NEW YORK, July 30 – Microbial genomics company Microcide Pharmaceuticals said Monday it had signed an agreement to acquire Althexis in an effort to step-up its drug discovery capabilities.

Microcide of Mountain View, Calif., and Althexis of Waltham, Mass., also announced that the combined company would receive $60 million in a private round of financing. Prospect Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Schroder Ventures are particpating in the placement.

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The Associated Press reports that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is beefing up sequencing as a tool to investigate foodborne illnesses.

Researchers have sequenced samples from ancient toilets to study past eating habits and health, NPR reports.

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