Friday, 5 November 2010

Copley Scientific will launch Alberta Idealized Throat at DDL21

At this year’s Drug Delivery to the Lungs conference, Copley Scientific will launch the Alberta Idealized Throat, a new induction port designed for use with with cascade impactors to improve the in vivo relevance of in vitro inhaled product testing. DDL21 takes place from 8 - 10 December in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A potential alternative to the standard USP/Ph.Eur induction port currently used for aerodynamic particle size measurement, the Alberta Idealised Throat more closely represents aerodynamic conditions in the human throat, supporting better in vivo/in vitro correlations (IVIVCs) within an R & D environment. 

Solution module for complex multidimensional microscopy

Olympus has released the Multichannel 5D Solution module for its cellSens Dimension software. This module will simplify even the most complicated microscopy experiment, by providing advanced, automated acquisition of Z-stacks, multiple fluorescence channels and time-lapse series. Able to seamlessly integrate with other Olympus hardware and software platforms, the new module provides a level of adaptability that will take microscopy studies to the next level.

Volunteers sought for study aimed at cutting risk of heart attacks and strokes

Scientists in Aberdeen are seeking volunteers for a study they hope could lead to the development of ‘functional foods’ to help cut the risk of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and strokes.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health believe supplementing the diet with conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), found in dairy products like milk and yoghurt, could help to prevent blood clots and the blockage of blood vessels.

Preclinical and Phase 1 data for anti-HSV drug AIC316

AiCuris announced today the presentation of preclinical and Phase 1 data on AIC316 at the Antivirals Congress in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 7th – 9th of November 2010. AIC316 is a novel anti-HSV drug currently in clinical phase 2 testing.

AiCuris scientist and project leader Dr. Alexander Birkmann will give an overview on the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationship of AIC316 by presenting efficacy data from experiments performed in a murine infection model and Phase 1 pharmacokinetic data which demonstrate that the predicted efficacious concentrations of AIC316 will be easily achieved in humans. The oral presentation will be held during Plenary Session 5 on “Antiviral Resistance” scheduled for Monday, November 8, 2010, at 14:40 hrs, NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

New research could lead to improved vaccines for cancerous tumours

Researchers at the University of Cambridge hope to revolutionise cancer therapy after discovering one of the reasons why many previous attempts to harness the immune system to treat cancerous tumours have failed.

New research, published today in the journal Science, reveals that a type of stromal cell found in many cancers which expresses fibroblast activation protein alpha (FAP), plays a major role in suppressing the immune response in cancerous tumours – thereby restricting the use of vaccines and other therapies which rely on the body’s immune system to work. They have also found that if they destroy these cells in a tumour immune suppression is relieved, allowing the immune system to control the previously uncontrolled tumour.

Easy and reliable transmembrane protein characterization

Wyatt Technology Corporation, a leader in absolute macromolecular characterization instrumentation and software, announced today that the Université de Provence and Université de la Méditerranée in Marseille, France, have implemented the innovative Wyatt Multi-Angle Light Scattering (MALS) detectors for use in their Biological Macromolecules Joint Research Unit.

The instruments are used for the characterization of transmembrane proteins, determining their quaternary structure and following their retention during protein handling.

Therapeutic enzyme for treatment of inflammatory conditions

APEIRON Biologics AG (Apeiron) today announced that, as part of its effort to broaden its current project portfolio, it has concluded an agreement with Polymun Scientific GmbH (Polymun) granting Apeiron exclusive rights to recombinant human Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD).

SOD, a naturally occurring enzyme with important, antioxidant properties, has so far been under development as a potential therapy for various inflammatory conditions and shown signs of efficacy in first clinical trials. Initially, Apeiron will focus on clinical development of a topical formulation of SOD for treatment of certain inflammatory skin conditions such as skin damage related to cancer radiation therapy. At the same time, Apeiron will explore systemic routes of administration.

Commenting on the agreement, Hans Loibner, CEO of Apeiron, stated: "It is a great project that incorporates Apeiron`s core expertise in development of protein therapeutics, especially therapeutic enzymes. Its clinical data shows promise in a variety of conditions associated with a lack of therapeutic options. We are therefore confident that SOD will contribute substantially to Apeiron`s value base."

Hermann Katinger, founder and CEO of Polymun, added: "We are excited to partner SOD with Apeiron. I am convinced that their impressive set of capabilities and expertise will maximize our project`s therapeutic and commercial potential."

SOD is an essential endogenous, antioxidant enzyme that catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide and thus reduces damage to tissues. In the course of several clinical trials it has shown signs of therapeutic effects in certain inflammatory conditions, such as radiation-induced skin damage, arthritis, Crohn`s disease and Peyronie`s disease.

Clinical trial with Ectoin Inhalation solution in patients with inflammation and obstruction of the airways

Bitop AG, a biotech company specializing in the development of Ectoin-containing medical devices, announced the inclusion of the first patient into a clinical trial on the Ectoin inhalation solution in patients with inflammation and airway obstruction.

The present clinical study is a single-centre efficacy and feasibility study involving patients with inflammation and airway obstruction in Germany. After the successful feasibility a long term study extension will investigate the effect of Ectoin Inhalation Solution of lung function decline, lung ageing and inflammation. bitop makes use of Pari Pharma´s eFlow nebulisation technology to obtain optimal delivery of the Ectoin Inhalation Solution into the lungs.

Analytics for the whole lab

Labtronics Inc has released Nexxis Lab Analytics, the industry's first Lab Analytics module for the whole lab. Instead of reporting data for one application or for one instrument, Nexxis Lab Analytics reports data for every system in your lab at the same time.

Nexxis LA (Lab Analytics) is an application that allows you to manage the lab better by providing information for the whole lab.

Petrie dishes on demand

Don Whitley Scientific presents Petri-Flow(tm) manufactured by Zisys Ltd, an efficient laboratory solution which automates the transportation of Petri dishes from receipt of sample to analysis. Designed to suit individual requirements and work flows, Petri-Flow improves productivity of microbiological testing in food, clinical and water laboratories.

Petri-Flow's modern and ergonomic design offers the ideal layout for laboratory processes and can be modified to suit the space available.

Touch screen infusion syringe pump

Available from Dorton Analytical - the Legato 100 Syringe Pump is a new single syringe infusion only pump with a touch screen interface.

The Legato 100 offers a wide flow rate range (1.28 pl/min to 88.28 ml/min), accuracy of +/-0.5% and reproducibility of +/- 0.05% making it the perfect syringe pump for flow cytometry, electrospinning, mass spectrometry calibrant delivery, microfluidics, neuroscience applications, and more.

Distribution of mouse models to the scientific community

Sigma Life Science and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), a not-for-profit genetics research institution and a repository for genetically engineered mice, today announced a joint agreement allowing JAX to distribute mouse models created using Sigma Life Science’s proprietary zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology.

Standardized solutions for molecular analysis of FFPE samples

QIAGEN has launched several new products that assist in the molecular analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. The new offering provides scientists with a range of dedicated kits over the whole FFPE workflow, from the isolation of DNA and total RNA, the setup of RT-PCR reactions through to bisulfite kits for applications in epigenetics research.

The portfolio extension is supported by a new brochure “Unlocking your FFPE Archive” that describes critical factors for molecular analysis of FFPE samples from preparation and storage to retrieval and analysis, as well as downstream applications such as reverse transcription and real-time PCR.

The new kits include the AllPrep DNA/RNA FFPE Kit for purification of DNA and RNA from the same sample, the RNeasy® FFPE Kit for gDNA free isolation of RNA, as well as the miRNeasy FFPE Kit for the isolation of miRNA. The new QuantiFast Probe RT-PCR kits are tailored for gene expression analysis of FFPE samples with highly fragmented starting material and the EpiTect Plus Bisulfite Kits for epigenetics research. A deparaffinization solution also has been launched that is used to prepare the samples prior to purification of nucleic acids.


Source of core reagents to study cell proliferation and cell kinetics

MorphoSys AG announced today that its research and diagnostic antibodies unit AbD Serotec has signed a license agreement with The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, which provides AbD Serotec with worldwide exclusive rights to commercialize the prototypic and most popular BrdU antibody clone for research applications.

The agreement covers clone BU1/75 (also known as ICR1), allowing development in a range of formats suitable for various applications such as ELISA, flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry.

Target enrichment system with next-generation sequencing sample preparation

Agilent Technologies Inc has launched the Agilent SureSelect XT Target Enrichment System. SureSelect XT combines sequencing library preparation and gDNA preparative reagents with the proven SureSelect target enrichment system.

Target enrichment streamlines workflows by letting researchers sequence just the genomic regions of interest rather than entire genomes. Combined with the increasing capacity of the leading next-generation sequencers, the multiplexing support capabilities of the SureSelect XT platform make it possible for geneticists to interrogate the genome of more samples per study than previously possible. One of the rate-limiting steps in such studies has been library preparation and target enrichment. To enable high-throughput sample processing efficiency, Agilent has now released an integrated workstation that automates SureSelect XT library preparation and target enrichment workflows.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

‘Walk away’ medical diagnostics

A new generation of Elisa/IFA (Immuno-Fluorescence Assays) analyser for use in hospital immunology and microbiology departments has been introduced by Labmedics. The Mago 4 is proven Diamedix/Delta Biologica ls technology, using tried and tested engineering for ‘walk away’ analysis.

Mago 4 is an easy to use, ‘open’ multi-function analyser; not only does it operate as an Elisa instrument, it also offers IFAs, serum agglutination and haemagglutination, making it attractive to smaller/medium sized laboratories which cannot justify automation with assay volumes of one measurement only. The system can also accommodate assays from other companies, allowing the customer freedom to choose from a wide range of reagents.

Capsule-based drug delivery products and services at AAPS 2010

Capsugel, a provider of dosage form solutions to the pharmaceutical and related healthcare industries, today announced it will be presenting its innovative drug delivery technologies at the 2010 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA November 14th-18th.

Beckman certified for target enrichment and microarrays

Agilent Technologies Inc and Beckman Coulter Genomics Inc today announced that Beckman Coulter Genomics has achieved Certified Service Provider (CSP) status for the Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System, including new SureSelect XT which combines sequencing library preparation and gDNA preparative reagents. Through its acquisition of Cogenics, Beckman Coulter also is a CSP for Agilent SurePrint microarrays, making the company the first CSP for both Agilent platforms.

Improving quality of cells for disease prevention

The Automation Partnership (TAP), a leader in the design and development of innovative automation for life science applications, today announced its CompacT SelecT automated cell culture system has been set up at the prestigious Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA to improve the culturing of vital cell lines for use in public health disease-prevention activities.

New oral formulations of inecalcitol

Hybrigenics, a bio-pharmaceutical group with a focus on research and development of new cancer treatments and a fully-owned subsidiary specialized in protein interactions services, has filed a patent application covering new soft gelatin capsules, tablets or drinking solutions optimized for the delivery of high doses of inecalcitol.

This pharmaceutical optimization followed the demonstration of safety and the presumption of efficacy of oral doses as high as 4 milligrams (mg) of inecalcitol per day in a Phase IIa clinical tolerance study in hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Webinar: Exploring genetic diversity

Fluidigm Europe has announced an opportunity for scientists to learn more about how the Fluidigm Access Array System is being used by the US National Cancer Institute to explore genetic diversity and how to effectively implement techniques for next generation sequencing.

A recorded version of the Science magazine webinar: 'Exploring Genetic Dversity: Mapping the Genetic Landscape through Next-Generation Sequencing** prominently features results from the Fluidigm Access Array System within the presentation by Michael W Smith Ph.D, director of the Genetics and Genomics Group within the Advanced Technology Program of SAIC Frederick.

Molecular Profiles unveils new capabilities at AAPS 2010

Molecular Profiles announces it is to demonstrate its expansion of capabilities at the upcoming AAPS/FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress 2010.

Designed to provide a de-risking approach to drug development, the services, performed in one location, include formulation development activities with preformulation, polymorph screening, salt selection, analytical services and phase I clinical trial manufacturing, as well as existing state-of-the-art analytical and characterisation suites.

Chilling/heating incubators feature temperature ramping

Torrey Pines Scientific Inc's new range of fully programmable, chilling/heating, bench top incubators with temperature ramping are for use in pharmaceutical, biotech, biochemistry, clinical, general chemistry, and other laboratories.

Typical applications include protein crystal growth, culture growth above, below, or at room temperature, enzyme reactions and deactivations, incubating marine cultures, ligations, hybridizations, storing ooytes and DNA libraries, and much more.

Low cost route to high quality laboratory monitoring

Newly-launched by IKS International, Rosmalen, the Netherlands, XiltrixLite packages provide a low cost, easy introduction to laboratory monitoring with claimed savings of up to 25% compared with systems configured from individual modules. With these fully integrated packages, installation and commissioning is simple and easy.

Monitoring and reporting the status of storage devices such as refrigerators, incubators (including anaerobic) and freezers is a major application area. Parameters like temperature, door opening, and CO2 levels can all be monitored, results logged and reported, and alarms generated if necessary.

Antisense Pharma’s trabedersen in malignant brain tumours: Phase IIb data published

The biopharmaceutical company Antisense Pharma announced today that its international, randomized and active-controlled Phase IIb study G004-AP 12009 is published in the official journal of the American Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO).

The article is already available online on the homepage of the journal. The investigated drug trabedersen (AP 12009) is a gene silencing antisense compound – a phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide – designed to selectively downregulate the production of transforming growth factor-beta 2 (TGF-β2) at the translational level.

Reducing errors at the point of care

Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) recently published a new document, Quality Management: Approaches to Reducing Errors at the Point of Care; Approved Guideline (POCT07-A). This document describes a core infrastructure for a standardized error tracking system targeted to reduce risk and increase quality of point-of-care testing (POCT), while accumulating standardized data for benchmarking use.

From the pop charts to the laboratory

Twenty years after topping the charts with acid house music, Cressida Bowyer has swapped guitars for microscopes and is now researching new ways to fight cancer.

It’s been a major change of careers for Cressida, who sang backing vocals with the London band KLF on hits including Justified and Ancient, which reached number one in 18 countries and the top-ten UK hit Last Train to Trancentral.

Protagen at the European Antibody Congress 2010

Protagen AG, a specialist for GMP-compliant protein analysis and in-vitro diagnostics is participating at the European Antibody Congress in Geneva. The company will present the characterization of biotherapeutics – monoclonal antibodies and biosimilars – with protein microarrays and the latest developments of GMP-compliant protein analysis.

Former Brahms sales manager boosts LifeCodexx team

LifeCodexx AG announces that Dr Martin Burow, a proven expert in the field of prenatal diagnostics, has joined its team as Head of Commercial Operations.

Until the middle of 2010 Dr Burow was Sales Manager Asia – Pacific at Brahms AG, which was taken over by ThermoFisher Scientific in 2009. He was responsible for the complete diagnostics product range from prenatal and thyroidal through to sepsis diagnostics.

Greater role for 'minipigs' in animal testing

A group of more than 40 industry, government and academic experts from all over Europe has reported that minipigs have many advantages for drug and chemical safety testing and could improve drug safety for humans.

The conclusions of the group’s RETHINK report, published today, deal with the impact and animal welfare implications of minipigs in safety testing of new medicines and other products. It was funded by the European Union. Minipigs are miniature pig breeds, easier to handle and better suited to a laboratory environment than farmyard pigs. The “Göttingen minipig”, developed at the University of Göttingen in Germany, and bred commercially in Denmark, is the leading breed in Europe.

Testing activities of tumour suppressor microRNAs

Horizon Discovery (Horizon), a provider of research tools to support the development of personalized medicines, and Mirna Therapeutics (Mirna), a leading developer of microRNA (miRNA)-based therapeutics, announced today that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to test the impact of Mirna’s proprietary miRNA mimics on a panel of Horizon’s patient-relevant human isogenic cancer cell models.

Book examines genetic findings beyond evolution

The Soma: How Our Genes Really Work and Why That Changes Everything! by scientist Robyn Lindley intends to explore the latest
findings in genetics and scientific evidence that supports Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's theory of acquired inheritance.

"I wanted to write about this because we are about to enter a scientific revolution like no other," says Lindley. "Acceptance of the idea of acquired inheritance effects shatters our old world view based on natural selection and random mutations. It also raises some new moral and social responsibilities that, sooner or later, we will need to confront."

Developing semiconductor-based sequencing system

DNA Electronics, a fabless semiconductor provider of solutions for real-time DNA and RNA analysis, announced has entered a partnership with 454 Life Sciences, a Roche Company.

The collaboration will focus on the development of a low-cost, high-throughput, long read, high density DNA sequencing system. As part of the agreement, DNA Electronics has signed a non-exclusive licence to provide relevant IP from its proprietary semiconductor technology portfolio to Roche.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Analysis of target compounds in complex GC/MS data

ALMSCO International today announces the launch of its TargetView Software package, which has been designed to automate and improve detection and measurement of multiple target chemicals in complex GC/MS data sets. The software will benefit GC/MS users in a range of important fields, including environmental monitoring, food/flavour/fragrance profiling, forensic science and testing chemical emissions from consumer goods.

While current compound identification methodology is often time consuming and prone to error (false positives/ negatives) even in expert hands, TargetView provides a simpler and more accurate way of identifying which target compounds are present in a sample. In addition to this it provides reliable peak area information to complement and support quantification by conventional GC/MS data handling packages. TargetView can also be used to identify the total number of compounds present in a sample (knowns and
unknowns) by library searching.

Catalogue details human- and animal-based research material portfolios

Sera Laboratories International Ltd (Sera Lab), the serum specialist, has launched a new BioProducts catalogue presenting its extensive range of animal and human material, disease state material and the new range of Human Tissues.

Animal control material is collected from colonies of drug naïve animals under veterinary supervision. Human control material is collected from FDA registered facilities and is fully viral tested to current FDA regulations.

Eppendorf and New Brunswick Scientific to fully integrate in UK and Ireland

From 1st January 2011, Eppendorf and New Brunswick Scientific will be fully integrated in the UK and Ireland. This follows from Eppendorf AG’s acquisition of New Brunswick Scientific in late 2007.

All New Brunswick UK sales and service activities, including all personnel, will be integrated into the commercial activities of Eppendorf UK Ltd in Cambridge. There will be one contact point for all sales and marketing enquiries, and one expanded team combining the technical expertise of both brands.

Microbial air monitoring for Grade A filling environment for plasma products

Following the previous successful installation of bespoke remote SAS microbial air samplers from Cherwell Laboratories, UK-based manufacturer of aseptically filled blood plasma products and part of NHSBT, Bio Products Laboratory (BPL) has now installed additional SAS samplers on a second plasma product aseptic filling line.

This additional installation means that no direct human contact is required within BPL’s Grade A filling lines for environmental monitoring purposes. The SAS Super Isolator remote air sampling system can be operated through glove ports to provide the necessary critical environmental monitoring data for Quality Control purposes prior to batch release of final plasma products.

New radiotherapy control system

Xstrahl, a designer and manufacturer of superficial and orthovoltage radiotherapy systems, today announces the launch of Imperium, a new control system for its X-ray therapy system, at this year’s ASTRO conference in San Diego, USA 31 October – 4 November.

Medivir appoints vice president, research and development projects

Medivir AB, the research-based specialty pharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases, is pleased to announce the appointment of Charlotte Edenius to the new position of Vice President, Research & Development Projects, effective 1 November 2010. This newly created position, with responsibility for Medivir’s project portfolio, marks another step in the direction of strategically enhancing Medivir’s R&D organisation, and accordingly, Charlotte will become a member of the company’s management.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Scientists find non-viral pathway of blood cancer development

An international team of scientists led by The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has found three new regions of DNA linked to the development of Hodgkin lymphoma, one of the most common cancers in young adults.

Around 1,500 people are diagnosed each year in the UK with Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes.

One quarter to half of all cases of Hodgkin lymphoma are thought to be triggered by infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)* however the disease can also develop in patients who have never been exposed to the virus. Scientists suspected inherited genes were involved in these cases, as having a family history of disease increases risk, but until now they have not been able to identify any specific genetic risk factors.

In a paper published in Nature Genetics today, Professor Richard Houlston from the ICR and colleagues reveal three new variations in the letters of the DNA code that give an increased risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma. Two of these genetic variants are more common in people not exposed to the virus.