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Amersham Biosciences Sells 21 MegaBACE 4000s to JGI

NEW YORK, Oct. 23 - Amersham Biosciences said on Tuesday that the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute has bought 21 of its MegaBACE 4000 DNA analysis system.

The new ultra high-throughput systems are intended to augment JGI's current sequencing operations, which are built on the MegaBACE platform, according to the company. Installation has already begun, the company added.

Amersham Biosciences, a unit of UK-based Amersham, would not say how much the JGI paid for the 21 modules. Each unit has a list price of $450,000, according to an Amersham Biosciences spokeswoman.

According to the Piscataway, NJ-based company, the MegaBACE 4000, which will be unveiled at the 13th annual Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference in San Diego this week, builds upon the MegaBACE 100+00 system. The new model, which uses the Sequence Analyser v3.0 software kit, “incorporates improvements in optics, data collection, and overall data management,” the company said.

Last week, Amersham changed the names of both of its businesses : Amersham Biosciences, Amersham’s life-sciences unit, was formerly known as Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, and Amersham Health, the group’s medical diagnostics and therapy business, was formerly called Nycomed Amersham Imaging.