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Dismed, Canada s Global Healthcare Exchange, Bio-Reference Laboratories, Becton Dickinson, GE Healthcare, Sigma-Aldrich, JRH Biosciences, Brown University, NHLBI, Agilent, Amersham

Dismed Joins Canada's
Global Healthcare Exchange

Medical supplies distributor Dismed of Toronto will join the Global Healthcare Exchange, a privately held electronic trading exchange linking buyers and sellers in the healthcare market. Dismed will initially connect to GHX using WebDirect, a web-based order processing tool, but will then integrate with the GHX platform and use either standard electronic data interchange, or XML formats.

Some 285 hospitals and 40 suppliers are members of GHX in Canada. The exchange is owned in part by Becton Dickinson and others.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Bio-Reference Laboratories Inks
Alliance with Becton Dickinson

Bio-Reference Laboratories of Elmwood Park, NJ, has signed a marketing agreement with the BD Biosciences business of Becton Dickinson to develop marketing strategies for its GenFlow software, an application that allows client physicians to access flow-cytometry data over the Internet.

BD said that the companies will collaborate on the development of the product, with the goal of creating a broader partnership focusing on flow cytometry testing for oncology.

Financial details were not disclosed.

GE Healthcare to Distribute
Spectral Genomics Microarrays

Spectral Genomics of Houston has announced an exclusive agreement with GE Healthcare to distribute its BAC clone microarrays for application in comparative genomic hybridization.

GE Healthcare will distribute the microarrays outside the US and Canada while Spectral Genomics will continue to sell its products to certain clinical diagnostic customers outside North America, the company said.

Sigma-Aldrich Signs $300M Credit Facility;
Closes Acqusition of JRH Biosciences

According to an SEC filing, Sigma-Aldrich last week signed a new $300 million credit facility provided by Wells Fargo Bank, Wachovia Capital Markets, Wachovia Bank, US Bank, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and ABN Amro Bank. Under the agreement, the St. Louis-based chemical and reagents company will have access to a $150 million, three-year term loan, and a five-year, $150 million revolving credit facility, which replaces an existing $150 million short-term facility set to expire March 7.

Additionally, Sigma said it has completed of its previously announced acquisition of JRH Biosciences for $370 million.

JRH, headquartered in Lenexa, Kan., supplies cell culture and sera products to the biopharmaceutical industry. It had approximately $150 million in sales in 2004, and was expecting 10-percent growth in sales in 2005, Sigma said.

Ten months of JRH's operating results will be added to Sigma-Aldrich's 2005 performance, Sigma said.

Brown University Receives $20M Gift

Brown University this week announced an anonymous $20 million gift that will be used to expand the university's Center for Computational Molecular Biology, which supports research on human development, aging, and evolution.

The school said $16 million will support five professorships, while the remainder will go to graduate and undergraduate research and teaching programs.

NHLBI to Buy SpringCore
License from Agilent

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute intends to purchase, on a non-competitive basis, an annual license for Agilent Technologies' SpringCore gene expression analysis software, according to a recent government presolicitation notice.

The SpringCore program, which Agilent subsidiary Silicon Genetics developed for core microarray labs, includes 100 seats for company's SigNet knowledge management software, a three-year license to the GeneSpring software, a license for a GeneSpring workstation, and training.

The software will be installed at the NHLBI Bioinformatics Core Lab, according to the notice.

No financial details were provided in the notice.

Amersham Grounds Seen as Landmark

The UK Royal Society of Chemistry will place a plaque at the Grove Center, formerly Amersham Laboratories, to identify it as a historical chemical landmark, according to news reports.

The Grove Center was where much of the development of medical and industrial applications of radioactivity were carried out over the last six decades.

The center's original site, the Chilcote House, was used as a government lab during World War II to supply luminous paint for the dials of instruments for ships and aircraft. It was a government-owned facility housing Amersham until 1982, when Amersham became the first business to privatize under former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government. In April, Amersham was acquired by GE in a $10 billion deal.

The new owner approved the plaque, news reports said.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.