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Abbott Molecular, Affymetrix, CombiMatrix Molecular Dx, Perlegen, Genomics Collaborative, Cybridi, DoD, Microchip Biotechnologies, Stone Bond Technologies, Sanger Institute, Caliper


Abbott Molecular Licenses Affy's CGH Microarray Patents

Affymetrix has licensed a number of patents to Abbott Molecular, a division of Abbott Laboratories, Affy said in a statement last week.

The non-exclusive agreement allows Abbott to manufacture and sell comparative genomic hybridization microarrays, readers, and software for research and diagnostics.

Affymetrix did not disclose details of the license in the statement and declined to comment on the deal. Representatives of Abbott did not return e-mails or phone calls seeking comment.

Affy recently licensed some of its array-related IP to Applied Biosystems' parent company, Applera. Shortly afterwards, Applera ended its opposition to several of Affy's patents in Europe (see BAN 3/7/2006).

CombiMatrix Molecular Dx Gets New Facility in Toronto

CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics has established a new facility in Toronto, the company, a subsidiary of CombiMatrix, said this week.

The new facility is located at the Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District, a non-profit corporation in downtown Toronto, and will be led by Mansoor Mohammed, CMDX's chief scientific officer and vice president, who is a Canadian citizen.

"Moving forward we anticipate establishing strong relationships with Canadian customers, partners, and the government," said CombiMatrix CEO Amit Kumar in a company statement.

Kumar also called the move "an easy and obvious choice for our expansion into the Canadian arena."

Perlegen Files for IPO; Seeks to Raise up to $115M

Perlegen Sciences this week filed for an initial public offering, hoping to raise up to $115 million, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Perlegen said in the IPO filing — the first from a genomics company since the height of the Human Genome Project — that it has developed two drug candidates for type II diabetes and dyslipidemia, which are in pre-phase III development. However, the company said it expects to remain in a research and development stage for the next four to five years.

Perlegen said that it has generated approximately $69 million in revenues from collaborations through Dec. 31, 2005. The company has also incurred $153.1 million in cumulative net losses since it started operating in 2001, and expects losses to continue "for the foreseeable future," according to the SEC filing.

In 2005, Perlegen had $40.5 million in total revenues. Of that, $23.3 million resulted from contract revenue, $15.8 million from research revenue, and $1.3 million from royalty revenue from Affymetrix. Perlegen's net loss in 2005 was $21.9 million.

As of Dec. 31, Perlegen had $106.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. "We believe that our existing capital resources and the net proceeds from this offering will be sufficient to enable us to maintain currently planned operations throught the next two to three years," according to the SEC filing.

The company had 105 full-time employees as of March 31.

Perlegen was incorporated in 2000 as a subsidiary of Affymetrix. Pfizer made a $50 million investment in the company in December, and Maverick Capital, CSK Ventures, and Eli Lilly also have stakes in the company (see BAN 1/3/2006).

Illumina's Earnings to Exceed Expectations in Q1;
$7M Deal with Cancer Research UK Announced

Illumina had better revenue and earnings in the first quarter than expected, the company said last week.

Illumina said it expects to exceed both its revenue and net income per share guidance for the first quarter of 2006. In February, the company said it expected between $22 million and $24 million in revenues in the first quarter (see BAN 2/7/2006).

Illumina did not disclose the updated projections, but said it will release its first-quarter earnings on April 18 after the close of market. The company later declined to provide any further detail.

Separately, Illumina said this week that it will genotype prostate cancer samples for Cancer Research UK.

Under the agreement, valued at almost $7 million, Illumina will provide genotyping services to researchers at Cancer Research UK, a non-profit research organization. Initially, Ilumina will conduct whole-genome genotyping for at least 4,000 prostate patients samples and controls. In a second phase, the company will develop a custom, 12-sample BeadChip that it will use to genotype at least 8,000 samples. Illumina will use its Sentrix BeadChips and Infinium assay for the project.

The goal is to identify potential cancer biomarkers, and to analyze chromosomal aberrations.

This is the second genotyping service agreement between the two partners in the last six months. In November, Cancer Research UK selected Illumina to provide genotyping services for colorectal cancer (see BAN 11/16/2005).

Genomics Collaborative and Cybridi to Co-Develop Breast Cancer Tissue Array

Genomics Collaborative and Cybrdi will co-develop a breast tumor tissue microarray, the companies said last week.

The arrays will be accompanied by clinical data on the molecular factors of the tissue to "establish correlations between the severity of the disease, responses to treatments, and the presence of certain biomarkers," Larry Liu, president and CEO of Cybrdi, said in the statement. "It can be expanded to other types of malignancies, including colon, lung, and brain tumors."

Genomics Collaborative, a division of SeraCare Life Science, is providing tissue from its GC Global Repository samples, which are linked to clinical, demographic, and treatment data.

"We hope to generate additional tumor-specific tissue arrays that look at the tissue's response to treatment," said Kevin Krenitsky, Genomics Collaborative senior vice president, in the statement.

DoD Grants Microchip Biotechnologies $365K SBIR Grant to Develop Handheld Biowarfare Detector

The US Department of Defense has awarded Dublin, Calif.-based Microchip Biotechnologies $365,000 to continue developing its handheld biowarfare-agent detector.

The one-year SBIR grant will help Microchip Biotechnologies pay for a prototype NanoBioSentinel platform, which conducts immunoassay and nucleic acid tests in a microfluidic chip-based format.

The grant can be renewed for a second year of identical funding.

Stone Bond Technologies and Affymetrix Integrate LIMS, Microarray Platform

Stone Bond Technologies and Affymetrix have made their respective lab information management system and microarray platform compatible with each other, Stone Bond said last week.

Stone Bond's Enterprise Enabler software suite and EE-LIMS now integrate with Affymetrix's GeneChip microarray platform. Laboratories can therefore automate sample data import and test result outflow to and from the Affymetrix GeneChip operating software using the EE-LIMS.

Sanger Institute Buys a Caliper LabChip Unit for Protein Expression Project QC

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has purchased a Caliper LabChip 90 Automated Electrophoresis System for quality control of DNA and proteins in Sanger's Atlas of Protein Expression project, Caliper said last week.

Specifically, the Sanger Institute will use the LabChip 90 system to generate quantitative sizing, concentration, and purity data for PCR products, expressed proteins, and antibodies used in immunohistochemistry experiments, Caliper said.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The goal of the Atlas of Protein Expression project is to systematically study protein expression in cells and tissues to create a database of protein-expression profiles that will be accessible to researchers worldwide.

The Scan

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Loci, Candidate Genes Identified in GWAS Meta-Analysis

A GWAS in Nature Genetics of nearly 1.4 million coronary artery disease cases and controls focused in on more than 200 candidate causal genes, including the cell motility-related myosin gene MYO9B.

Multiple Sclerosis Contributors Found in Proteome-Wide Association Study

With a combination of genome-wide association and brain proteome data, researchers in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology tracked down dozens of potential multiple sclerosis risk proteins.

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.