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Global Genomics Group (G3) to Collaborate with Metabolon on Pan-Omic GLOBAL Study to Discover Cardiovascular Disease Biomarkers and Drug Targets

Global Genomics Group (G3) and Metabolon recently announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to investigate biological networks and pathways in order to discover novel biomarkers and pharmaceutical targets for cardiovascular diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Metabolon will analyze the biochemicals for the GLOBAL (Genetic LOci and Burden of Atherosclerotic Lesions) study. GLOBAL is the largest pan-omic study combining genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics and lipoprotein proteomics with coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography, an advanced imaging technology for phenotyping, which allows the precise disease classification in patients.

Life Technologies and Advanced Cell Diagnostics Sign Global Distribution Agreement

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) and Advanced Cell Diagnostics, Inc. (ACD), a leader in the field of molecular pathology and developer of cell and tissue-based analysis tools, recently announced a global distribution agreement by which Life will distribute ACD’s fluorescent RNAscope® portfolio of probes and kits to the research market through its worldwide distribution network.

Study Reveals Much-needed Strategy to Protect Against Deadly Liver Fibrosis

Chronic liver disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, in part because it often causes the formation of harmful scar tissue—a process known as fibrosis. A study published by Cell Press August 15 in the journal Immunity reveals the central role the immune molecule interleukin 33 (IL-33) plays in the formation of liver fibrosis. The findings suggest that drugs targeting this molecule could serve as a new treatment strategy to protect against liver fibrosis.

“Currently, the therapeutic options for liver fibrosis are limited and not curative,” says senior study author Stefan Wirtz of Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. “We identified novel immunological factors that contribute to the development of liver fibrosis, opening up new avenues for the treatment of this serious condition.”

Liver fibrosis refers to the accumulation of harmful deposits of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, and it can eventually lead to organ failure. Past studies have suggested that this kind of damage is associated with abnormal immune responses in the liver, but very little was known about the molecules and cells that contribute to fibrosis.

In the new study, Wirtz and his team found that the amount of IL-33 in the blood was higher than normal in patients with liver disease. Following up on this observation, they discovered that injection of IL-33 into mice caused ECM proteins to build up in the liver, whereas mice that were genetically modified to lack IL-33 were largely protected from fibrosis. The researchers went on to identify the immune networks underlying IL-33’s harmful effects and discovered that this molecule activates immune cells called type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2), which had never before been linked to liver disease.

“Our findings reveal IL-33 as a novel biomarker that could potentially lead to early detection of fibrosis in patients, which may be extremely valuable for preventing further damage to the liver,” Wirtz says. “Moreover, the study shows that drugs targeting IL-33 or ILC2 responses could be a promising strategy to protect against fibrosis and chronic liver disease.”

Study: Interleukin-33-Dependent Innate Lymphoid Cells Mediate Hepatic Fibrosis [Immunity]

Source: EurekAlert!

Proteome Sciences Announces $2.1m Contract with Thermo Fisher Scientific

Proteome Sciences recently announced its largest contract to date, a technology agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific, valued at $2.1million by Proteome Sciences, to develop advanced methods to profile changes in key cancer pathways. Proteome Sciences will provide Thermo Fisher with access to its patents covering a three-stage mass spectrometry (MS3) fragmentation methodology to deliver significantly improved analysis and accuracy. Proteome Sciences will receive cash and Thermo Fisher will provide a no-cost lease for mass spectrometry equipment for Proteome Sciences to develop the pathway assays. In addition Proteome Sciences will continue to develop advanced 20 and 30-plex Tandem Mass Tags (TMT®) for Thermo Fisher for the next additions to the TMT® range of tags.

The new MS3 TMT® (three-stage MS Tandem Mass Tag) mass spectrometry technique is a breakthrough mass spectrometry based workflow, enabling mass spectrometers to determine relative quantitation of proteins in multiple samples simultaneously and with improved accuracy.
“We are at a critical juncture toward the development of personalised medicine which requires high-resolution maps of the protein networks regulating disease,” said Dr. Ian Pike, Chief Operating Officer at Proteome Sciences. “The combination of the highest sample multiplexing rates from TMT with the industry-leading Thermo Scientific Orbitrap mass spectrometer enables us to provide an unrivalled platform to investigate subtle but significant changes in the proteome.”
Proteome Sciences will leverage the combined power of TMT® and Orbitrap® technology to develop an expanded range of mass spectrometry assays for the pharmaceutical industry. Through its SysQuant® workflows, Proteome will profile the low-level changes in activity of key cancer signalling pathways to facilitate optimal drug selection across a range of solid tumours. This will enable clinicians to provide real-time patient management and the ability, for the first time, to deliver truly personalised medicine.

“Life sciences researchers today need to perform high-quality relative quantitation of many samples quickly,” said Ian Jardine, Chief Technology Officer, Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “MS3 TMT® technology greatly improves quantitative accuracy and throughput, while Orbitrap® technology dramatically increases depth and quality of data. This agreement offers customers a new paradigm in proteomics research.”
“Our agreement with Thermo Fisher sets a new benchmark to establish and apply novel diagnostic and prognostic strategies in healthcare management,” said Christopher Pearce, Chief Executive of Proteome Sciences. “It has long been our goal to provide clinicians the tools they need to provide early diagnosis of disease and better match molecular targeting medicines to the most likely responders. The output from this agreement should have a profound positive impact on the lives of large numbers of patients suffering from chronic diseases and, at the same time, provide considerable economic benefits to the health care system.”

Source: Proteome Sciences

Kinexus Launches DrugKiNET KnowledgeBase with 105,000 Experimentally Tested Protein Kinase Drug Interactions

Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation, a world-leader in the study of molecular intelligence systems, announced the launch of its DrugKiNET KnowledgeBase (www.drugkinet.ca) for the identification and development of drug candidates that potently and selectively inhibit human protein kinases. This open-access website features quantitative data on the effects of over 800 chemical compounds on more than 400 protein kinases following careful annotation of hundreds of experiments documented in the scientific literature. This data was then used to train two different proprietary algorithms to predict the inhibitory effects of 550 of these compounds on 500 human protein kinases. This information can guide biomedical researchers in the discovery of new therapeutic targets for existing drugs, and aid in the design of promising new drugs.

At least 538 different protein kinases regulate each other and another approximately 21,500 diverse protein targets to coordinate all of the operations in living cells through complex molecular communications and control networks. Kinases are well recognized by the pharmaceutical and biotech industry as highly productive targets for drug development with applications for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and many other diseases. In fact, over 400 human disease have been linked to genetic mutations in the genes that encode protein kinases or the direct actions of environmental toxins that target protein kinases. Over the last decade, more than two dozen kinase inhibitors have already been approved for clinical use, primarily for cancer treatment. By targeting inappropriately active kinases, these small molecule drugs essentially re-program cancer cells for their demise.

Over the last year, Kinexus and their collaborators in the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) groups at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University have worked to identify the specific parts of different protein kinases that are critical for recognition by each of 550 different compounds that have been experimentally shown to inhibit one or more kinases. These parts, termed Inhibitor Determining Residues (IDR’s), may be involved in recognizing and binding drugs, and their identification within DrugKiNET can facilitate further optimization of even more potent and specific protein kinase inhibitory drugs. Previously, Kinexus and its partners identified Substrate Determining Residues (SDR’s) in protein kinases that were important for recognition of their protein targets and deposited this information in their open-access PhosphoNET Knowledgebase (www.phosphonet.ca).

“We believe that DrugKiNET is an extremely unique and powerful resource for the biomedical research community,” commented Dr. Steven Pelech, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Kinexus and a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. “Over a third of all pharmaceutical drug development is presently focused on protein kinase inhibitory drugs, but we expect this to increase even more, since the vast majority of protein kinases have yet to be pursued as drug targets, and definition of the precise roles of different kinases in non-cancer-related diseases is still in its infancy.”

Dr. Pelech added, “We are excited by the prospect that our algorithms can define new protein kinase targets for existing drugs, and that they can identify in the genes that encode protein kinases the specific mutations that may alter their sensitivities to these drugs. As Kinexus has the capability of testing the effects of drug candidates on over 350 different purified protein kinases in-house, we also have the ability to experimentally validate many of our drug predictions for our clients.”

Kinexus is a private, biotechnology company engaged in the research and development of innovative methods to map, track and manipulate cellular communication networks. The application of this knowledge positions Kinexus and its clients in drug development, rational drug design, disease diagnosis and personalized therapies to improve human health. Kinexus currently has agreements with over 1700 research laboratories in companies, universities, government institutions and hospitals in over 35 different countries. To learn more about the diverse proteomics and bioinformatics services offered by Kinexus, please visit www.kinexus.ca or call toll-free at 1-866-KINEXUS.

Source: Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation