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Lynx Announces Gene Expression Analysis Deal with AstraZeneca

NEW YORK, April 4  -Two weeks after penning a SNP collaboration with AstraZeneca, Lynx Therapeutics has agreed to perform gene expression assays for the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant using its MegaSort gene expression detection technology, Lynx said Wednesday.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will provide Lynx with tissue samples to analyze for differential gene expression patterns, and will make undisclosed milestone payments to Lynx. The parties did not disclose further terms of the agreement.

"We are looking forward to a successful collaboration using Lynx technology to enhance our capability to identify changes in gene expression profiles in different tissues and disease states, John Stageman, AstraZeneca’s vice president of global enabling science and technology, said in a statement. “Such information now plays a key role in drug discovery." 

Lynx's foundation technology, Megaclone, uses microbeads to sort millions of DNA molecules according to sequence. Each different molecule binds to a microbead, with each bead able to hold up to 100,000 identical molecules. Fluorescent tags on each bead indicate how much of a particular DNA molecule is on the bead.   

Megasort uses Megaclone to extract genes from two samples and compares their expression levels in a single assay. One probe from each sample is hybridized with a population of megaclone microbeads that have copies of DNA fragments or genes from each sample. The relative fluorescence of different beads indicates differences in expression. 

In addition to its collaborations with AstraZeneca, Lynx has recently signed technology partnerships with UroGene, Celera, and five academic development partners, including researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, at Dallas; the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Mechanisms in Disease at the University of Cambridge; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and the New York State Department of Health and Columbia University.  
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