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Richard Lussier, Robert Bondaryk, Abdul Ally, Invitrogen, ABI, Agencourt, Global Genographic, Beckman Coulter, Artel Tech, Daiichi Pure Chemicals, Toshiba, Toshiba Hokuto Electronics


Solexa named Richard Lussier to the newly created position of vice president of sales and field operations, the company said last week.

He was president and general manager of Applied Biosystems Japan for five years and held other managerial positions in US, Japanese, and other Asian field organizations for ABI. He also managed the Asia-Pacific operations for Celera Genomics and held global field operations management positions with MJ Research, now part of Bio-Rad Laboratories, and with Fluidigm.

Lussier received his MBA from Temple University and conducted postgraduate studies in molecular biology at the University of Vermont. He received a BS in biology and chemistry from Rhode Island College.

Clinical Data said last week that it had appointed Robert Bondaryk as general manager and head of its Cogenics unit, the company said. He will report to Drew Fromkin, the company’s CEO. Bondaryk will serve as a member of the senior management team on Cogenics strategy, client development, refinement and enhancement, and will focus on guiding the unit toward profitability, the company added. Bondaryk served most recently as executive vice president and general manager of business development at Proteome Systems. Prior to that position, he served as vice president of life science and drug discovery at Fischer Scientific. Bondaryk earned a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard University, as well as an AB in biology from Bowdoin College.

Clinical Data also appointed Abdul Ally as the Cogenics unit’s vice president of laboratory operations. Ally will manage day-to-day laboratory operations, and will report to Bondaryk, the company said. Ally previously served as director of operations and development at Sigma Proligo and Sigma Genosys. Prior to that position, he served as director of engineering at Marligen Biosciences, and before that as director of R&D in engineering and senior staff scientist of the genome analysis group at Life Technologies. Ally earned an MS in molecular biology from Howard University.

BioCommerce Briefs

Invitrogen Becomes First Shop to Sign On to Crucell's PER.C6 Vendor Network

Dutch biotech Crucell and DSM Biologics said this week that Invitrogen will become the first company to enter the partnership's licensing business, Vendor Network, for monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins.

Invitrogen currently uses the Network's PER.C6 technology through its PD-Direct clone-generation services. As part of the deal, Invitrogen "will continue to develop and optimize clone generation solutions specifically tailored to the PER.C6 human cell line," Crucell and DSM said in a statement.

The firms created the Vendor Network to develop and provide tools and services specifically tailored to PER.C6. It will comprise tool and service providers that offer, among other things, PER.C6 clone-generation programs, media, bioreactor and other production equipment and devices, and process development services.

As a participating vendor, Invitrogen "will ensure ongoing innovation of unique processes and products that enhance the performance of the PER.C6 technology platform" and use its marketing and sales forces "to offer PER.C6-related goods and services, thereby increasing the exposure of the PER.C6 brand worldwide."

Invitrogen to Help HUPO Design Proteomics Standards, Education Initiatives

Invitrogen will help the Human Proteome Organization devise proteomic education initiatives, develop product advancements, and standardize research protocols, the groups said this week.

Terms of the deal call for Invitrogen and HUPO to work with proteomic laboratories to foster industry standards to enable large-scale data generation and analysis.

These standards will be disseminated through HUPO's Education and Training Initiative, which offers programs to promote expertise in all areas of proteomics including sample preparation, protein separation, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and experimental design.

"This is a great opportunity for HUPO and all its members to acquire and set standards that will become applicable world-wide," HUPO President John Bergeron said in a statement. "This standardization effort, which is one of several that HUPO is spearheading, is a major part of our organization's mission, and will act as a major impetus to the implementation of worldwide proteomic standards."

Invitrogen offers a number of products for proteomic applications. The company sells its Zoom Benchtop fractionation and electrophoresis products, its Silac mass spectrometry reagents, as well as its ProtoArray protein microarrays, to those working in the area.

Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

ABI Completes Acquisition of Agencourt Personal Genomics

Applied Biosystems said this week that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Agencourt Personal Genomics for approximately $120 million in cash.

Applied Biosystems announced its plans to acquire Agencourt in May (see BioCommerce Week 5/31/2006). As part of the deal, Beckman Coulter has sold its minority interest in APG to ABI for approximately $50 million in cash. Beckman acquired a 49-percent stake in APG as part of its May 2005 acquisition of Agencourt Biosciences.

ABI said that the APG R&D team will continue to be based in Beverly, Mass., and will join ABI's Molecular and Cell Biology division, based in Foster City, Calif.

ABI to Supply DNA Analysis Technology, Service to Global Genographic Project

Applied Biosystems said this week that it has signed a multi-year agreement to supply laboratory research equipment and services to the Genographic Project, a research partnership between the National Geographic Society and IBM to map the history of human migration.

ABI said in a statement that its technology will be used to "aid in the generation of one of the world's largest databases of information about the sources of humankind's diversity."

Specifically, ABI said that it will supply DNA analysis technology and related services to each of the ten participating global research centers involved in the Genographic Project. The DNA analysis technology will include the 3100 and 3130xl Genetic Analyzers; GeneAmp PCR System 9700; 7300 Real-Time PCR System; 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System; 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System; and GeneMapper ID Software, ABI said.

Researchers at the centers will use Applied Biosystems technology to analyze DNA samples from more than 100,000 people from indigenous and traditional populations around the globe to identify and analyze key genetic markers that have remained relatively unaltered over hundreds of generations.

Member laboratories of the Genographic Project are located at the University of Pennsylvania in the US; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil; Institut Pasteur in France; Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain; American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon; Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; La Trobe University and the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, both in Australia; Fudan University in China; Madurai Kamaraj University in India; National Health Laboratory Service in South Africa.

The North American Regional Center for the Genographic Project at UPenn will be the first to receive dedicated ABI equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Members of the general public can take part in the project by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and submitting their own cheek swab sample, enabling them to track the overall progress of the project as well as learn their own migratory history. Data from the Genographic Project eventually will be made public in a form that does not reveal the identity of participants, ABI said.

Global field science for the project is supported by the Waitt Family Foundation.

Beckman Coulter to Use Artel Tech for Quality Control

Artel said this week that Beckman Coulter has adopted the Artel Multichannel Verification System to verify the accuracy and precision of Beckman's automated liquid handling systems used in pharmaceutical and clinical laboratories.

As part of Beckman Coulter's Field Service Operational Qualification Program, an option available to the company's Biomek customers, the MVS provides documentation about system performance, helping laboratories meet compliance and regulatory requirements, Westbrook, Maine-based Artel said.

The MVS is based on proprietary ratiometric photometry technology, which measures light absorption by two specially formulated dyes in order to verify volume, making it especially effective at low volumes, Artel said. The MVS can be applied to Beckman's full portfolio of Biomek Liquid Handlers, ranging from one to 384 channels.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Japanese Partners to Develop Array-Based IVD

Daiichi Pure Chemicals, Toshiba, and Toshiba Hokuto Electronics plan to co-develop microarray-based in vitro diagnostic systems and chips, the companies said this week.

Under the agreement, the companies will first develop an IVD for human papilloma virus.

Daiichi Pure Chemicals and Toshiba have collaborated on the system since January 2004.

Toshiba Hokuto Electronics has supported development and prototype production and will take responsibility for manufacturing the commercialized chip and detection system.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.