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Invitrogen, SciQuest, Waters, ABI, Applera, Agilent, Groton, VWR International, GE Healthcare, Tessarae, Affymetrix, Whatman, Biometra

Invitrogen, SciQuest Partner on Electronic Procurement
Invitrogen and SciQuest have signed a partnership to provide an electronic procurement software platform to Invitrogen's customers, the companies said this week.
SciQuest, based in Research Triangle Park, NC, specializes in on-demand supply management and automated procurement solutions.
The partnership will enable customers to use SciQuest's software to electronically purchase products from Invitrogen along with other vendors with a single purchase order, the companies said.
Michael Stapleton, Invitrogen’s vice president of e-business and marketing, said the partnership helps create a "one-stop shop" for customers who "are under pressure to streamline their purchasing processes."
The companies also said they have signed "numerous" customers for the new offering, including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Exelixis, and Apoxis.

Waters Releases LC Software for ABI MS Compatibility; Expands YMC Pact
Waters has released control software that makes its Acquity ultra-performance liquid chromatographers compatible with Applied Biosystems’ mass spectrometers, Waters said last week. 
Waters said the new software is designed to allow scientists to operate its UPLC and ABI’s/MDS Sciex mass specs on a single data system.
By combining LC with mass spec, Waters said, “scientists are capable of obtaining much more information from a single analysis than by either technique alone.
Last August, Waters reported it had reached an agreement with ABI to develop the control system software, which is now released in connection with an updated Analyst system.
Waters also last year partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific (then Thermo Electron) and with Bruker Biosciences to integrate the Acquity system with those firms’ mass specs.
In a separate announcement this week, Waters said that it has expanded an American distribution agreement with YMC that now gives Waters rights to sell YMC’s column products worldwide.  
Waters had been YMC’s distributor for North, South and Central America and the Caribbean for three or four years, Waters spokesman Brian Murphy said, and now will sell their products globally.
YMC makes HPLC packing and columns used in liquid chromatography. Waters also said it is offering YMC’s HPLC columns application notebook, which is a database of applications for research and analysis.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Applera Declares ABI Dividend
Applera has declared a quarterly dividend of $.0425 per share for its Applied Biosystems Group common stock.
The dividend is payable on April 2 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 1.

Agilent, Groton to Co-Market Groton’s PAT
Agilent Technologies and Groton Biosystems will co-market Groton’s Process Analytic Technology to pharmaceutical companies in North America, the companies said last week.
PAT integrates Agilent’s 1200 series high-performance liquid chromatography instrument with Groton’s online sampling products and services. The tool is designed to help drug makers design, analyze, and control how raw and in-process materials are manufactured, the companies said. 
As part of the deal the firms will market the tools at trade shows, customer events, and product presentations, the companies said. 
The companies also said they expect in the “near future” to expand the agreement to Europe and Asia.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

VWR to Distribute GE Healthcare Products in North America
VWR International this week said that it will non-exclusively distribute GE Healthcare products in North America.
Through the deal, VWR will market GE Healthcare’s film, radiochemical, chromatography, nucleic acid-purification, and electrophoresis products to its customers in that region.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Tessarae to Use Affy Arrays to Develop Pathogen-Detection Kit
Affymetrix this week said that Tessarae, a maker of tests to identify infectious diseases, will use its microarrays to develop and market new epidemiological research tests for public health surveillance.  
Under the terms of the agreement, Tessarae has non-exclusive rights to Affy’s CustomSeq resequencing arrays to develop kits that will recognize viral and bacterial pathogens based on genotypic signatures.
Affy said the arrays have been tailored to detect upper respiratory pathogens from target sequences provided by the US Naval Research Laboratory. The tests will be designed for common pathogens such as those causing respiratory disease and pneumonia, as well as respiratory biothreat agents.
Tessarae’s PCR-based kits will be used by public health officials to identify pathogens during an outbreak. Affy said the TessArray RPM-Flu3.0 kits will allow physicians to simultaneously detect particular strains, substrains, and nucleotide changes.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
Tessarae started this program with a $35-million infusion from US Department of Defense. The company patented the platform in November 2006.
Tessarae plans to develop test kits for encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, and other blood-borne infections.

Whatman Settles Biometra Suit, Fires CEO
Whatman last week said that it has settled a lawsuit involving its Biometra subsidiary that will enable it to resume selling thermocyclers.
The company also said it is firing CEO Bill Emhiser immediately for “disappointing trading” last year. He will be replaced by former Innovata CEO Kieran Murphy.
The settlement has taken Biometra out of liquidation, which it had been in since 2003 as a result off the lawsuit. The business will now be “treated as a continuing operation,” Whatman said in a statement.
Gottingen, Germany-based Biometra said it has signed license agreements for its thermocyclers with Beckman Coulter, Applied Biosystems, and Roche, and that Whatman’s board will renew its efforts to “review longer term strategic options for Biometra.”
Whatman expects 2006 revenue to be around £114 million ($147.5 million), which would be a 5-percent increase over 2005, the company said. However, it had been expecting revenue to grow between 6 and 7 percent for the year.
Biometra is expected to generate £6.6 million in revenue and £1.2 million in profits in 2006.

The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.