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Affymetrix, GeneFrontier, Graffinity, US Centers for Disease Control, CombiMatrix


Affymetrix Updates First Quarter Guidance

Affymetrix last week issued a guidance statement warning of lower net income and product revenues for the first quarter of 2003, in advance of its quarterly financial report on April 23.

Greg Schiffman, the CFO of Affymetrix, in a statement said global economic weakness and cautious capital spending in academic and biotech sectors would cause the company to lower its projections. The com- pany said product and related revenue for the first quarter would be about $60-$62 million, compared to previous projections of $71-$73 million.

The company noted that array revenue growth from the academic sector remained strong.


GeneFrontier Launches, Provides Microarray Services in Japan

ITX and Infocom of Tokyo announced the creation of GeneFrontier, a genomic services provider to the drug research and development industry.

The company will initially conduct gene expression analysis using microarray services provided by NimbleGen Systems of Madison, Wisc. Additionally, the comp- any will also serve as exclusive distributor of NimbleGen services in Japan. The company said it expects to begin offering its services in the third quarter of this year.

ITX joins BML of Tokyo, a clinical testing company, and Infocom, a bioinformatics firm, in financially backing the GeneFrontier. Additionally, GeneFrontier made an equity investment in NimbleGen.


Graffinity, Serono Collaborate on Research

Graffinity Pharmaceuticals of Heidelberg, Germany, and Serono announced a research collaboration to dev-elop therapeutics.

Serono will provide five target proteins on which Graffinity will perform microarray-based analysis.

Serono will retain an option for full ownership of any lead structures generated by Graffinity, which will have an option on those Serono does not select. Graffinity will also receive fees based on milestones and royalties on any products commercialized by Serono.


US CDC Interested in Microarrays

Brian Mahy of the the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta told BioArray News last week that he sees a bright future for microarrays in the research efforts of the agency.

“I’m a great proponent of microarrays,” Mahy said. “I think how we use [them] is a question of getting optimal size. I think 70 mers is the best size for binding as we get more sequencing of agents, and what it can sort out.”

Mahy said protein microarrays are also of interest. Currently, the agency uses immunofluorescence and serological assays.

Mahy is a senior researcher who has been involved in the SARS research efforts by the agency. As reported in April 4, 2003 edition of BioArray News, the CDC turned to Joe DeRisi of the University of California, San Francisco, to help identify the virus thought to be behind the SARS contagion that is mystifying health authorities globally. DeRisi matched samples provided by the CDC with coronavirus probes on his Virochip microarray. His efforts helped the center confirm its hypothesis that the coronavirus was involved in the disease that has killed more than 70 people and has slowed business in Hong Kong and around the world.


CombiMatrix Sells Synthesizer to Nihon

CombiMatrix, a subsidiary of Acacia Research, said it sold a DNA Microarray Synthesizer to Nihon Gene Research Laboratory in Sendai, Japan.

NGRL plans to use the synthesizer as part of a custom microarray production and analysis service for the Japanese research and drug discovery market.

CombiMatrix and NGRL have also entered a co-development and research agreement to “investigate various aspects of genetic analysis.”

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.