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Beckman Coulter, Digene, Applied Biosystems, BD Biosciences, StemCell Technologies, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Agilent Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Illumina, Integragen, Clinical Data’s Cogenics

Court Dismisses Beckman Coulter From Digene HPV Suit
Digene said that a federal court last week dismissed Beckman Coulter from a patent-infringement suit filed against it by Digene.
Digene sued Beckman and Ventana Medical Systems in 2005 for allegedly infringing patents related to the company’s human papillomavirus materials and intellectual property.
Digene said it will continue its litigation against Ventana.
Beckman Coulter and Digene agreed through arbitration in 2006 that Beckman’s sale of certain HPV-related patent rights to Ventana was “impermissible,” Digene CEO Daryl Faulkner said in a statement.
The court affirmed the decision of the arbitration panel, the Dispute Resolution of the American Arbitration Association, which found that Beckman Coulter violated a cross-license agreement between Digene and the Institut Pasteur by selling its HPV intellectual property to Ventana.
The panel also ruled that Beckman Coulter was allowed to assign HPV licenses it had received previously from Pasteur.
“With this motion behind us, we expect to continue our efforts to defend our intellectual property rights,” Faulkner said.
Earlier this month, Qiagen said that it would acquire Digene in a cash and stock deal worth $1.6 billion (see BioCommerce Week 6/6/2007).

ABI Opens Application Support Center in Foster City
Applied Biosystems has opened an application support center at its research and development headquarters in Foster City, Calif., the company said this week.
The 10,000-square-foot facility will showcase the company’s instrumentation and software and will offer training courses and applications support for its life-science customers.
The center houses ABI technologies for DNA sequencing, fragment analysis, human identification, and real-time PCR applications, including ABI’s SOLiD high-throughput DNA sequencing system. It includes a fully staffed laboratory as well as classrooms.
The company said it offers training and application support through 20 centers around the world.
"We envision this center as providing an environment for collaborating with our customers, developing new applications, and providing comprehensive training on our technologies, all in an effort to address their most difficult research challenges and ultimately to advance their science," Mark Stevenson, president for ABI’s molecular and cell biology division, said in a statement.

BD Biosciences, StemCell Technologies License WARF hESC Technology
BD Biosciences and StemCell Technologies said last week that they have entered into a worldwide license agreement with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation related to culture technology for human embryonic stem cells.
The licensing agreement also serves as a springboard for a product-development collaboration between BD and StemCell Technologies in which the companies will develop and commercialize hESC growth media and tissue culture surface products. The first product from the partnership will be launched this week at the International Society for Stem Cell Research annual meeting in Cairns, Australia, the companies said.
The IP at the core of the licensing deal is based on research conducted by stem cell pioneer James Thomson and Tenneille Ludwig at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the WiCell Research Institute, a non-profit subsidiary of WARF. According to WARF, the relevant patents are still pending.
The USPTO has published two patent applications on which Thomson and Ludwig are listed as the primary inventors: US patent application no. 20060084168, entitled “Medium and culture of embryonic stem cells;” and US patent application no. 20040224401, entitled “Physiochemical culture conditions for embryonic stem cells.”
It is unclear whether the companies are licensing one or both patents, or any additional patent applications that may not have been published yet by USPTO. Financial or other additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Further information about the collaboration was reported in this week’s issue of Biotech Transfer Week, a sister publication of BioCommerce Week.

Agilent Acquires Electronic Lab Notebook
Agilent Technologies this week said that it has acquired Klee Group’s Kalabie Electronic Laboratory Notebook product, the first such product in Agilent’s portfolio.
The ELN will initially focus on Agilent’s pharmaceutical and chemical customers, eventually branching out to other fields, such as pertrochemical, forensic, environmental, homeland security, and food and beverage markets.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Thermo Fisher Opens RNAi Lab for Contract Services, R&D
Thermo Fisher Scientific has opened an RNAi research and services lab in Lafayette, Colo., the company said this week.
The lab will offer contract RNAi screening and analysis services, including high-throughput screening, along with services and research using the company’s bioreagents, robotics, and other instrument systems, the company said.
It will also develop new therapeutic technologies involving RNAi, Thermo said.
Thermo said the lab features its Dharmacon siRNA and miRNA libraries, as well as the BioImage and Cellomics high-content screening reagents and image-analysis instruments.

Illumina Certifies Integragen as Service Provider
Integragen has received certification as a service provider for Illumina's GoldenGate and Infinium genotyping technologies, Illumina said this week.
Illumina said the GoldenGate assay is designed for DNA methylation profiling, and offers a combination of high sample throughput, high multiplexing, and single-site CpG resolution. The Infinium BeadArray is used for custom SNP assays, and offers multi-sample BeadChip formats and high-density architecture, the company said.
Integragen, based in Evry, France, has already supplied the Illumina technology to study the loss of heterozygosity in liver tumors at the Human Polymorphism Study Center in Paris, Illumina said.
Illumina said that its certification process includes minimum data generation, data certification, and an on-site audit of the labs and processes.

Cogenics Installs Luminex xMAP System in Lab
Clinical Data said this week that its Cogenics division has installed a Luminex xMAP multiplexing system in its GLP facility in Morrisville, NC.
Cogenics will offer custom genotyping assays and xMAP-based kits from third-party companies. Cogenics said the addition of the multiplexing system will advance its clinical and agricultural genotyping franchises.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.