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Whatman Schleicher & Schuell, Invitrogen, Zymed, NextGen Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Chicago Community Trust, Harvard Institute of Proteomics

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Whatman Schleicher & Schuell to Distribute Pepscan Systems’ Peptide Array

Whatman Schleicher & Schuell will distribute Pepscan Systems’ PepChip kinase substrate array products and services, the companies said this week.

Whatman, currently based in Keene, NH, will distribute the peptide arrays in both the US and Europe, a company spokesperson said. Pepscan is based in The Netherlands.

Following its December acquisition of Schleicher & Schuell, Whatman will eventually be relocating its US manufacturing operations to Stanford, Maine, and its US sales and administrative offices to Florham Park, NJ, while maintaining a presence in Europe through Schleicher & Schuell’s offices.

The PepChip array is a high-density peptide array that enables screening of kinase activity in complex mixtures, substrate profiling of known and unknown kinases, and specificity testing of kinase inhibitors. The chip allows researchers to profile more than 80 percent of the human kinome, the companies said.


Invitrogen to Acquire Antibody Maker Zymed for $60M

Invitrogen plans to acquire antibody manufacturer Zymed Laboratories for $60 million in cash, the company said this week.

Zymed, based in South San Francisco, offers immunoassay reagents for research and clinical diagnostics. The company has more than 2,000 antibodies and related products suitable for research in the areas of cancer, neurological diseases, and infectious disease.

Following the acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of February, Zymed’s South San Francisco facility will become the main site for Invitrogen’s antibody production and distribution.

Invitrogen expects Zymed to generate $15 million in sales during the first year following the acquisition.


NextGen Sciences Licenses Protein Production Technology from Oxford Brookes University

NextGen Sciences has licensed a new protein production technology from Oxford Brookes University and is making it commercially available, the Cambridgeshire, UK-based company said this week.

The technology, called FlashBAC, speeds up the production of recombinant proteins in insect cells. It does so by eliminating the need to separate recombinant baculoviruses from parental viruses.

FlashBAC is immediately available to customers, a NextGen Sciences spokesman told ProteoMonitor’s sister publication, GenomeWeb News.

The company did not disclose financial information about the licensing deal.


Chicago-Based Proteomics/Bioinformatics Project Receives $1.95 Million in Funding

The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust have awarded $1.5 million to the Chicago Biomedical Consortium for a proteomics/bioinformatics demonstration project, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University said this week.

The universities have also agreed to contribute an additional $150,000 each to the project.

According to the universities, the proteomics/bioinformatics project is the CBC’s first initiative, and will join “experimentalists, instrumentalists and informaticians to apply new technology and new analytical techniques to addressing the basic questions of proteomics.”

Researchers working on the project will have access to a Fourier-transform mass spectrometer, the universities noted.

The FTMS is expected to be in place by the summer, but before then research teams and computational resources will be established to analyze the large amounts of data expected to come out of the proteomics/bioinformatics effort.


Harvard Soon to Release Database that Links Genes and Biological Terms

A new database called BioGene that lists genes associated with biological terms is soon to be released by Harvard University, according to Joshua LaBaer, the director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, who gave a keynote presentation at this week’s PEPTALK conference in San Diego.

According to LaBaer, BioGene is an addendum to MedGene, a database developed by members of LaBaer’s laboratory that lists in rank order genes associated with any disease, based upon literature search analysis. MedGene can currently be accessed at www.hip.harvard.edu.

While MedGene worked with 4,000 human diseases and 53,000 human genes, BioGene will be expanded in scope, working with more than 500,000 biological terms, such as “cell cycle” or “nuclear membrane” said LaBaer.

LaBaer said it is unclear exactly when the BioGene database will be released, but that it is “coming soon.”

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.