Friday, 8 October 2010

BioFocus signs compound management agreement with eMolecules

BioFocus, a lprovider of integrated gene-to-clinical candidate drug discovery services and eMolecules Inc, the creators of the open-access chemical structure search engine, today announced that they have signed a compound management service agreement.

Under the agreement eMolecules has selected Compound Focus Inc, the BioFocus compound management operation located in South San Francisco, as its preferred partner for client compound order aggregation services.

PI to exhibit Piezo products at MD&M Medical Design and Manufacturing Midwest

Piezo and precision motion control specialist PI (Physik Instrumente) LP exhibits its latest piezomotors, piezo positioners and 6-axis hexapod robots at the MD&M Medical Design and Manufacturing Midwest show, October 13-14, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minnesota.

Piezo-based products find wide use in medical device applications due to their low power requirements, compactness, fast response and nonmagnetic features. Piezo ceramics can be used in applications from nebulizers (ultrasonics) to positioning devices in MRI (piezo linear and rotary motors).

Thursday, 7 October 2010

BioGenex and Labtronics sign partnership agreement

Labtronics Inc, a leader in laboratory automation, has signed a partnership agreement with BioGenex Laboratories Inc to interface their i6000 and Xmatrx Automated Staining Systems to LIMS and LIS systems.

MorphoSys announces acquisition of Sloning

MorphoSys AG announced today the acquisition of the private German company Sloning BioTechnology GmbH, a biotechnology company developing new methods of synthetic biology.

The transaction will make MorphoSys the sole source of Sloning's state-of-the-art Slonomics technology, which dramatically improves the assembly and quality of protein libraries.

Interactive product catalogue simplifies selection of clean containers

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc has launched an online, fully-interactive version of its EP Scientific Products Catalogue.

EP Scientific cleans, packages and certifies its sample collection and storage containers in accordance with the EPA’s regulatory guidelines. The product brochure, downloadable from provides simple navigation and product selection for customers wishing to order from the extensive range of EP Scientific contaminant-free containers.

Label-free biosensor

SAW Instruments GmbH has today launched its sam5 biosensor instrument for advanced real-time biomolecular interaction and kinetic studies. The sam5 is a peerless biosensor utilising Surface Acoustic Wave technology for the label-free detection of real-time binding and structural events.

Using a proprietary bimodal measurement technique, this platform is able to measure conformational changes in membranes and vesicles, as well as more traditional cellular samples.

BIOTECHNICA 2010: European networking hub for industry and science

Drawing to a close, BIOTECHNICA 2010 has generated a positive mood in the international life science industry, say the orgnaisers.

“BIOTECHNICA has demonstrated the importance of biotechnology to all areas of life as well as the economy,” commented Stephan Ph Kühne, Member of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover, at the end of Europe’s biggest biotechnology and life science exhibition. “It has once again underscored its status as a networking hub for industry and science.Many exhibitors are leaving Hannover with a sense of optimism and fresh ideas for brisk post-show business. Now the task at hand is to also convince the broad public of the great potential offered by biotechnology.”

LabVantage opens innovation centre

LabVantage hasy announced the opening of LabVantage Innovation Center, an open-source community for SAPPHIRE and SQL*LIMS customers.

LabVantage Innovation Center allows source codes, materials, and applications to be freely shared within LabVantage’s customer base. It is accessible in VantageCare, LabVantage’s customer care site, developed on the SAPPHIRE Laboratory Information Management Suite (LIMS) platform. By leveraging SAPPHIRE’s zero-footprint technology, modern interface and search functions, users can easily access the center via Internet browser and intuitively navigate through the multiple topics of their interests.

Gradient thermal cycler is 'world’s smallest'

Part of the Techne range of personal thermal cyclers from Bibby Scientific, the TC-3000G gradient model offers two interchangeable block options, a gradient of up to 15ºC, a wide choice of consumables, fast-track programming and networking capability. All these features and more are contained within a 17 x 33cm footprint, making this the world’s smallest gradient thermal cycler.

Precise delivery of bone grafting material

The NovaBone Putty MIS Delivery System is a medical device technology that improves conventional delivery methods of bone graft in orthopedic surgeries

NovaBone Products has announced the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the NovaBone Putty MIS Delivery System designed for use in minimally invasive orthopedic procedures.

Students idea to alleviate diseases including osteoporosis

A concept, which would have the potential to help alleviate diseases including osteoporosis, has been dreamt up by a group of Aberdeen scholars.

When we drink tea, coffee or hot chocolate we absorb compounds called oxalates, found naturally in the plants from which these drinks are derived.

People with a history of osteoporosis or kidney stones are advised to avoid high levels of oxalates in their diet. Oxalates bind calcium ions in the stomach, forming calcium-oxalate crystals, which prevent calcium from being absorbed into the body – a cause of osteoporosis. If these crystals build up over time, this can lead to the development of kidney stones.

Myconostica appoint David Evans as non-executive director

Myconostica Ltd, the medical diagnostic company developing and commercialising rapid and highly specific tests for life-threatening fungal infections, today announces the immediate appointment of Mr David Evans as independent Non-Executive Director.

Interactive resource for routine 3D cell culture

Reinnervate, a life sciences company driving the adoption of routine 3D cell culture, today announced the launch of its new, fully interactive website. The site is designed to provide an essential source of scientific and technical information on 3D cell culture based on reinnervate’s core Alvetex technology for academic and industrial researchers, teachers, students and the media.

Alvetex is a scaffold that enables routine 3D cell culture in the lab. By enabling cells to grow in a 3D environment, Alvetex better mimics the conditions experienced by cells when growing in normal tissue. Use of Alvetex therefore provides a more relevant and representative model for investigating how cells and tissues may behave in the body in response to external factors (such as drug candidates) than is currently possible with existing 2D or other emerging 3D cell culture technologies.

UBM Live adds InnoPack and LABWorld to global pharmaceutical portfolio of brands

Leading events organiser UBM Live today announced the launch of two new brands, InnoPack and LabWorld, which will be co-located alongside its flagship portfolio of pharma events, CPhI Worldwide for ingredients; ICSE for contract services; P-MEC Europe for equipment, machinery and technology; and BioPh Europe for biopharma, which draw an attendance of over 25,000 annually.

ICON awarded Phase I Supplementary Accreditation from Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory agency

ICON plc, a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, today announced that its hospital-based Clinical Pharmacology Unit in Manchester, UK has achieved Supplementary Accreditation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).The purpose built unit, part of the ICON Development Solutions division, is situated on the largest academic healthcare campus in Europe.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Fresh injection of capital for Innovacell

In a new round of financing, shareholders of  Innovacell Biotechnologie AG agreed on September 27th to make 4.3 million Euros worth of fresh capital available to the company. "Financing of the current Phase IIb multi-centre study for urocell is thus totally secured,“ explained CEO Ekkehart Steinhuber.

Specialist software applications support commercial contract laboratories

Two Fold Software Limited, has added specialist application software to support the requirements of commercial contract laboratories.

Two Fold Software’s Qualoupe LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) solution has been tailored to deliver significant benefits to contract laboratories.

Uniting technologies to improve kinase research

Cisbio Bioassays and global provider of HTRF (homogenous time resolved fluorescence) technology and services to facilitate new drug discovery, today announces the signing of a partnership with Blue Sky BioProducts. The combination of TDA 2.0 technology by Blue Sky BioProducts and HTRF, developed by Cisbio, will enable the development of more robust assays and an unparalleled sensitivity for obtaining better biologically enhanced results on target kinases.

Nuevolution enters lead discovery collaboration in the field of epigenetic disorders

Nuevolution A/S today announced that it has entered into a lead discovery collaboration focused on epigenetic disorders.

A consortium between Nuevolution, EpiTherapeutics, ExpreS2ion Biotechnologies and the research group of Professor Kristian Helin (Biotech Research & Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen) has been established with the objective of identifying and developing novel small molecule drugs against epigenetic factors. The 24 MDKK budget project is supported by the Danish High Technology Fund.

Real-time performance management for diagnostic laboratories

Sunquest Information Systems, a provider of healthcare diagnostic IT solutions, has released its Diagnostic Intelligence solution, enabling laboratories to more effectively manage key clinical and operational performance indicators. This innovative solution delivers actionable, real-time information, displayed in easy-to-interpret dashboards.

Biomarker detection

Researchers from Oxford have recently presented new data applying nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) to size and count both cellular microvesicles and exosomes at a low concentration and, when used in conjunction with fluorescent labels, to selectively determine and analyse specific types of vesicle within a complex sample.

This took place during a two-day conference in Oxford, Micro and Nanovesicles in Health and Disease, organised by Dr Paul Harrison from the Oxford Haemophilia & Thrombosis Centre at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and Ian Sargent, Professor of Reproductive Science in the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford.

Spectrometer continuously monitors, archives and displays operational status

The latest generation of the SPECTROMAXx Optical Emission Spectrometer from SPECTRO Analytical Instruments incorporates several innovations.

CCD detector technology combined with the stability of temperature-controlled optics mean significantly better detection limits for elements like nitrogen – now down to 10ppm – and this from a bench-top instrument.

Piezo scanning stages for highly accurate positioning of samples

Physik Instrumente’s (PI) technology is benefitting microscopy through the PInano low-profile (20 mm) piezo scanning stages. Designed for positioning samples in high-resolution optical microscopy, PInano’s P-545 XY or XYZ piezo-driven scanning and positioning stage provides travel ranges of up to 200µm in two or three axes, with position resolution in the nanometer range. Integrated piezo ceramic PICMA®actuators offer maximum reliability with a proven superior lifetime. Featuring a large central aperture for transmitted light microscopy, PInano can accommodate holders for Petri dishes or standard object slides (25 x 75 mm), with additional accessories also available.

Role of TGF- β in aggressive cancer diseases

During this year’s BIOTECHNICA exhibition, the international biotech news magazine GEN - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News yesterday held an information event with subsequent panel discussion featuring the topic “TGF-ß – an important target in cancer diseases."

Followed by industry representatives and journalists, national and international clinical and research experts reported on the latest findings concerning the tumor factor Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF-ß) and the status of drug development fighting this tumour-specific drug target.

Research reveals links between ultrasound results and Th17 cells in rheumatoid arthritis joints

For the first time, researchers have shown a link between power Doppler ultrasound results and the activity of Th17 cells (a type of white blood cells) in the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients. The findings may help predict the progression of joint damage and guide treatment decisions in future.

The research, which was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London - part of King’s Health Partners - has been published in PLoS One.

Thermal cyclers provide extensive functionality for everyday use

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc has introduced the new Thermo Scientific Piko and Arktik Thermal Cyclers at the Biotechnica exhibition.

The Piko Thermal Cycler provides best-in-class thermal performance, fast ramping rates and quick settling times, offering excellent PCR efficiency and well-to-well consistency within an extremely compact footprint. The Piko also utilizes ultra-thin walled (UTW) vessels for better temperature transfer, which enables protocols to be completed more quickly.

The Arktik Thermal Cycler provides the flexibility of three interchangeable blocks for standard 96-, 384- and 2x48-well PCR plates, with a broad and accurate temperature gradient option (not available in Germany or USA) offering a cross-block differential of up to 30°C.

Both the Piko and Arktik Thermal Cyclers feature highly intuitive user interfaces, with clear display of protocols for highly efficient programming and operation.

Ubichem launches Discovery Chemical Catalogue website

Ubichem, a provider of chemistry services to the drug development sector, has recently launched a new website to house its expanded Discovery Chemical Catalogue. It can be accessed directly at, allowing you to search the functionalised building blocks and purchase compounds which can help progress R&D projects.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Staked needle syringe for sensitive drugs

At the CPhI Worldwide, held from 5-7 October 2010 in Paris Nord Villepinte, France, SafetySyringes Inc (SSI) and SCHOTT will introduce the UltraSafe Passive Needle Guard that provides needlestick protection for the new SCHOTT InJentle prefillable syringe. The new safety device relies on the proven UltraSafe Passive technology and complies with all anti-needlestick legislation.

Stem cell culture surface for direct cell attachment

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc today introduced the new Thermo Scientific Nunclon Vita stem cell culture surface at the Biotechnica exhibition. The unique, energy-treated polystyrene surface enables direct attachment, colony formation and growth of human embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS), without the need for feeder cells or matrix coatings.

In media supplemented with a Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitor, human ESCs can be cultured on the Nunclon Vita Surface for at least 10 passages without any loss of pluripotency, or karyotype changes.

Biotech company Galapagos Wins 2010 EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD

The Belgian biotech company Galapagos has won the 2010 EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD. Galapagos thus secures the lion’s share of the prize money totalling 75,000 euros, which is offered every year in the competition staged by Deutsche Messe AG and its partners. The award celebrates innovative European companies from the biotechnology sector and the life sciences.

Human cardiomyocytes for predictive toxicity testing

GE Healthcare announces the availability of human cardiomyocytes, or heart muscle cells, that provide a more readily available and biologically-relevant alternative to current cell models and primary cells used in drug discovery and predictive toxicity testing.

Cardiotoxicity is one of the most common causes of drug safety liabilities, withdrawal of in-market drugs, and late-stage failure during drug development. Early detection, or prediction, of cardiotoxicity could significantly reduce overall drug development costs, and help minimize patient exposure to potentially harmful compounds.

Think tank: targeted medicines, drug delivery mechanisms, and virtual monitoring tools

Technological advancements and new business models incorporating more than one of the various industry sectors: the trend towards convergence does not spare the healthcare industry.  A clear separation between medical devices, healthcare technologies and life sciences is increasingly difficult. Yet the convergence of all areas opens the door to a new era, enabling personalisation, targeted medicines, new drug delivery mechanisms, and virtual patient monitoring tools, while allowing a preventative approach to healthcare at the same time.

In order to learn how to tackle some of these challenging issues regarding the future of Healthcare, Frost & Sullivan is hosting its’ first interactive Think Tank ‘Converging towards Integrated Healthcare’ on Wednesday, 10th November 2010, in London.

Antibody discovery deal

AbCheck s r o, a Czech-based company specializing in the discovery and development of novel human high affinity antibodies, announced today an antibody discovery deal with Eli Lilly and Company.

Identifying how specific cancer genes, mutations and assay conditions affect sensitivity to therapeutic compounds

Horizon Discovery (Horizon), a provider of research tools to support the development of personalized medicines, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Hypoxium Ltd to form the wholly-owned subsidiary Horizon Discovery Services Ltd (HDS).

The newly formed contract research organization will provide oncology translational research services that include access to Horizon’s 250+ patient-relevant human isogenic cancer cell models. Specific services include; drug profiling, novel 2D and 3D phenotypic assays, tumour microenvironment studies, and responsive-patient prediction.

Olympus introduces the BX3 research microscope systems

Olympus has today launched the new BX3 upright research microscope systems at Biotechnica, Hannover (5 – 7 October). Following on from the BX2 range, the BX3 systems provide users with a ‘blank canvas’ to fully define their own working environment: from the microscope and imaging components, through software workflows and GUIs, right down to the positioning of the controls on the desktop.

The manual BX53 frame offers complete system flexibility with optional coded and automated modules and the BX63 frame provides advanced automation as standard.

MorphoSys further strengthens US patent position on core technologies

MorphoSys AG announced today that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a new patent providing extended protection for the company's CysDisplay technology.

The new patent (US 7,785,859) covers the host cells used in this enhanced phage display technology. Currently, the company is prosecuting more than 35 different proprietary patent families worldwide, in addition to about the same number of patent families being pursued in cooperation with its partners.

Agilent Technologies and Strand team up to advance integrated biology software systems

Agilent Technologies Inc and Strand Scientific Intelligence Inc have agreed to expand the scope of the Agilent GeneSpring bioinformatics system across multiple life-science disciplines; drive future innovation; and deliver new channels for accessing the software and customer support.

Financial details were not disclosed for the multi-year agreement.

Monday, 4 October 2010

HPLC purified and MS certified primers for genome sequencing

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), the custom biology company, has signed an exclusive agreement with 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, to provide researchers with custom primers for the GS FLX Titanium Chemistry, used on the company’s GS FLX System and GS Junior System. Available as FusionPrimers or Rapid Library MID (Molecular Identification) Adaptor Oligos, these products are used for amplicon or shotgun sequencing. IDT’s design software enables users to create specific primers to target individual or multiple exons from one or more genes.

IR-enhanced CCD image sensor suits Raman spectroscopy

Hamamatsu Photonics introduce the new S11510 series of Full Frame Transfer CCD (FFT-CCD) image sensors with ultra high sensitivity in the NIR region. Utilising Hamamatsu’s technology in laser processing, it is possible to form a MEMS structure on the back side of the CCD, which results in a much higher sensitivity at wavelengths longer than 800 nm.

The S11510 features quantum efficiency of 40% at 1000 nm, without the need for a deep depletion structure, with its corresponding drawback of higher dark signal. The S11510 series are available with 1024 or 2048 pixels, with each pixel measuring 14µm by 14µm.

Tests for KRAS and EGFR as well as other clinically relevant cancer biomarkers

QIAGEN today announced the launch of several tests for cancer companion diagnostics, CE-marked with the Rotor-Gene Q thermocycler (EGFR) and the PyroMark pyrosequencing system (EGFR, NRAS, KRAS, BRAF). The new tests are used in personalized healthcare of cancer by identifying certain mutations in these particular genes, which then help clinicians to select and tailor the most appropriate treatment.

The kits are offered as CE-IVD marked therascreen tests in Europe as well as globally for research-use only (RUO), with the CE-marked therascreen pyrosequencing kits available beginning in December 2010.

PRECOS appoints Dr Neil Rotherham as chairman

Preclinical Oncology Services Limited (PRECOS), a leading pre-clinical research and development service with a specific focus on oncology, announces the appointment of Dr Neil Rotherham as chairman of the PRECOS board. Dr Rotherham has over 20 years' leadership experience in the life sciences, medical, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors.

Dr Rotherham was responsible for developing and growing ClinPhone plc, one of Nottingham's and Europe's most successful clinical technology businesses.

Online database of mass spectrometry-based assays to accelerate protein analysis

AB SCIEX today announced that scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) , in collaboration with the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, WA, USA, used next-generation QTRAP mass spectrometry technology to create assays for approximately 20,000 human proteins, generating the world’s first human Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) Atlas. This is online database will be made publicly available.

Scientists around the world can use this atlas to significantly advance biomarker research, protein-based drug development and fundamental biological and biomedical research.
The MRMAtlas provides simple, validated assays expanding into never-before-seen areas of the proteome. This project involved ETH scientists led by Dr Ruedi Aebersold, PhD, who will be featured in a November 9th live webcast of a technical presentation about the MRMAtlas.

Microplate mover for perifusion system

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc today announced it has been selected by Biorep Technologies Inc to provide the Thermo Scientific Orbitor RS microplate mover for incorporation into its new Perifusion system.

The Orbitor RS, launched this year at LabAutomation, has been developed using proven technology from the well-known Thermo Scientific RapidStak and Thermo Scientific Dimension4 product lines. The Orbitor RS, which is now being used as a partner to the Perifusion system, is unmatched in its reliability, flexibility and speed, delivering a plate in as little as four seconds.

Webinar on green pharmaceutical manufacturing

Mettler Toledo has expanded its webinar programme with an interactive event focusing on green pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Entitled ‘Building Green Pharmaceutical Manufacturing on a Foundation of PAT and QbD’, the webinar will be held on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, and Mettler Toledo invites participation from interested parties.

Three-year warranty on Jenway products

All Jenway chloride meters, colorimeters, flame photometers, hotplate/stirrers, conductivity meters, pH meters, dissolved oxygen meters and ion meters now come with a 3-year warranty. In addition, the guarantee on spare parts increases from six months to one year.

Joint venture to manufacture high-quality vials

The German technology group SCHOTT and the Japanese company Naigai Glass Industry CoLtd have founded a joint venture for pharmaceutical packaging activities in Japan effective October 1, 2010. The new company is called SCHOTT NAIGAI K K and is based in Osaka, Japan, where Naigai has already been operating a production site for many years.

The new joint venture will manufacture high-quality vials for the Japanese pharmaceutical industry mainly from SCHOTT’s pharmaceutical tubing glass “Fiolax”.

BioPartnering Europe Conference

BioPartnering Europe Conference takes place between October 10-12, 2010 at QEII Conference Centre, London, UK

Now in its 18th year BPE is Europe’s longest running life science partnering conference consistently attracting top decision makers from a broad cross-section of the life science industry.

The conference is expected to attract more than 1000 delegates from Europe, the US and Asia. Over 100 company presentations will take place, including presentations from Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers, Squibb, Genzyme, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Takeda.

BioPartnering Europe

Rapid food allergen testing

Ifp - Institute for Product Quality – a provider of biotechnology-based products and services for a broad range of life science, biotechnology, diagnostic and food safety applications and Romer Labs, today announced the signing of a co-operation agreement for ifp’s Food Allergen rapid testing products. Under the terms of the agreement, Romer Labs will have exclusive global distribution rights for ifp’s allergen test strip products.

Identifying enzymes to explode superbugs

With the worrying rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs like MRSA, scientists from a wide range of disciplines are teaming up to identify alternative therapies to keep them at bay.

One long-considered solution is the use of lytic enzymes which attack bacteria by piercing their cell walls. Lytic enzymes are proteins that are naturally present in viruses, bacteria and in body fluids such as tears, saliva and mucus. However, until now, largely ad-hoc methods have been used to calculate the enzymes’ killing abilities.

First important validation of CureVac's RNActive technology

CureVac GmbH, the mRNA vaccine company, announced today first data from an open-label phase I/IIa clinical trial of its mRNA vaccine CV9103 in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer with rising PSA and existing metastasis in the vast majority of patients.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Hybrigenics presentation at the American BIO Investor Forum

Hybrigenics, a bio-pharmaceutical company with a focus on research and development of new cancer treatments and with a 100 per cent subsidiary dedicated to specialized services in protein interactions, will take part in the 9th Annual BIO Investor Forum organised by the Biotechnology Industry Organisation in San Francisco on October 5 and 6, 2010.