Friday, 15 October 2010

Efficacy study of olesoxime in spinal muscular atrophy

Trophos SA, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapeutics from discovery to clinical validation for indications with under-served needs in neurology and cardiology, announced today the initiation of the pivotal efficacy study of olesoxime in the rare, neurodegenerative condition, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The study is substantially funded by Trophos’ partnership with the Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM) (see release of 19 March 2009). The trial protocol has benefited from the EMA Protocol Advice procedure. Efficacy results are expected in 2013.

Positive Phase I data for ZP1848 in Crohn’s Disease

Zealand Pharma A/S, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative peptide-based drugs, today announced positive results from a Phase I trial of ZP1848 for the treatment of Crohn’s disease.

ZP1848 is a potent and selective GLP-2 agonist discovered by Zealand Pharma that is targeted to offer a novel treatment option for patients with Crohn’s disease due to its regenerative effect on the intestinal surface and enhancement of intestinal function.

High volume plate optimised for high yield yeast production

A 24-well microplate, with a working volume of 10ml / well, has been developed by Porvair Sciences Ltd. for large scale, high yield growth of yeast.

Produced under class 10,000 clean room conditions from virgin polypropylene, the new 24-well plate contains no contaminants that may leach out and affect yeast growth. The wells of the high volume plate are rectangular in shape with a 'v' bottom to facilitate easy yeast concentration and recovery.

Webinar: Deploying LIMS as an integral component for manufacturing operations

LabVantage will host a live webinar on deploying laboratory information management systems (LIMS) as an integral component for manufacturing operations excellence.

Featuring speakers from Gartner and CF Industries, this webinar will be conducted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 10 am EDT, and include an interactive question & answer session. To register for this 40-minute webinar, please go to

AnaSpec introduces SensoLyte HAT (p300) and HAT (pCAF) assay kits

AnaSpec has released two HAT (histone acetyltransferase) fluorimetric kits adding to its list of epigenetics research products.

The SensoLyte p300 Assay Kit provides a convenient assay for the screening of enzyme inhibitors and for continuous measurement of p300 activity. For added convenience, this kit includes two peptide substrates: histone H3 (1-21) peptide and non-histone p53 peptide (368-386). After incubation with acetyl CoA and the substrate, the p300 enzyme generates acetylated H3 or p53 peptide and CoASH. The thiol groups of CoASH can be detected with a fluorogenic reagent at excitation/emission=389nm/513nm.

BioFocus extends collaboration with Chiesi

BioFocus, the provider of integrated gene-to-clinical candidate drug discovery services, announced today that it has expanded a collaboration with Chiesi Farmaceutici, a privately held Italian pharmaceutical company. Total value for the collaboration with Chiesi has now reached €2.5 million.

Five minute test for superbug

Universal Sensors is rising to the challenge of creating a hand-held device – able to detect the presence of C.difficile or MRSA in hospital wards within 5 minutes of swabbing – following the success of its initial project.

The company, which designs and manufactures sensitive, fast and versatile biosensors, has been awarded a Phase2 Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) contract from the UK Department of Health to create a product.

Cherwell launches new website for prepared media and environmental monitoring

Cherwell Laboratories, specialists in the manufacture of prepared microbiological media and supply of environmental monitoring instrumentation for pharmaceutical and related industries, has launched a new website to provide enhanced application and product information. also offers improved navigation options to enable visitors to readily browse and find the information that they require.

Cell migration assay reduces cost of high content screening

AMSBIO has announced the launch of the first of a new generation of cell migration assays designed specifically for fully automated high throughput screening (HTS) utilizing high content screening (HCS) and high content imaging (HCI) systems.

The new Oris Pro 384 Cell Migration Assay uses a non-toxic biocompatible gel (BCG) to form a centrally located and temporary cell-free zone on cell culture surfaces in a 384-well format.

Licensing and collaboration agreement to automate sample analysis for forensics and drug discovery

GE Healthcare and Hamilton Robotics have entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement to develop a fully automated workflow for sample handling and processing from FTA substrates. Financial terms are not being disclosed.

Automation increases neonatal screening throughput

Astoria-Pacific International has chosen Tecan’s Freedom EVO liquid handling platform to automate its new SPOTCHECK Pro Neonatal Screening assays for biotinidase and GALT (galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase).

Alana Lerch, Newborn Screening Product Manager at Astoria-Pacific International, explained: “SPOTCHECK Pro is a microplate-based system, offering end–to–end automation for routine neonatal testing. The Freedom EVO platform is able to fully integrate all the modules necessary for complete automation of our assays, offering customers the ability to run overnight and at weekends, with minimal maintenance requirements.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Rapid analysis of liquids by FTIR spectroscopy

A2 Technologies has announced its new integrated FTIR analyzer designed for the rapid analysis of liquids by FTIR spectroscopy. Based on A2's widely used ML analyzer, the high performing FTIR spectrometer that occupies just 8 square inches on a lab bench, the ML with DialPath Technology represents a completely new approach to the analysis of liquid samples.

The DialPath technology features a tumbler-like optical head that can be rotated into position to provide one of three, factory set, selectable sample pathlengths between 30 and 250 microns.

Custom monoclonal antibody generation

MorphoSys AG's research and diagnostic antibodies unit AbD Serotec has signed a two year contract for the supply of custom monoclonal antibodies with Research Councils UK Shared Services Centre Limited (RCUK SSC Ltd). RCUK SSC Ltd has been set up by the seven Research Councils of the UK (RCUK) to provide centralized services to the Research Councils and their institutes in various areas including procurement.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Dr Christel Fenge is new Vice President of Marketing, Fermentation Technologies

Dr Christel Fenge joined the Sartorius Stedim Biotech group as Vice President of Marketing for Fermentation Technologies. She will be globally responsible for the management of the product portfolio of multi- and single-use bioreactors, which currently represents the most comprehensive range in the industry.

Most recently Christel Fenge held the position as the General Manager of ,Recipharm Biologics. Previous posts included senior management positions in biopharmaceutical development at AstraZeneca.

Rapid identification of contaminating gDNA in RNA samples

Lab901 has announced the availability of a new technical note titled ‘Rapid identification of contaminating gDNA in total RNA samples using ScreenTape R6K.’ The technical note can be downloaded from

High sensitivity GPC triple detector system for polymer and protein characterisation

The new SEC-3010 triple detector system from Dorton Analytical Ltd sets a new standard for high performance characterisation of polymers and proteins using Gel Permeation Chromatography / Size Exclusion Chromatography (GPC/SEC).

The SEC-3010 triple detector system is a complete GPC system comprising pump, autosampler, viscosity/refractive index detector, multi-angle light scattering detector and ParSEC enhanced software.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

BioFocus and the National Cancer Institute sign compound management agreement

BioFocus announced today that its Compound Focus subsidiary has signed an agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Under the terms of the agreement, BioFocus will provide compound management services to NCI for a base period of three years for a total of up to $5 million (€3.7 M), with two one-year extension options.

Integrated early stage drug development platforms

Quotient Bioresearch, a leading provider of early and specialist drug development services, will be highlighting its unique Translational Pharmaceutics and Synthesis-to-Clinic platforms at FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress 2010 in association with AAPS Annual Meeting & Exposition, New Orleans, 14-18 November.

The Translational Pharmaceutics platform has redefined early development processes by integrating the development and provision of drug products (formulation development, pharmaceutical analysis and GMP manufacturing) with clinical testing.

Distribution agreement for GEM and cell culture reagents

Global Cell Solutions (GCS) and VWR International, LLC, a global laboratory supply and distribution company, announced they have entered into a non-exclusive North American distribution agreement. Under the terms, VWR will distribute GCS's portfolio of GEM magnetic microcarrier products offered with a wide variety of cell adhesion coatings.

Pre-emptive pathogen reduction and pathogen inactivation

Although remarkable advances have been made in the prevention of the major transfusion-transmitted diseases, long intervals have transpired between the first recognition of transfusion risk and the implementation of a preventive strategy.

For hepatitis B virus, that interval was 30 years; for non-A non-B/hepatitis C virus, 15 years; and for human immunodeficiency virus, West Nile virus, Trypanosoma cruzi and bacteria, 3, 4, 5 and 18 years, respectively. In the existing reactive approach, there is a fundamental and inevitable delay before the government healthcare authorities can react; thus, infections are destined to occur.

Positive results in patients with chronic idiopathic constipation from a Phase IIb trial of A3309

Albireo today announced positive top-line results from a Phase IIb study in chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) assessing efficacy and safety of three different dose levels (5, 10 and 15 mg orally once a day) of the investigational drug A3309 during an eight week trial.

Analyses of the data show clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement for patients treated with A3309 compared to placebo-treated patients. A3309 is a first-in-class IBAT inhibitor with minimal systemic exposure which is developed for the treatment of CIC and constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C).

Analysis of antibody-antigen-complex structures to allow more efficient engineering of therapeutic antibodies

MorphoSys AG and Proteros Biostructures announced today that they have been awarded a grant by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF. The funding of approximately EUR 850,000 supports both companies in establishing a new technology platform for efficient structural characterization of antibody-antigen-complexes.

MorphoSys will provide relevant antigen and antibody molecules, Proteros will provide advanced x-ray technology and computational chemistry know-how. The high resolution access to antibody-antigen-complex structures is expected to allow a faster and more efficient engineering of therapeutic antibodies.

Combining CGH and SNP assays on same microarray, creates a unique cytogenetics tool

Agilent Technologies Inc today introduced the SurePrint G3 Human CGH+SNP microarray platform, an innovative system for simultaneous analysis of chromosomal copy number changes and copy-neutral aberrations. The system allows researchers to study the genetic basis of developmental disorders as well as many cancers.

This is the only two-colour CGH platform that can detect loss of heterozygosity/uniparental disomy (LOH/UPD) with 5- to 10-megabase resolution.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Drug improved survival for advanced prostate cancer patients

Phase III trial results presented today show a drug developed by British scientists can significantly extend overall survival for men with advanced prostate cancer.

Abiraterone acetate is a pill discovered at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) that treats aggressive prostate cancer, which each year kills 10,000 men in the UK.

Drug fingerprinting via HPLC/MS salt forms method

Thermo Fisher Scientific has developed a method for the identification, confirmation and quantitation of illicit drugs and their salt forms. This unique method combines high-performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS) to provide accurate simultaneous separation and detection of cations and anions in illicit drug salt forms.

The technique enables drug salt forms to be precisely identified and confirmed by two independent parameters - retention time and mass spectral signature, allowing forensic drug chemists to reliably analyze seized materials.

Inkjet microarrayer platform

Arrayjet today announced that the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, has chosen its Marathon Inkjet Microarrayer for its Protein Array Technologies Group.

Headed by Dr Peter Nilsson, the group, which will also serve as an Arrayjet reference site, is based in the Department of Proteomics and forms part of the Human Protein Atlas project led by Professor Mathias Uhlén. The Marathon Inkjet Microarrayer was chosen as it will provide Dr Nilsson and colleagues with the flexibility to print their own arrays, at the exceptionally high quality and throughput levels they require.

Unconventional strategies to sustain pipelines and address global healthcare needs

To open 18th Annual BioPartnering Europe conference, Dr Anders Ekblom, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development at AstraZeneca, spoke about a commitment to innovation and AstraZeneca's approach to collaborations.

Michael S Johnson, Practice leader at Deloitte Recap LLC, gave his insights and a forecast on the changing landscape of deal structures and business models within the biotech industry. To conclude the morning keynote sessions, Dr David Nicholson, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Licensing and Knowledge Management at Merck & Co Inc, provided an update on today’s Merck and shared his perspectives on the current state of the pharmaceutical industry and the ongoing search for innovative compounds and technologies.

KINAXO enters agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

KINAXO Biotechnologies GmbH announced today that Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has chosen KINAXO to support several of its drug discovery programs.

Under the terms of the agreement, KINAXO will apply its chemical proteomics technologies to deconvolute molecular targets of compounds currently undergoing discovery research at Bristol-Myers Squibb to enable more informed decisions at various stages of the drug discovery process, such as selecting the right compound for clinical development.

Dr Jutta Fritz, Head of Business Development at KINAXO commented: “We are very pleased to collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of the most prestigious pharmaceutical companies in the world. We are looking forward to building a productive partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb, and consider this move to be a major milestone in expanding our business in the United States.”

KINAXO Biotechnologies