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OGT Gears Up to Launch New ChIP-on-Chip Line

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Oxford Gene Technology next year plans to expand significantly its prokaryotic ChIP-on-chip line, to continue developing a syndrome array for array CGH applications, and to develop relationships with Japanese partners with an eye toward bringing its chips to European and North American markets, according to a company official.

Yet as OGT focuses on new projects, it has decided to end the internal development of its mass spectrometry-based Tridend business unit.

OGT CEO Mike Evans says that the company is now primarily focused on three core areas: growing its chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-on-chip portfolio, developing a comparative genomic hybridization-based diagnostic for genetic syndromes, and building its licensing business in new markets.

“OGT is going to double its [ChIP-on-chip] offering in the next couple of months,” Evans says. “We see this as an interesting market for both academic research and pharmaceutical discovery.”

OGT currently offers five prokaryote species arrays through its Chip2 product line. The company launched the first, an E. coli K12 ChIP-on-chip microarray, in May. Four more arrays for Escherichia coli 0157, Salmonella typhimurium LT2, Salmonella typhimurium SL1344, and Streptomyces coelicolor were launched in September.

Evans says that four more Chip2 arrays are planned, including products for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Neisseria species, Campylobacter jejuni, and Staphylococcus.

Another array in development is OGT’s CGH chip for diagnosing patients with well-characterized genetic diseases. The unnamed chip was co-developed with input from researchers at the Oxford Genetics Knowledge Park, a UK government-funded think tank, and other UK research institutes. OGT began alpha testing the chip this past summer.

— Justin Petrone

 

SHORT READS

Genetix announced that it has sold one of its microarrayers dedicated to the production of protein arrays into the lab of Jonathan Blackburn at the Center for Proteomic and Genomic Research in Cape Town. Blackburn develops surfaces and affinity tags for immobilizing proteins without impairing function.  

A new biotech hub is being built in Puerto Rico that will be a joint venture between the commonwealth, the US National Institutes of Health, and the University of Puerto Rico. In addition to genomics, the facility will also focus on nanotechnology, biology, molecular neurosciences, and infectious disease prevention.  

Affymetrix has penned a five-year gene expression collaboration with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Australia. Under the agreement, Peter Mac researcher will use Affy’s GeneChip technology for translational research projects.  

Expression Analysis has adopted NuGen Technologies’ Ovation product line for amplifying, fragmenting, and labeling RNA samples for GENeChip array analysis. The company says that it will continue to evaluate the Ovation system for use with whole blood samples.  

Arrayjet announced that it has sold an Aj120 inkjet microarray spotter to the ARK-Genomics facility at the Roslin Institute. The ARK-Genomics Center for Functional Genomics in Farm Animals will use the spotter as part of its microarray services.

 

PATENT WATCH

US Patent 7,112,305. Automation-optimized microarray package. Inventors: John McEntee, Jay Bass, and Roy Kanemoto. Assignee: Agilent. Issued: September 26, 2006. This patent covers a method and system for economically packaging microarrays into sealed reaction chambers and storage vessels. One embodiment of the invention is a linear sequence of tightly sealed microreaction chambers that each contained a so-called microarray strip. The strip includes mechanical or optical features that allow it to be translated and positioned within various automated electromechanical systems.

 

US Patent 7,108,976. Complexity management of genomic DNA by locus specific amplification. Inventors: Keith Jones, Michael Shapero, and Weiwei Liu. Assignee: Affymetrix. Issued: September 19, 2006. The patent claims methods and kits for reducing the complexity of a nucleic acid sample to interrogate a collection of target sequences. According to the patent’s abstract, this is accomplished by extension of a locus-specific capture probe followed by amplification of the extended capture probe using common primers. The locus-specific capture probes may be attached to a solid support and multiple DNA sequences may be amplified simultaneously to produce a reduced-complexity sample.

 

DATAPOINT

$400,000

Amount awarded to BioForce Nanosciences by the National Human Genome Research Institute to support development of the company’s Nano eNabler benchtop molecular printing system.

The Scan

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