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April 2, 2009 | Teva to Use Compugen Nephrotoxicity Biomarkers
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has exercised its option to use a novel combination of biomarkers, discovered by Compugen for early detection of drug-induced nephrotoxicity. This biomarker combination was discovered under the umbrella of collaboration between Compugen and Teva. Compugen also announced today its plans to commercially introduce the markers through licensing arrangements during the second half of this year.

Under the terms of the collaboration with Teva, initiated in 2007, Compugen conducted a discovery process utilizing its proprietary computational tools, discovery engines and nucleic acid testing platforms as well as data derived from biological samples collected by Teva in a preclinical study designed specifically for this project. The business terms for the collaboration provided Teva with the royalty-free right to use any discovered markers for internal research and development activities; Compugen retained the commercialization rights for licensing such markers to other companies, as well as rights for internal use. Read release.

Sapio Sciences Debuts Exemplar LIMS 3.0
The company says significant enhancements include: introduction of automatic form\list view combinations; improvements to Sapio Synergy to support sharing application definitions between LIMS customers; XML export\import of complete or partial hierarchies of data.

“This 3.0 release represents a landmark shift for Sapio. and Exemplar LIMS. The introduction of the Data Type Designer in combination with the existing configuration capabilities puts Exemplar into a new class of general data management applications. We believe that for the first time in any application space, you can now build essentially any type of data management application with zero programming,” says Kevin Cramer, VP of Sales and Marketing at Sapio. For more information.
 
Ariadne Launches ChemEffect
The new Pathway Studio knowledge base contains in excess of 425,000 biological facts and relationships linked to more than 17,000 small molecules, chemicals, and drugs. Scientists in target validation and lead optimization can rapidly characterize their drug targets and development leads against known effects or standards, often obtaining information that supports mechanistic hypotheses of drug action and toxicity. ChemEffect can be customized and installed to work seamlessly within existing pharmaceutical infrastructure.

Ilya Mazo, president of Ariadne, says, “With the addition of ChemEffect, Ariadne has extended the utility of Pathway Studio to cover early- and mid-stage drug discovery research activities. Now we have the most comprehensive collection of biological facts and relationships (more than 425,000 in addition to 1.5 Million in Pathway Studio) that can be leveraged to support drug development decisions and mechanistic explanations of drug action and toxicity.” Read release.

M. D. Anderson Launches Graduate Program in Cancer Metastasis
A one-of-a-kind graduate program that focuses on the most lethal aspect of cancer will open this fall at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center with support from a highly competitive grant from The University of Texas System. “It’s crucial that we improve our basic understanding of the underlying mechanisms for the spread of cancer to distant sites,” said M. D. Anderson Provost and Executive Vice President Raymond DuBois, M.D. Ph.D.  “This program will enhance the training of   future scientists who will advance metastasis research.” More information.

HMI Gives 50 Early Career Awards
Fifty of the nation’s best early career science faculty will have more time and resources to focus on their boldest—and potentially transformative—research ideas with support from a new initiative from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Each HHMI Early Career Scientist will receive a six-year appointment to the Institute and, along with it, the freedom to explore his or her best ideas without worrying about where to find the money to fund those experiments.

HHMI’s investment of approximately $200 million will allow these researchers to concentrate on making discoveries in the laboratory and training the next generation of scientists. Read article.

Novo Nordisk Licenses Linguamatics Tool
Novo Nordisk, a leader in diabetes care, entered a multi-year agreement to use the I2E semantic knowledge discovery platform for text mining. At Novo Nordisk I2E will be used to mine published literature and internal information sources to provide business critical intelligence for R&D decision makers. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. Read release.

Hood Paper Pries into Prion Disease
Systems biology pioneer Lee Hood’s paper (lead author), “A systems approach to prion disease”, published online in Molecular Systems Biology (March 24 2009) is being praised for making contributions to understanding prion disease as well as demonstrating the power of systems biology approach. Working with brain transcriptomes from mice they report finding a “core of 333 differential expressed genes appear to encode the heart of the prion response with two-thirds of these genes explaining known disease phenomena and one-third revealing new features of the disease.”

University of Michigan researcher Gilbert Omen wrote in an accompanying review, “This paper is likely to become a landmark in systems biology, both for its design and specific methods and for its novel findings…Distinguishing true-positive from false-positive signals and organizing the findings into pathways, networks, and modules related to histopathological and clinical phenotypes in temporal and spatial dimensions is an overwhelming set of challenges…Remarkably, these problems were turned into levers to enhance the studies.” Read the paperRead Omenn’s review.

Genedata to Collaborate with TcLand
As part of the deal, the Genedata Phylosopher and Expressionist biomarker discovery platforms will be integrated into TcLand Expression’s computational infrastructure. TcLand Expression is pioneering work in the field of personalized medicine for transplantation and autoimmune diseases. Read release.

SharePoint Integrated with Pipeline Pilot
Accelrys says it now supports Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as a publication platform for Accelrys’ scientific applications. “We are excited to announce the integration of our Pipeline Pilot Enterprise Server with SharePoint Server. Our embedded solution will fill the gap for SharePoint Server users in the scientific community,” said Accelrys' CSO Frank Brown in a release.

Open-Source Sys-Bio Tools Can Support Deeper Data Analysis
University of Michigan researchers have outlined how open-source computational tools for systems biology research can better serve researchers' needs for deeper analysis of their data, according to an BioInform article. “The findings, presented at American Medical Informatics Association Summit on Translational Informatics in San Francisco last week, have spurred developers at the Michigan Molecular Integrating protein interaction database, known as MiMI, to update the platform on an ongoing basis, which includes offering users virtual workspaces to better query their data.” Read article.

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This article first appeared in Bio-IT World’s Predictive Biomedicine newsletter. Click here for a free subscription.

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