LabTechnologist.com brings you a periodic update of recent industry news with developments at EMD Chemicals, MicroCal, Oxford Gene Technology, Protagen, Syrris and Varian.
Merck KGaA's EMD Chemicals has licensed Luminex' xMAP technology in order to develop immunoassays based on its multiplex flow cytometry platform.
EMD has assembled the 'Novagen WideScreen Group' of interdisciplinary researchers to help construct the next generation of multiplex immunoassays to meet the ever changing needs of drug discovery and cell signalling researchers.
The group will initially focus on creating assays that detect the phosphorylation status of key proteins in disease-related signalling pathways and will enable researchers to better understand the effects of drug candidates on multiple pathways and on- and off- target effects.
"The ability to simultaneously perform several assays on one sample in a single reaction results in considerable savings of both time and precious sample, and dramatically reduces reagent and labour costs," said Lisa Johnson, vice president of Corporate Development at EMD.
"Combining key technologies licensed from Luminex and other partners enables the WideScreen Group to develop new bead-based assays to accelerate the drug discovery process, including the first truly quantitative multiplex assays for phosphorylated signalling proteins."
Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) has developed a new database, dubbed Oligome, which contains more than 10m oligonucleotide probes designed to the latest release of the human genome.
The database makes it possible for the company to provide custom-designed oligonucleotide arrays for array-based comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH) experiments faster and cheaper than ever before.
"In the past, we have provided custom-made arrays focusing on certain genomic regions by processing the sequence of interest," said Dr Volker Brenner, senior computational biologist at OGT.
"Now that we have compiled the Oligome, we can easily query the database and produce the array design much more quickly, and at a lower cost for the customer."
Protagen has signed up Japan's Tomy Digital Biology to distribute its Modiro post-translational modification (PTM) analysis software in Japan.
PTMs modulate the activity of many proteins and the analysis of these changes is becoming increasingly important during the drug development process.
According to the manufacturers, Modiro enables researchers to identify more of these modifications using existing mass spectrometry data in an automated manner.
"The signing of this commercialisation agreement demonstrates the continued advance of Protagen into the Asian market, which began with the research collaboration with Kangdi Antibody Biotech and Beijing Proteome Research Centre announced earlier this year," Dr Christoph Hüls, CEO of Protagen.
Setaram is to become the exclusive distributor for MicroCal's range of Ultrasensitive Calorimeters in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey and the countries of Eastern Europe up to the Baltic States as of 1 January 2008.
"In consolidating our distribution network, we aim to improve our service to our customers across Europe by partnering with a highly experienced and dedicated company in thermal analysis and calorimetry who have a proven track record," said Tim Flanagan, MicroCal's vice president for Europe.
The company will maintain a strong presence in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands and Scandinavia and continue to invest in the sales and support of customers from its European base in Milton Keynes, UK which houses a dedicated sales team, service engineers and applications scientists.
Syrris has seen record orders during 2007 necessitate the expansion of its sales and support team as well as extending its global outreach with new distributors across, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Additions to the both the sales and customer support team as well as the appointment of six new distributors has enabled the company to keep up with the rapidly growing interest in its new modular flow chemistry (FRX) and synthesis (Atlas) systems.
"Following such a good year, in fact a record year for Syrris, we are of course very pleased. However, we are also keen to maintain our high level of customer service for which we are well known, and want to expand our offering to meet the needs of new customers in emerging markets and more distant locations," said Richard Gray, Syrris' US-based commercial director.
"The strategic decision to expand our team and recruit new distributors will allow us to make the most of the new opportunities arising and will compliment our existing set-up".
Varian is to co-market and distribute Mestrelab Research's recently released MestReNova NMR processing software that enables data processing, post-processing analysis, and reporting tools for Varian NMR spectra to the desktop PC.
Other vendor formats can also be imported and managed using the software which is available on various operating systems including Windows XP and Vista, Mac OSX and Linux.
According to the company the software addresses the needs of both pharmaceutical and academic researchers delivering qualitative and quantitative information to enable the identification and structural elucidation of unknown compounds.
"The coupling of MestreReNova software with a Varian NMR Spectrometer delivers the ultimate solution for any scientist interested in obtaining information rather than collecting data," said Martin O'Donoghue, senior vice president, Scientific Instruments, Varian.
"The powerful combination of Varian's leading edge NMR data acquisition system with state-of-the-art data analysis and reporting software represents a major leap forward for the customer in terms of quality and productivity."