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Invitrogen, ABI, Agencourt, Global Genographic, Beckman Coulter, Artel Tech, Daiichi Pure Chemicals, Toshiba, Toshiba Hokuto Electronics

Invitrogen Becomes First Shop to Sign On to Crucell's PER.C6 Vendor Network

Dutch biotech Crucell and DSM Biologics said this week that Invitrogen will become the first company to enter the partnership's licensing business, Vendor Network, for monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins.

Invitrogen currently uses the Network's PER.C6 technology through its PD-Direct clone-generation services. As part of the deal, Invitrogen "will continue to develop and optimize clone generation solutions specifically tailored to the PER.C6 human cell line," Crucell and DSM said in a statement.

The firms created the Vendor Network to develop and provide tools and services specifically tailored to PER.C6. It will comprise tool and service providers that offer, among other things, PER.C6 clone-generation programs, media, bioreactor and other production equipment and devices, and process development services.

As a participating vendor, Invitrogen "will ensure ongoing innovation of unique processes and products that enhance the performance of the PER.C6 technology platform" and use its marketing and sales forces "to offer PER.C6-related goods and services, thereby increasing the exposure of the PER.C6 brand worldwide."

Invitrogen to Help HUPO Design Proteomics Standards, Education Initiatives

Invitrogen will help the Human Proteome Organization devise proteomic education initiatives, develop product advancements, and standardize research protocols, the groups said this week.

Terms of the deal call for Invitrogen and HUPO to work with proteomic laboratories to foster industry standards to enable large-scale data generation and analysis.

These standards will be disseminated through HUPO's Education and Training Initiative, which offers programs to promote expertise in all areas of proteomics including sample preparation, protein separation, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and experimental design.

"This is a great opportunity for HUPO and all its members to acquire and set standards that will become applicable world-wide," HUPO President John Bergeron said in a statement. "This standardization effort, which is one of several that HUPO is spearheading, is a major part of our organization's mission, and will act as a major impetus to the implementation of worldwide proteomic standards."

Invitrogen offers a number of products for proteomic applications. The company sells its Zoom Benchtop fractionation and electrophoresis products, its Silac mass spectrometry reagents, as well as its ProtoArray protein microarrays, to those working in the area.

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

ABI Completes Acquisition of Agencourt Personal Genomics

Applied Biosystems said this week that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Agencourt Personal Genomics for approximately $120 million in cash.

Applied Biosystems announced its plans to acquire Agencourt in May (see BioCommerce Week 5/31/2006). As part of the deal, Beckman Coulter has sold its minority interest in APG to ABI for approximately $50 million in cash. Beckman acquired a 49-percent stake in APG as part of its May 2005 acquisition of Agencourt Biosciences.

ABI said that the APG R&D team will continue to be based in Beverly, Mass., and will join ABI's Molecular and Cell Biology division, based in Foster City, Calif.

ABI to Supply DNA Analysis Technology, Service to Global Genographic Project

Applied Biosystems said this week that it has signed a multi-year agreement to supply laboratory research equipment and services to the Genographic Project, a research partnership between the National Geographic Society and IBM to map the history of human migration.

ABI said in a statement that its technology will be used to "aid in the generation of one of the world's largest databases of information about the sources of humankind's diversity."

Specifically, ABI said that it will supply DNA analysis technology and related services to each of the ten participating global research centers involved in the Genographic Project. The DNA analysis technology will include the 3100 and 3130xl Genetic Analyzers; GeneAmp PCR System 9700; 7300 Real-Time PCR System; 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System; 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System; and GeneMapper ID Software, ABI said.

Researchers at the centers will use Applied Biosystems technology to analyze DNA samples from more than 100,000 people from indigenous and traditional populations around the globe to identify and analyze key genetic markers that have remained relatively unaltered over hundreds of generations.

Member laboratories of the Genographic Project are located at the University of Pennsylvania in the US; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil; Institut Pasteur in France; Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain; American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon; Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; La Trobe University and the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, both in Australia; Fudan University in China; Madurai Kamaraj University in India; National Health Laboratory Service in South Africa.

The North American Regional Center for the Genographic Project at UPenn will be the first to receive dedicated ABI equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Members of the general public can take part in the project by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and submitting their own cheek swab sample, enabling them to track the overall progress of the project as well as learn their own migratory history. Data from the Genographic Project eventually will be made public in a form that does not reveal the identity of participants, ABI said.

Global field science for the project is supported by the Waitt Family Foundation.

Beckman Coulter to Use Artel Tech for Quality Control

Artel said this week that Beckman Coulter has adopted the Artel Multichannel Verification System to verify the accuracy and precision of Beckman's automated liquid handling systems used in pharmaceutical and clinical laboratories.

As part of Beckman Coulter's Field Service Operational Qualification Program, an option available to the company's Biomek customers, the MVS provides documentation about system performance, helping laboratories meet compliance and regulatory requirements, Westbrook, Maine-based Artel said.

The MVS is based on proprietary ratiometric photometry technology, which measures light absorption by two specially formulated dyes in order to verify volume, making it especially effective at low volumes, Artel said. The MVS can be applied to Beckman's full portfolio of Biomek Liquid Handlers, ranging from one to 384 channels.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Japanese Partners to Develop Array-Based IVD

Daiichi Pure Chemicals, Toshiba, and Toshiba Hokuto Electronics plan to co-develop microarray-based in vitro diagnostic systems and chips, the companies said this week.

Under the agreement, the companies will first develop an IVD for human papilloma virus.

Daiichi Pure Chemicals and Toshiba have collaborated on the system since January 2004.

Toshiba Hokuto Electronics has supported development and prototype production and will take responsibility for manufacturing the commercialized chip and detection system.

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.