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Affymetrix, ParAllele Bioscience, Roche, Epigenomics, TheRyte, Scottish Enterprise, European Regional Development Funds, Cornell, GenVault, Michigan Life Sciences


Affymetrix Announces ParAllele Bioscience Deal

In a three-year non-exclusive agreement announced last week, Affymetrix will supply GeneChip Tag arrays for ParAllele Bioscience of South San Francisco to use in its assay technology for SNP genotyping.

Affymetrix will supply catalog and custom-designed arrays for ParAllele to use in its commercial genotyping services. And, the two companies will enter a R&D agreement using GeneChip arrays to develop SNP assays. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ParAllele is developing a high-throughput tech-nology for genomic analysis.


Roche and Epigenomics in Cancer Diagnosis Alliance

Roche and Epigenomics last week announced a three-year collaboration to develop molecular diagnostic and pharmacogenomics cancer products.

Roche will gain access to Epigenomics’ DNA methylation methods to use in its technology platforms, including recently licensed microarray technology, the companies said.

Roche will make an upfront payment of €4 million ($4.3 million) and will provide additional R&D funding, milestone payments, and royalties on product sales.

The collaboration will concentrate on the development of diagnostic products for use in the early detection of cancers, their characterization, and prediction of treatment response to anti-cancer drugs. Epigenomics, headquartered in Berlin, will be responsible for marker discovery, identification, and pre validation.


TheRyte Lands Deal with Randox Laboratories

TheRyte, a Liverpool, UK-based cancer therapeutics research firm, signed a licensing deal with Randox Laboratories, a Northern Ireland-based clinical diagnostic test systems provider, last week, according to a report published by the Liverpool Post newspaper.

TheRyte is developing a technology capable of providing up to 100 assays on a biochip that is targeted for diagnostic applications.


Scotland To Open Optoelectron Chip Packaging R&D Center

The Scottish Enterprise and the European Regional Development Funds will provide a new £4.2 million ($6.75 million) facility for developing packing for optoelectronic chips, according to a report in the online news service, The center, located in Livingston, Scotland, and which is expected to open this summer, will also develop technologies for systems that are expected to have applications for the biochip market.


Cornell Chemical Engineering Professor Gets $1M in NY Funds

Michael Shuler, a professor of chemical engineering and director of Cornell University’s biomedical engineering program, has been awarded $1 million in New York State funding to develop a program that trains students in biomedical engineering in such areas as drug delivery, nanobiotechnology, and bio-MEMS. The funding, from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research, will develop BME and create a course in drug delivery.


GenVault Raises $10 Million in Series A

Carlsbad, Calif.-based GenVault last week announced the closing of $10 million in Series A financing led by Domain Associates. GenVault provides a system for storing and archiving biological sample materials and related data.


Budget Axe has Michigan Life Sciences Corridor Going Global

The Michigan Life Sciences Corridor has seen funding recede rapidly from its shores amid the state government’s fiscal crisis, but organization officials say they will proceed with a planned conference April 8.

The corridor, a 20-year initiative launched in 1999 to boost the state’s life sciences industry using $1 billion in tobacco settlement money, had its 2003 funding cut from $45 million to $37.5 million under an executive order signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm March 3. Then, three days later, the governor announced that the corridor’s funding would be slashed further, to $20 million in the proposed 2004 budget — a 56 percent reduction from its original 2003 funding level.

The corridor is meanwhile putting its hopes in private funding, from the US and abroad. JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organization, and Eurasanté, a French development organization, are co-sponsoring the April 8 Life Sciences Corridor the Novi Hilton in Novi, Mich. — 25 miles away from Detroit and Ann Arbor. The conference will focus on collaborations, funding, and life sciences advances in Michigan, according to its program.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.