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Innogenetics to Debut HLA Chip This Year

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Innogenetics, a Belgian diagnostics firm that offers a growing line of testing services based on a PamGene-manufactured microarray platform, is preparing to launch a test for human leukocyte antigen testing, according to a company official.

Filip Goossens, business development manager at Innogenetics, says that the company plans to introduce the HLA tissue-typing test in Europe and North America this summer.
The launch coincides with robust growth in the company’s diagnostic business. The company reported in March that 2006 revenues jumped nearly 11 percent to €53.7 million ($70.4 million), buoyed by existing diagnostics sales.

According to Goossens, Innogenetics’ new test uses its internally developed 4-MAT instrument, which is based on PamGene’s PamStation-12. “The PS12 system hardware is identical to the 4-MAT instrument, but the [in vitro diagnostic]-quality software for controlling the instrument and analyzing the test results is proprietary to Innogenetics,” Goossens says. Pamgene uses its own software for research purposes, he adds.

Goossens says that Innogenetics plans to launch the HLA tissue-typing test by summer and that the first assay will be for HLA-A, a subclass that the company believes will become a useful test doctors can prescribe for patients about to undergo kidney or bone marrow transplantation.

Innogenetics and PamGene have been partners since 2004, and last year Bertrand Jordan, a member of PamGene’s scientific advisory board, said that the HLA typing assay had a preliminary launch date of late 2006.

In June, the company affirmed its intentions to launch in the third quarter. Now Goossens says the firm is committed to getting the HLA typing test out on the market this year.

Goossens says that Innogenetics is prepared to target both the US and EU markets, adding that the tests could originally be marketed as research-use-only for sales to clinical labs, but that Innogenetics is eyeing clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration in the future.      

Justin Petrone

Short Reads

Empire Genomics and BioDiscovery announced plans to integrate and co-market products for array comparative genomic hybridization. Empire Genomics will contribute molecular karyotyping technology, while BioDiscovery brings imaging tools and software to the table.

Oxford Gene Technology will use a gene sequence from the Pichia pastoris yeast owned by Integrated Genomics to develop a new, 60-mer microarray that uses OGT’s inkjet synthesis platform.

Expression Analysis relocated to a larger lab facility in Durham, NC. The company, which uses Affymetrix microarrays to provide services for clinical trials, says the new space is triple the size of its previous lab. The extra space will allow the company to install new hardware for use in high-throughput testing using Affy’s and other platforms, including those from Illumina, Luminex, and Applied Biosystems.

Premier Biosoft will develop customized software for PamGene’s microarrays. Premier Bio says PamGene customers using its multiplex ligation-dependent probe-amplification microarray application will be able to use the software.

Last month, a jury found Illumina guilty of infringing five Affymetrix patents and said it should pay Affy $16.7 million in royalties. Illumina, which argues that the verdict didn’t take into consideration the validity or enforceability of Affy’s patents, plans to appeal.

Patents

US Patent 7,186,510. Method for evaluating uniformity of spots on an array. Inventor: Tetsushiko Yoshida. Assignee: Toagosei. Issued: March 6, 2007.

The patent covers “a method for evaluating a uniformity of spots on a DNA microarray having a plurality of spots, these spots undergoing specific emissions as a result of the hybridization of target DNA and tagged probe DNA, by examining whether patterns having periodicity are manifested in a sequence BG comprising background data obtained.”

US Patent 7,188,031. Method for acquiring information of a biochip using time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and an apparatus for acquiring information for the application thereof. Inventors: Tadashi Okamoto, Hiromitsu Takase, and Hiroyuki Hashimoto. Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha. Issued: March 6, 2007.

This patent relates to a measurement method used in “a two-dimensional image having considerably high positioning resolution-ability ... obtained by the procedure in which the pulsed primary ion beam is irradiated at a spot.”

Data Point

1,400

Geneservice will genotype more than 1,400 samples for a study conducted by the Institute of Human Genetics at Newcastle University using Affymetrix mapping arrays for the whole-genome association study on a condition related to renal failure.

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