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Tomy, Protagen, MPI, Caris Diagnostics, Syngene, MDS

Tomy Distributing Protagen’s Modiro in Japan
Protagen said this week it has reached an exclusive agreement with Tomy Digital Biology of Tokyo for distribution of Protagen’s Modiro-the PTM Explorer software in Japan.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Modiro was launched in March. Protagen has distribution agreements in Europe and the US. The software program allows researchers to identify post-translation modifications using existing mass spectrometry data. In addition, by automating the identification of PTMs, it reduces the time needed for protein analysis, Protagen said in a statement.

MPI Bought by Caris Dx
Caris Diagnostics has agreed to buy Molecular Profiling Institute for an undisclosed sum, Caris said last week.
Caris, which has a facility in Tempe, Ariz., said it expects to maintain that presence as well as MPI’s headquarters, which are located in Phoenix.
MPI is a reference lab that offers prognostic testing services and genomic and proteomic profiling for cancer and other complex diseases. Its proprietary offerings include Target Now, a late-stage cancer panel; Mammostrat, an early-stage breast cancer test; and CardioEvaluatR, which is a cardiovascular disease management panel.
MPI also has a Tissue Banking and Analysis Center offering biospecimen procurement, tracking, storage, analysis, and reporting for diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies and medical centers.
"Caris Diagnostics enhances our ability to provide more robust analysis, repository functions, and distribution to patients across the country," MPI CEO Robert Penny said in a statement.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Imperial College London Uses Syngene’s Dyversity
Syngene said this week that Imperial College London is using the company’s Dyversity 2D gel imaging system to identify proteins associated with directing embryonic stem cells to a particular cell lineage.
Scientists at the university’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering are using Dyversity to image 2D DIGE gells containing Cy dye labeled proteins.

Falling US Dollar Pummels MDS Profits
MDS this week reported a 22 percent increase in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter, while profits dropped by 68 percent, hurt by the weak US dollar.
For the four months ended Oct. 31, the company posted receipts of $318 million and a profit of $15 million, compared to the year-ago figures of $260 million in revenues and $47 million profits.
In the Analytical Technologies unit housing its mass spectrometers, revenues rose to $119 million, a 92 percent jump from $62 million a year ago on a pro forma basis. Its purchase of Molecular Devices earlier in the year contributed $54 million to 2007 figures.

Company-wide, MDS had cash and cash equivalents of $259 million as of Oct. 31. It spent $22 million in R&D.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.