Biotechnology news 2008

BioNJ launches tool kit to assist bioscience companies in troubled economy
BioNJ, the trade association for the US state of New Jersey's bioscience industry, has launched the Troubled Times Tool Kit. The virtual program was developed to assist New Jersey's bioscience companies by providing strategies and tactics for weathering the current economic storm. 31 December 2008

deCODE discovers common genetic variations contributing to risk of osteoporosis
Scientists from deCODE genetics and colleagues from Australia and Denmark have reported the discovery of common single-letter variations (SNPs) in the human genome linked to low bone mineral density (BMD), the clinical measurement used to diagnose osteoporosis. 22 December 2008

Neglected diseases targeted by Genzyme and the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
The collaboration to advance treatments for neglected diseases will initially focus on the development of new, improved treatments for malaria, a debilitating infectious disease of developing countries. 4 December 2008

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HepaLife liver stem cell line launched onboard Space Shuttle
A liver stem cell line developed by HepaLife Technologies, Inc. was launched on board Space Shuttle Endeavour on its recent 15-day mission in November. 4 December 2008

PerkinElmer launches high performance imaging acquisition and analysis software
The Volocity 5 software is a complete solution for 3D and 4D image acquisition from fluorescence microscopy systems, allowing data visualisation, deconvolution, publication, object measurement, tracking and charting. 4 December 2008

Toshiba develops novel biosensor array with individually coded microparticles
Cambridge Research Laboratory of Toshiba Research Europe Ltd has developed a novel, label-free biosensor platform that is expected to significantly shorten the time taken to screen molecules for biomedical applications, saving days or even weeks of research time. 25 November 2008

Marillion Pharmaceuticals licenses Bracco Imaging's novel targetted prostate and breast cancer treatments
Bracco’s treatment for hormone-resistant prostate and advanced (metastatic) breast cancers has unique targeting capability that enables it to home in on tumour cells and spare normal tissues.  24 November 2008

Clinical Data launches genetic test for arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
The company also announced plans to make its databases of genetic mutations associated with inherited cardiac conditions, such as ARVC, available to the public. 24 November 2008

ArQule and Daiichi-Sankyo in strategic partnership to develop novel anti-cancer compounds. 24 November 2008

Evonik industries licenses ERGO genomics platform for production of specialty chemicals from microbial genomes. 24 November 2008

Illumina launches the HumanCytoSNP-12 BeadChip to screen for genetic abnormalities
The HumanCytoSNP-12 BeadChip contains nearly 300,000 genetic markers per sample that target all known cytogenetic abnormalities found in genes and disease pathways linked to mental retardation, autism, and other common chromosome anomalies. 20 November 2008

Report: Diabetes Drug Pipeline. Competitor Analysis
The report includes an overview of the major marketed diabetes drugs and the respective markets sizes and describes the corporate diabetes drug product portfolios and R&D pipelines of more than 160 companies worldwide. November 2008

Report: Biopharmaceutical Expression Systems and Genetic Engineering Technologies. Current and Future Manufacturing Platforms
In currently marketed products there has been little basic change in the technologies used for commercial-scale manufacture of biopharmaceutical products. New expression systems and recent improvements available for current systems have the potential to revolutionize the biopharmaceutical industry! Lower costs and efficiencies of newer expression systems are driving these changes. This book provides manufacturers with the information they need to make the shift to increased productivity. November 2008

Report: Why do drugs fail?
This report analyses recent drug failure events and examines potential areas of remedy for regulators and companies. Greedy companies being economical with the truth? Overzealous regulators pursuing political agendas? Poorly designed or inconclusive clinical trials? What action can the industry and regulators take to improve their performance in this critical area? 20 November 2008

Invitrogen launches microarray to study non-coding RNA
Invitrogen's NCode Human and Mouse non-coding RNA microarrays consist of both non-coding RNA and messenger RNA (mRNA) content on the same array. Non-coding RNA represents a new frontier of molecular genetic, molecular biological, physiological and cell biological research. 20 November 2008

Cabernet Pharmaceuticals and Lilly in alliance to develop patient-tailored therapeutic drugs. 20 November 2008

Portuguese scientists discover new mechanism regulating formation of blood vessels
This finding has implications for wound healing including chronic wounds, such as those found in diabetic patients and those suffering from morbid obesity. 18 November 2008

Celgene Cellular Therapeutics receives FDA clearance for first placenta-derived stem cell clinical study
Celgene Cellular Therapeutics has received US FDA clearance for a clinical trial using PDA001, an immunomodulatory therapy utilizing human placenta-derived stem cells obtained via CCT’s proprietary processes. A multi-centre clinical trial will begin with a group of with Crohn’s disease patients. 18 November 2008

First demonstration of telomerase activator enhancing antiviral function of immune cells in HIV patients
Geron Corporation has announced the publication of preclinical data on TAT2, a small molecule telomerase activator. The studies show that human CD8+ T-cells from HIV-infected donors exposed to TAT2 exhibited increased telomerase activity, resulting in retardation of telomere shortening, an increase in T-cell proliferation, and enhancement of critical antiviral functions against HIV-1. 18 November 2008

Global Therapeutics initiates trial of stent with RNA therapeutic agent to prevent artery closure
Global Therapeutics has announced initiation of the world’s first clinical trial of a drug eluting stent that uses an antisense RNA therapeutics agent aimed at silencing one of the genes (c-myc) responsible for causing arteries to reclose after stenting (restenosis). 18 November 2008

Illumina announces breakthrough human genome sequencing studies
Illumina has announced the sequencing results of the first Yoruban human genome. The study, published in the 6 November 2008 issue of Nature was completed by Illumina scientists and collaborators at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and generated greater than 30x average coverage of the genome. 12 November 2008

BioReliance introduces new protein array platform
BioReliance has introduced a new protein-array platform that offers greater sensitivity, reduced testing time and reliable results. The platform, brand-named ReliArray, can simultaneously screen for four non-human pathogens in animal serum. 12 November 2008

Signature Genomic Laboratories makes Genoglyphix microarray visualization program available to full-service clients. 12 November 2008

New route for development of a malaria vaccine
Researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands and LUMC, Leiden, the Netherlands have discovered a potential new route for genetically modifying the malaria parasite and developing a new malaria vaccine. 12 November 2008

New chemical key could unlock hundreds of new antibiotics
Researchers at The University of Warwick and the John Innes Centre, UK, have found a novel signalling molecule that could be a key that will open up hundreds of new antibiotics, unlocking them from the DNA of the Streptomyces family of bacteria. 12 November 2008

New genetic test for baldness launched by HairDX
PharmaGenoma, Inc. and its subsidiary HairDX, LLC have unveiled the next generation of its genetic screening test for male pattern baldness, which can tell a man who tests positive for the high risk genetic variant that he has approximately a 70% chance of going bald. 12 November 2008

Kinaxo and Boehringer Ingelheim to collaborate in drug discovery
Kinaxo Biotechnologies GmbH, a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, has entered into a two-year collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to study drug mode of action and target identification. 9 November 2008

First Arab human genomes sequenced
An international consortium consisting of Saudi Biosciences, Beijing Genomics Institute Shenzhen, and CLC bio have sequenced and analysed the first Arab human genome. The sequencing is part of a large project to sequence 100 Arab human genomes to map the unique genetic variations of the Arab population. 1 October 2008

Sigma-Aldrich launches breakthrough genome-editing tools
Sigma-Aldrich has launched its CompoZr platform of zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) reagents. The reagents are expected to provide researchers with the ability to target and precisely manipulate the genome of living cells, resulting in cell lines or whole organisms with defined gene deletions, insertions, or corrections. 17 September 2008

Fairway Medical Technologies wins US Navy contract to develop battlefield blood-borne pathogen detector
Fairway Medical Technologies has received a $900,000 contract from the US Department of the Navy to apply its pulsed laser optoacoustic technology to the real-time detection of blood borne pathogens and biological warfare agents under battlefield conditions. 12 September 2008


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