Company Announcements

Dr. Cristina Garmendia Mendizábal, chairwoman of Expedeon’s supervisory board, will step down, effective April 4. Joseph Fernandez, deputy chairman of the board, will assume Dr. Garmendia’s responsibilities until a suitable successor is found.

In March, JSR announced it will establish a US business under the name JSR Life Sciences, effective April 1. JSR Life Sciences will also be a subsidiary of the new JSR North America.

ATCC, a provider of biological materials and information, announced in March a strategic partnership with R&D services management firm Science Exchange. ATCC’s services featured on the Science Exchange Marketplace will include offerings from custom solutions, such as the expansion and characterization of cells and microorganisms, custom genome editing, cell line authentication and other solutions. This agreement marks the first time that ATCC is offering its services through a third-party e-commerce platform.

Science Exchange and WuXi LabNetwork, a chemistry e-commerce platform, entered into a technology partnership in March that will allow Science Exchange users to directly order compounds from WuXi LabNetwork via a single user interface.

In March, Diagenode, a provider for complete solutions for sample preparation and epigenetics research, entered into an informal distribution relationship with Cedarlane to promote and distribute a larger range of Diagenode products in Canada.

 

Gene-based Analysis

Company Announcements

Synthetic DNA firm Twist Biosciences’ fiscal 2018 sales for the year ending September 30, 2018 increased 135.2% to $25.4 million (see IBO 2/15/19). By product line, sales of synthetic genes, oligo pools and DNA libraries grew 121.4%, 46.0% and 242.6% to make up 71%, 12% and 7% of sales. Sales of NGS tools totaled $2.7 million. The company had 719 customers, with sales to the industrial chemicals, academic research, agricultural and healthcare sectors accounting for 59%, 23%, 2% and 16% of total sales. Sales to Ginkgo Bioworks represented 34% of revenues sales, up 101%. Twist Bioscience revenues this year are expected to total $46–$48 million.

In February, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) announced the expansion of its courier zones, including free next day delivery, for oligonucleotides to UK scientists based in Cambridge, Oxford and London, both inside and out of the M25 orbital motorway.

In March, CRO Aldevron released the GMP Spy Fi Cas9 Nuclease for clinical and commercial applications. Spy Fi Cas9 Nuclease, the trade name for Aldevron’s research-grade and GMP products, is the direct result of a partnership with Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT).

Merck KGaA received a formal notice from the US Patent and Trademark Office in February allowing Merck’s patent application directed to its proxy CRISPR technology, its first US patent for CRISPR and 13th such patent worldwide.

In March, Merck KGaA announced that the Canadian Patent Office has allowed its patent application directed to the use of paired CRISPR nickases in eukaryotic cells. This is Merck’s second CRISPR patent in the country.

In February, Cell Mogrify announced a second close on its seed funding, bringing the total raised to $3.7 million, and appointed Darrin M Disley, PhD, DSc, OBE, as CEO. The company will use the funding to market novel intellectual property and cell types generated using its proprietary direct cellular conversion platform for the development and manufacture of cell therapies.

Phase Genomics, a supplier of proximity ligation-based genomic solutions, received in February a year-long grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop an improved computational method for extracting genomic information from complex microbiome samples. The new tool will help researchers discover new microbes and understand how microbial strains are passed between mothers and infants.

 

Product Introductions

In January, Twist Bioscience expanded its product portfolio to offer genes up to 5 kb in length at a price of $0.15 per base pair with a turnaround time between 15 and 25 days. Twist Bioscience is also making its Application Programming Interface (Twist API or TAPI) available to all customers ordering genes.

ArcticZymes launched in March the T4 DNA Ligase. T4 DNA Ligase catalyzes the formation of phosphodiester bonds between juxtaposed 5’ phosphate and 3’ hydroxyl termini in duplex DNA or RNA.

Cell-based Analysis

Company Announcements

In February, Lonza and AllCells entered into a private label partnership for the manufacture and commercialization of an extensive range of hematopoietic primary cells. Under the new agreement, the entire AllCells research portfolio of products will bear the Lonza branding.

Stem cell research company REPROCELL signed a non-exclusive distributorship agreement in February with RUITAI Biotechnology (Shanghai) for China.

In February, Transomic Technologies placed its CRISPR whole-genome arrayed library at McGill University, supported by the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre.

RoosterBio which supplies off-the-shelf cell banks and bioprocess media products, announced in February a planned expansion in Frederick, Maryland, with 14,000 ft2 (4,267 m2) designed to accommodate scale up of mesenchymal cell manufacturing and R&D. In January, the company grew to more than 40 employees and plans to double again in the next 18–24 months. RoosterBio serves more than 200 customers in 18 countries.

In February, StemoniX, maker of the microOrgan platform, secured $14.4 million in Series B funding, led by Brightstone.

In March, Beam Therapeutics, a developer of next generation CRISPR technologies, completed a $135 million Series B financing.

 

Product Introductions

Cell culture media manufacturer FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific introduced in March the IS Sf Insect medium, formulated for scalability for the consistent growth and yields of proteins, viral vectors and viral-like particles using baculovirus expression systems, in Sf9 and Sf21 cells.

In March, Miltenyi Biotec debuted the REAlease Releasable Antibodies based on the REAlease Fluorochrome Technology that allows for the removal of antibodies after cell sorting in just one step. Sorted cells are label free.

Hello Bio launched in March the water-soluble and highly potent hM3Dq and hM4Di ligands studying GPCR and DREADD (designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs) signaling. Hello Bio was granted a license from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, both institutes of the NIH, as well as Johns Hopkins University to make the products commercially available.

In March, Promega released a new Water-Glo System for monitoring microbial contamination in freshwater, process water, seawater or wastewater samples using bioluminescent technology to measure adenosine triphosphate. The reagent is stable for 6 months at 4°C or 2 weeks at room temperature, and can measure up to 96 samples at once using the large-format option.

 

Protein Based Analysis

Company Announcements

In January, AI firm Bioz partnered with RayBiotech, a provider of planar cytokines. Bioz enables access real-world validated use cases coming directly from scientific articles.

In February, ABclonal Technology, a provider of biology research reagents and services, and BenchSci, a life science machine learning company, entered into a partnership. Using machine learning, BenchSci will identify published data for ABclonal’s products in open- and closed-access research papers, and display vendor-provided validation figures to allow scientists to find the right antibody that fits their experimental context, irrespective of the number of citations.

Cellaria, which develops new models for cancer and other diseases, named Rockland Immunochemicals, a life science supplier and manufacturer that specializes in antibodies and antibody-based tools for research applications and assay development, a distributor of its in vitro disease models and cell culture media.

In February, Abcam announced its move to new global headquarters, Discovery Drive, on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, UK.

Abcam and CRO Visikol announced a collaboration in March to develop new reagents and kits for improved tissue clearing and 3D imaging.

In March, Sona Nanotech, which manufactures rod-shaped gold nanoparticles, announced a collaboration with diagnostics solutions provider Romer Labs to improve the performance in Romer Labs’ lateral flow assay-based RapidChek SELECT pathogen test kits.

 

Product Introductions

In February, Bio-Rad Laboratories released a range of recombinant monoclonal anti-idiotypic antibodies that inhibit the binding of eculizumab (Soliris) to its target, complement C5 protein.

In March, CDI Laboratories announced that ~2,000 new recombinant proteins have been added to its HuProt human proteome microarray. The HuProt v4.0 array now contains over 21,000 human proteins and protein isoforms.

Neogen introduced in March the sandwich ELISA-based Reveal 3-D for Coconut Allergen, which screens environmental and liquid samples at 1 ppm in only 5 minutes, providing results in the range of 1–25 ppm for testing food and beverage samples.

 

Sales and Orders of Note

IMMUNOPRECISE ANTIBODIES (IPA) announced in Feburary a five-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity subcontract from Leidos Biomedical Research, which currently operates the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research for the National Cancer Institute. Under the subcontract, IPA will discover and produce rabbit monoclonal antibodies using its proprietary B-Cell Select platform. The rabbit monoclonal antibodies will be used in the key applications of immunohistochemistry and immuno-Multiple Reaction Monitoring.

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