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Waters, IBM, FDA-NCI, Cyntellect, Diversa, MDS Sciex, Presearch, Caprion, AstraZeneca


Waters Chooses IBM for Diagnostic Tools

Waters announced this week that it will use IBM’s systems for its complete line of diagnostics tools. Waters’ HPLC and mass spec analysis software will now be linked with IBM.

Waters chose IBM because of the hardware and software company’s global reach and the potential for further collaborations, Waters said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Ovarian Cancer Protein Biomarker Group Officially Switches to ABI’s Q-Star

The FDA-NCI ovarian cancer biomarker group, led by Emanuel Petricoin, that is looking for protein fingerprints of ovarian cancer, announced last week that it had abandoned Ciphergen’s SELDI platform in favor of ABI’s Q-Star for its upcoming clinical studies. The group gave as reasons for the switch the low mass resolution and high mass drift of SELDI, the increased resolution of Q-Star, and the hybrid nature of the Q-Star.

ProteoMonitor reported Petricoin’s group’s intention to switch to ABI Q-Star last month (see PM 7-18-03), but no official decisions had yet been made at that time.


Cyntellect Wins Phase II $1.44M SBIR Grant for LEAP

Cyntellect of San Diego, a subsidiary of Oncosis, announced this week that it had received a Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant from the National Center for Research Resources for the application of its LEAP technology to drug discovery and cell-based screening.

The grant builds upon a Phase I SBIR grant from the NSF awarded for LEAP development in June (see PM 6-27-03).

LEAP, which stands for Laser-Enabled Analysis and Processing, allows scientists to inject proteins into cells with a high-speed targeting laser.

The money will go to “integrate automation into the LEAP platform and develop a number of proprietary active assays and applications,” Cyntellect vice president and chief operating officer Fred Koller said last week in a statement.


Diversa Wins $3.7M NIH Biodefense Grant for Antibody Development

Diversa, of San Diego, announced this week that it had been awarded a two-and-a-half year grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the use of Diversa’s proteomics technologies to identify and validate lead targets associated with anthrax and the plague.

The validated targets will in turn be used to identify potentially therapeutic antibodies against the diseases.

Diversa will collaborate with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the University of North Dakota on the project.

The NIAID has authorized $940,926 for the first six months of Diversa’s work, with a total expected award of $3.7 million.

The award builds upon a previous $890,000 award granted last monthfor the first six months of an antibody optimization biodefense project Diversa is conducting for the US Army (see GenomeWeb 7-25-03).


MDS Sciex Signs with Presearch for UK distribution of NanoLC

MDS Sciex and Presearch, a distributor of instruments and consumables for HPLC, announced this week that Presearch would distribute MDS Sciex’s NanoLC proteomics system in the UK market.

The system, launched at the American Society of Mass Spectrometry conference in Montreal in June, uses Eksigent Technologies’ microfluidic flow control system for nanoscale chromatography. The system can be used both with LC/MS identification of peptides as well as on its own.

MDS Sciex announced a similar agreement last week with Carrboro, NC-based Leap Technologies for the distribution of NanoLC in the US.


Caprion Signs Pain Deal with AstraZeneca

Caprion Pharmaceutials announced this week that it had signed a deal to use its proteomics technology to help AstraZeneca identify biomarkers for pain.

Under the arrangement, Montreal-based Caprion said it will use its CellCarta technology to profile, in specific preclinical models, proteomics changes in plasma that result from drug compound administration.

“We believe that Caprion’s proteomics platform is well suited to identify novel biomarkers that could be used to assess the safety and efficacy of AstraZeneca’s experimental compounds,” Philippe Walker, vice president of discovery at AstraZeneca R&D Montreal, said in a statement.

Specific terms of the arrangement were not disclosed by the companies.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.