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MALDI mass spectrometry

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Labcyte today announced it has been awarded $196,000 from the National Cancer Institute for the development of a system for early cancer detection.

In particular, the study indicates that the technology's limit of detection is not yet sufficient to detect key low-abundance proteins and that it suffers from reproducibility issues that, while ultimately resolvable, could present significant practical obstacles in a clinical environment.

EGFR has emerged as a primary area of interest in cancer research, with biopharmaceuticals like Imclone's Erbitux and Amgen's Vectibix targeting the protein, but its multiple isoforms have made it difficult to predict these drugs' effectiveness, said Yale professor Nita Maihle.

A portion of the funding will go toward the purchase of a new MALDI TOF-TOF MS-MS machine from upstart mass spec firm Virgin Instruments, a company founded by Marvin Vestal, the former president of mass spectrometry platform R&D at Applied Biosystems and developer of the first commercial MALDI-TOF mass spec.

The approval marks the first acceptance of the IVD MALDI Biotyper system for clinical use outside of Europe. The company is also preparing a submission to the US Food and Drug Administration for clearance of the device.

The college's new Surgical Metabonomics Laboratory will use NMR and mass spec machines to provide physicians with real-time metabonomic data on patients in order to improve decision-making processes throughout all steps of surgery.

While the company continues clinical studies showing the utility of its proteomics-based VeriStrat test in predicting response to cancer therapies, it also is forging partnerships with pharma for use of the test.

The money will go toward ongoing commercialization of VeriStrat, a serum proteomic-based test to help guide treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

The alliance will combine Bruker's MALDI Biotyper microbial identification system with BD's Phoenix Microbiology System.

Movers & Shakers: May 28, 2010

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Nature News reports that recent proposed changes to the US National Science Foundation have raised concerns about a shift away from the agency's focus on basic research.

Noel Rose, the "father of autoimmunity," has died at 92, the Washington Post reports.

According to CNN, Legionella was discovered in buildings leased by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they reopened following coronavirus pandemic-related closures.

In PLOS this week: genetic analysis of malaria parasite populations in Southeast Asia, genomic surveillance of yellow fever virus in São Paulo, and more.