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GE Healthcare, Bio-Rad Laboratories and BioSource International, South Korea, Qiagen and National Cancer Institute, Agilent Technologies and Rosetta Biosoftware, and Affymetrix

GE to Provide Indian Medical Center with Research, Diagnostic Tools

GE Healthcare will provide certain of its research and diagnostic tools to a large hospital and research center on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, according to reports last week from various media outlets.

GE "is not investing in cash" in the hospital, called Medicity, Jeffery Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE Worldwide, said in a statement to reporters attending the signing of the agreement, according to the India-based Business Standard. "We will provide the world-class technology for high-end diagnostic tools, clinical research and development and eco-friendly solutions."

Immelt said GE has not ruled out an equity partnership in Medicity, according to the online newswire.

GE officials were not able to respond by press time to a request for comments from BioCommerce Week.

The announcement of GE's participation in the medical center was part of Immelt's visit to India last week, where he said the firm was considering expanding operations in the aviation, health, and power industries. According to the Associated Press, Immelt said, "It's a market that will drive [GE's] growth in a long period of time. The exciting growth is now in the developing world; in India, China, South America, and the Middle East."

In addition to research tools, the memorandum of understanding GE signed with Medicity will reportedly provide the project with utility services, such as power generation and distribution and lighting and water treatment.

Medicity, based in Guragon, is planned to be a 43-acre, 1,800-bed hospital and research center that will cost approximately $250 million. The project is slated for completion in 2007.

Bio-Rad Acquisition Target BioSource Receives Nasdaq Delisting Notice

BioSource International, which last month rejected an offer to be acquired by Bio-Rad Laboratories, said last week that it had received a notice from the Nasdaq indicating that the company is not in compliance with the stock exchange's requirements for continued listing of its shares.

According to BioSource, the reason for the non-compliance is its failure to file a first-quarter financial report in a timely manner. The company said that its failure to do so is related to discussions with external auditors regarding "possible changes to its long-standing accounting policy of reserving for 100 percent of the costs of manufactured antibody inventory."

BioSource said that, in light of these discussions, it plans to restate its financial results for the three years ended Dec. 31, 2004. The company added that a change in its accounting policy is not expected to have any material impact on its previously reported cash flows, and that it expects a net increase in stockholders' equity at Dec. 31, 2004.

The company said that the notice from the Nasdaq indicated its stock would be delisted if a financial report were not filed by June 3. This delisting date has been postponed pending a hearing with the Nasdaq to appeal the ruling, BioSource said.

In early April, BioSource rebuffed Bio-Rad's unsolicited $82 million acquisition offer. Bio-Rad followed that rejection by buying more shares of BioSource on the market, increasing its ownership in the reagents company to 6.8 percent from 5 percent (see BioCommerce Week 4/21/2005).

South Korea Sets Aside $100 Million for Genome Research Project

A total of 100 billion won ($100 million) will be invested over the next five years into a South Korean genome research project that aims to find cures for 10 major diseases, including cancer, the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare said last week.

According to an article in The Korea Times, the Korean National Genome Research Institute and the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention initiated a project in 2000 to establish a SNP database related to Koreans and some 1,000 diseases. Eighty-four billion won have already been spent on the project since 2000.

With the data that has been compiled so far and the additional investment, the Korean government plans to develop remedies tailored to individual patients, Korean health officials said.

Qiagen, NCI to Develop siRNAs for Cancer Research

Qiagen and the National Cancer Institute will co-develop and validate a set of siRNAs for cancer genes for use by NCI researchers, Qiagen said this week.

The validated siRNA set will be made available to the general research community following the characterization project, Qiagen said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Agilent, Rosetta to Integrate Gene Expression Analysis Software

Agilent Technologies and Rosetta Biosoftware are integrating the Rosetta Resolver and Agilent GeneSpring software packages for gene expression analysis.

The integration is being facilitated by the Resolver Software Development Kit, the companies said. Further details were not disclosed.

Agilent is the exclusive distributor of the Rosetta's gene expression analysis software.

Affy to Acquire ParAllele for $120 Million in Stock

Affymetrix said this week that it plans to acquire privately held ParAllele BioScience for approximately $120 million in stock.

The acquisition, which will marry ParAllele's genotyping assays and Affy's GeneChip platform, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2005.

"The potential for ParAllele's technology goes far beyond genotyping," said Stephen Fodor, CEO of Affymetrix, in a statement. "We will combine both companies' technologies to accelerate discovery and product development in a wide variety of areas, from basic research to the clinic."

The acquisition grew out of a long-standing collaboration between the two firms. In 2003, Affy began providing its GeneChip platform for use with ParAllele's genotyping assays, which are based on its Molecular Inversion Probe technology — a process that enables up to tens of thousands of reactions to be multiplexed in a single tube.

Last year, Affy and ParAllele extended the collaboration into a distribution partnership under which ParAllele agreed to design assays for Affymetrix to market for use with the GeneChip platform.

Earlier this year, ParAllele announced plans to partner with Eli Lilly and Genaissance to design and market its upcoming MegAllele DME-T assay panel, which will run on Affy's platform and will test around 160 genes that are involved in drug metabolism and transport pathways.

Affymetrix said it expects the acquisition of ParAllele to be "financially neutral" to its operating results in 2006 and accretive to net income in 2007.

The company expects to incur a merger-related charge of around $15 million in fiscal 2005 for in-process R&D, as well as operational charges in the range of $4 million to $7 million. These operational charges include non-cash amortization of about $2 million.


The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.