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Kreatech Biotechnology, GE Healthcare, Pharma, Beckman Coulter, US Senate

Kreatech to Use GE Healthcare
Dyes in Microarray Labeling Kits

Kreatech Biotechnology said this week that it has signed an agreement allowing it to use GE Healthcare's fluorescent dye technology in DNA microarray-labeling kits.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kreatech gains global rights for the use of Cy3 and Cy5 dyes in fluorescent applications within the life sciences market, Kreatech said. The company will use the technology to develop and manufacture microarray-labeling kits for amplified RNA labeling and genomic DNA labeling.

Kreatech said the technology enables direct DNA labeling, negating the need for modified nucleotides.

Pharma Increased 2004
R&D Spending 12 Percent

Member companies of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America collectively spent $38.8 billion on R&D last year in their drug-discovery and -development efforts, the organization said last week.

The $38.8 billion in R&D represents a 12-percent increase over the $34.5 billion the companies collectively spent on R&D in 2003, and tops a steady increase in R&D over more than two decades, the organization said. In 1980, PhRMA spent $2 billion on R&D.

In terms of R&D spending by location, PhRMA member companies spent $30.6 billion, or 18 percent of domestic sales, on R&D within the United States, and an estimated $8.2 billion on R&D abroad.

Beckman Coulter 'Officially' Launches
Imaging Cytometer for HT Cellular Assays

Beckman Coulter last week launched its first major product into the image-based cellular analysis market, the Cell Lab IC 100 Image Cytometer.

The IC 100 has been on the market since at least December, when Beckman Coulter was displaying the final version of the instrument at the American Society for Cell Biology Meeting in Washington, DC, BioCommerce Week's sister publication, Inside Bioassays, reported.

Mark Cheetham, Beckman's North American product manager for cytometry products, told the publication in December that the list price for the basic instrument is approximately $260,000.

The IC 100 is currently available only in North America, Beckman Coulter said.

US Senate Approves Genetic
Non-discrimination Bill — Again

The Genetic Non-discrimination bill, which aims at providing a set of protections against discrimination on the basis of genetic information, has been approved by the US Senate and is currently being evaluated by the US House of Representatives.

If approved by the House and later by President Bush, the bill may help drive genomic research and, by extension, the application of pharmacogenomics technologies.

In 2003, the Senate passed a similar bill, but the House never brought the legislation to a vote before the full house, according to The Associated Press.

More information about the Genetic Non-discrimination bill is available here. An updated version of the bill, called the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2005, has been proposed by the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. More information on the act is available here.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.