco in a statement.

It was not immediately clear how the restructuring will specifically affect MDS Sciex, which makes mass spectrometers for drug discovery and life sciences. MDS Sciex has joint ventures with both Applied Biosystems and PerkinElmer.

 

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