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Agilent, Biomedino and Waters, GE Healthcare, and Agilent Technologies, Thermo Electron and Kendro Laboratory Products, NIH, Invitrogen, and PerkinElmer

Agilent Unveils ‘Shared’ Microarray Design Program

Agilent this week introduced a microarray design program that allows researchers to share custom microarray designs, but still maintain control of their intellectual property.

The first organisms made available through the program are C. elegans and Magnaporthe grisea, a fungus that causes rice blast disease.

The new program will allow researchers to share their custom microarray designs either with designated groups while maintaining control of their intellectual property, or with the scientific community at large.

The firm said that the program would particularly benefit scientists in consortia working collaboratively on specific organisms.

Biomedino Sues Waters, GE Healthcare, Agilent Over Drug Immunoassay Technology

Seattle-based Biomedino has sued Waters, GE Healthcare, and Agilent Technologies for allegedly infringing its immunoassay technology for measuring psychoactive drugs.

In a suit filed on Jan. 7 in the Seattle division of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, Biomedino claimed that Waters, GE Healthcare, and Agilent infringe its US patent No. 6,602,502, entitled “Methods and devices for removing species.”

The patent, granted to Meir Strahilevitz in August 2003 and licensed to Biomedino, covers immunoassays of psychoactive drugs and treatment methods, based on the antigenic properties of protein conjugates of these drugs.

In its complaint, Biomedino said that several chromatography-based separations systems made by the three companies infringe its patents. The company is seeking damages from all three, “which in no event can be less than a reasonable royalty.”

Thermo Electron to Buy Lab-Equipment Company Kendro for $835.5M

Thermo Electron plans to acquire Kendro Laboratory Products for $833.5 million in cash, the company said as Biocommerce Week was going to press on Wednesday.

Thermo said it will use a recently obtained $600 million credit facility to help pay for the deal. It was not immediately clear how the company would fund the balance of the acquisition.

A business unit of SPX Corporation, Kendro designs, manufactures, markets, and services a range of laboratory equipment for sample preparation, processing, and storage used in drug discovery and clinical laboratories.

The company, headquartered in Asheville, NC and employs more than 1,600 people, made $375 million in sales in 2004. Kendro has manufacturing and design facilities in the United States and Germany, and direct sales, service and support operations throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.

Kendro makes a line of centrifuges that cover applications such as DNA separation, and sells thermal equipment such as ovens, incubators, freezers, and refrigerators for research and industrial applications.

NIH Earmarks $1M to Encourage Translational Research Skills

The National Institutes of Health issued last week a request for applications for projects designed to support “the career development of translational researchers in genomics.”

According to the NIH, it will award three-, four-, and five-year grants of between $150,000 and $230,000 to “clinicians who propose an integrated clinical research and bench research project that applies genomics and proteomics tools to the study of human patients whose disease has a genetic component.” This includes “the application of increasing knowledge of the genome and the proteome to the development and implementation of novel therapeutic strategies as applied to genetic diseases and complex diseases with a genetic component,” the NIH said.

According to the NIH, the funding will be awarded under the institute’s K23 mechanism, which “requires an integrated clinical-laboratory research project that directly involves patients affected by the disease being studied so that awardees can develop skills in both clinical research and basic science; [and] emphasizes career development and a research program that focuses on developing effective therapeutic interventions.” Additionally, this mechanism “requires significant utilization of genomic and proteomic tools and technologies in the research project,” the NIH said.

Invitrogen Sued by Former Employee For Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination

A former employee of Invitrogen has filed against the company for alleged sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and creating a “hostile work environment,” according to legal documents obtained by BioCommerce Week’s sister publication, GenomeWeb News.

In the suit, Danielle Morais, formerly a sales representative for Invitrogen, claims that sometime before 2003 an employee of a company to which she sells Invitrogen products had harassed her, including making late-night phone calls and stalking, after Morais declined “a number” of requests by this employee to see him socially.

Morais, whom Invitrogen fired on Sept. 20, 2004, claims in her suit that Invitrogen failed to help her deal with the alleged harassment, and that she began to be treated differently at work and was discriminated against after she had notified Invitrogen of her experiences. The suit states that Invitrogen said the firing was a “business decision” prompted by Morais’ decreasing sales, and not a “personal” decision.

The suit claims that Morais was fired because Invitrogen “retaliated” against “her opposition to unlawful employment tactics.”

The case, filed in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York on Dec. 22, seeks “injunctive relief” and compensatory and punitive damages.

PerkinElmer Expands Availability of Radionucleotides

PerkinElmer today announced a new program, called “Always Fresh,” under which it will manufacture its NEN 32P and 33P radionucleotides twice as often as it currently does.

According to the firm, fresh lots of the 32P radionucleotides will be available twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Fresh lots of 33P radionucleotides will be available every Friday.

PerkinElmer manufactures and ships its radiochemicals worldwide from its facility in Boston.


The Scan

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

TB Resistance Insights Gleaned From Genome Sequence, Antimicrobial Response Assays

Researchers in PLOS Biology explore M. tuberculosis resistance with a combination of sequencing and assays looking at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 drugs.

Mendelian Disease Genes Prioritized Using Tissue-Specific Expression Clues

Mendelian gene candidates could be flagged for further functional analyses based on tissue-specific transcriptome and proteome profiles, a new Journal of Human Genetics paper says.

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.