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Venaxis Appoints SomaLogic CMO and former Pfizer Executive Stephen A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D., to Board of Directors

Venaxis, Inc. (Nasdaq: APPY), an in vitro diagnostic company focused on obtaining FDA clearance and commercializing its CE Marked APPY1 Test, a rapid, protein biomarker-based assay for appendicitis, recently announced the appointment of Stephen A. Williams , M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer at SomaLogic, to the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Williams brings his experience in diagnostic imaging and biomarker discovery to the Venaxis Board.

Steve Lundy , President and CEO of Venaxis, stated, “We are happy to welcome Steve to our Board and look forward to the benefit of his deep experience, both in diagnostic imaging, which is relevant to our market development and commercial strategy for the APPY1 Test, as well as in clinical biomarker validation, which will be instrumental to us in our evaluation and development of future Venaxis products.”

Dr. Williams stated, “The APPY1 Test is an excellent example of how characterization of clinically relevant biomarkers can produce useful tools for addressing important diagnostic challenges. With the potential to reduce the safety risks associated with current diagnostic imaging techniques in the emergency setting, I believe there is significant clinical need and utility for the APPY1 Test. I am excited to join the Venaxis Board and to support the further development and commercialization of this, as well as potential future, biomarker-based diagnostic products.”

Dr. Williams joined SomaLogic in 2009 as Chief Medical Officer. Prior to his time at SomaLogic, Dr. Williams trained as a physician at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, University of London, and following his internships, returned to the same institution for a Ph.D. in medicine and physiology. He subsequently performed three years of residency in diagnostic imaging at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1989 he joined Pfizer U.K. in experimental medicine and worked on a variety of programs including asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine [eletriptan], depression [sertraline] and urinary incontinence [darifenacin]. He moved to the U.S. in 1993 with Pfizer and worked on programs in inflammatory bowel disease, stroke, psychosis [ziprasidone] and head injury. He created the clinical technology group in 1997, which became a worldwide function on five research sites with the objective of validating clinical biomarkers and measurements, and was named vice president in 2006. Dr. Williams served on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering from 2004-2007 and the executive Committee of the Biomarkers Consortium run by the Foundation for NIH from 2005-2007. In process initiatives, he led or co-led initiatives in diagnostics, biomarkers, quality of drug candidates, and guidelines for development teams to make the decision to start Phase 3 trials.

Source: PR Newswire

Agilent Technologies and Applied Proteomics Will Collaborate to Maximize Capabilities of Highly Multiplexed Protein Assays

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) and Applied Proteomics Inc. recently agreed to collaborate on highly multiplexed protein assays and workflow solutions for multiple reaction monitoring through mass spectrometry. Proteins perform many important cellular functions, are the targets of most drugs and therapies, and are often used as biomarkers for detecting and monitoring disease.

WaferGen Bio-systems and QIAGEN KK Sign Agreement for Co-Marketing in Japan

WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. (OTCBB: WGBS) recently announced a co-marketing agreement with QIAGEN KK – a subsidiary of QIAGEN N.V.– for the joint promotion of certain products in Japan in the areas of genomics platforms such as Next-Gen sequencing (NGS) and qPCR. With the joint offering, customers will be able to seamlessly plan and execute complex research projects involving molecular biomarker discovery with NGS, where WaferGen’s SmartChip will offer a powerful platform for high-throughput qPCR-based target validation. The purpose of the commercial relationship is to help life science researchers accelerate the process of developing markers that are potential candidates for molecular diagnostics by adding WaferGen’s SmartChip solution to facilitate biomarker validation. Further customer-facing synergies will be achieved by offering QIAGEN’s PCRarrays on the SmartChip and subsequently compatible NGS panels from QIAGEN.

Stephane Perrey, President of QIAGEN KK stated: “We are looking forward to expanding our portfolio of life science offerings in Japan through the co-marketing of WaferGen’s high-throughput qPCR solution. There is a substantial customer need to ramp up discovery efforts through targeted screening and confirmation, and our integrated approach will provide one-stop shopping for a variety of academic and industrial clients. We will be able to guide customers through the series of steps necessary for an effective biomarker discovery and validation program, by providing both the instrumentation and assays necessary for the accomplishment of their scientific goals. We have successfully evaluated WaferGen’s SmartChip System, and we believe that it can play an important role in our comprehensive product offering.”

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering in a joint commercial effort with QIAGEN to bring our products to the research and industrial communities in Japan,” added Ivan Trifunovich, President and CEO of WaferGen. “Our product lines are highly complementary, together providing a total solution to our customers’ needs. Since our July, 2012 launch of our MyDesign open format instrument, we have received enthusiastically positive reviews from our early test sites and commercial customers in the US and Europe. In conjunction with our highly-regarded partner, we look forward to building on these results in Japan. We are confident that our three-part value proposition – platform flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and no need for pre-amplification – will be strong drivers of customers’ interest,” Trifunovich added.

Under the terms of the agreement, QIAGEN and WaferGen will promote and market each other’s products in Japan, specifically WaferGen’s SmartChip platform and QIAGEN ’s NGS platform which is currently in an advanced stage of development. This breakthrough next-generation benchtop sequencer is one element of QIAGEN’s initiative to create integrated NGS workflows that combine innovative instrumentation and consumables into a sample-to-result offering planned for launch later this year. The two teams will be working closely together in terms of developing the overall strategy and tactical plan that will maximize the commercial opportunity for both companies.

Source: WaferGen

Abcodia Named as Finalist in the Startups Awards 2012

The shortlist for the Startups Awards 2012 has been announced and biomarker validation and cancer screening company Abcodia is among the finalists in three different categories.

Great Point Partners Announces Sale of Caprion Proteomics

Great Point Partners, LLC recently announced the sale of Caprion Proteomics, Inc., a Great Point Partners I portfolio company. Caprion is a leading provider of proteomic services to the pharmaceutical industry that include: (i) biomarker discovery, (ii) biomarker validation, (iii) drug target discovery, (iv) advanced immune monitoring services, and (v) in-vitro diagnostics development. Under Great Point’s investment, Caprion grew EBITDA by over 300x. The growth was primarily driven through strong organic growth, industry leadership and accretive tuck-in acquisitions.