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Agilent Technologies, Gene Logic, Indiana Future Fund, US state of Ohio, Axon Instruments, Affymetrix, European Boinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Lab, European Union, University of Basel

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Agilent Technologies, Partners HealthCare Ink Microarray Supply Agreement

Agilent Technologies signed Partners HealthCare System this week to a 1-year purchasing contract for microarray and gene expression products for use by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Agilent will supply Harvard Medical School - Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics, which provides research services for the system of affiliates including Dana Farber/Partners CancerCare and Harvard Clinical Research Institute, with a scanner for analyzing microarrays and a bioanalyzer for evaluating sample quality. The agreement also determines pricing for Partners HealthCare’s hospitals to purchase such as liquid and gas chromatographs, mass spectrometers, microarrays, microfluidic devices and associated software, columns, and reagents and supplies, Agilent said in a statement.

Last week, the company announced the donation of $150,000 in microarray kits to Rhodes College of Memphis, Tenn., for use in its biology classes. The microarrays will be used specifically in molecular genetics and molecular biology problem solving exercises, and to help the school plan a new interdisciplinary program in molecular genetics, cell biology and biochemistry, the company said.


Gene Logic Earns NCI Contract for Preclinical Toxicology Studies

Gene Logic last week said it has been tapped by the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis to provide it with preclinical safety and pharmacology studies pertinent to its core cancer, AIDS, and AIDS-related illness research.

Terms of the deal call for Gene Logic to use its toxicogenomics platform to perform preclinical in vivo studies related to drug toxicity. The agreement, which is funded by NCI, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services, will pay Gene Logic up to $6.9 million over the next seven years.

This announcement follows several other government contracts awarded to Gene Logic over the last six months, including a multiyear contract with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a one-year contract with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and an extension with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Indiana Future Fund Invests Part of $73M FUnd in Area Life Sciences VCs

The Indiana Future Fund, a $73 million “fund of funds,” has invested a portion of its capital in four life sciences venture capital firms with offices in Indiana.

The parties did not disclose the specific amount of the investment.

The Future Fund made the investments in REI, a joint venture of Rose-Hulman Ventures and EDF Ventures; Pearl Street Venture Funds; AM Pappas; and Burrill & Company of San Francisco.

The Indiana Future Fund was assembled by BioCrossroads, an organization to promote life sciences investment in Indiana, and includes investments from the state’s pension funds, Eli Lilly; Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Indiana University, Indiana University Foundation, Purdue University, Ball State University Foundation; American United Life Insurance Company, Indiana State University Foundation; and Guidant Corporation.


Ohio Venture Fund to Support Life Sciences

The US state of Ohio announced the formation of its first angel investment fund last week, which will make available $1.3 million to support “the commercialization of innovations in life sciences, information technology, physical sciences and novel service models in Ohio,” according to a statement issued by the Columbus Venture Network.

Mike Bowers of the CVN confirmed that some investments from the fund would likely occur in ge-nomic technology areas.

The fund, called the Ohio TechAngel Fund, has 50 private equity investors and is the largest angel fund in the upper Midwest, according to the statement.


Axon Signs Resale, Licensing Agreements with Affymetrix For HTA SysTEM Scanner

Axon Instruments and Affymetrix announced the signing of a private-label resale agreement this week that formalizes the Axon ImageXpress 5000A product as the imaging instrument that Affymetrix will use in its GeneChip high-throughput analysis system, which is in advanced stages of development.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Axon will supply Affymetrix with scanners for resale and has licensed scanning technology for spotted arrays from Affymetrix, the company said today. Affymetrix will purchase a certain minimum number of the scanners and software from Axon and sell them as part of its new high-throughput GeneChip HTA system.

Axon will provide customized versions of its ImageXpress 5000A automated cellular imaging and analysis scanner to Affymetrix, which include hardware and software jointly developed by the two companies.

Further, Union City, Calif.-based Axon has licensed technology from Affymetrix covering the manufacture and sale of scanners and software for spotted micro-arrays, but not for Affymetrix's core photolithography-based microarray manufacturing format.


Hyb Data Flows into ArrayExpress Database

The 15-month-old ArrayExpress database for microarray-based gene-expression data maintained by the European Boinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Lab, has grown 100-fold in the last year to contain data on some 5,000 hybridizations, the organization said this week.

The database contains microarray standards-compliant data and is an open public repository that now has data from almost 200 separate studies of 15 different organisms.


EU’s Newmood Project Launched at HUGO

The European Union’s Newmood project launched last week at the Human Genome meeting in Berlin, Germany, according to news reports.

Newmood is a five-year project funded under the EC’s 6th Framework with €7.3 million ($8.3M US) with the aim of developing new drug targets and to aid in diagnosis.

Researchers in the project will build an array of 800 genes that may be related to depression, including those affecting metabolism, growth, and cell communication. The chip will detect which genes are active in healthy and depressed animals and humans. Bill Deakin of the Neuroscience and Psychiatry unit of Manchester University (UK) is the project coordinator.


A. Gossypii Sequenced

Researchers led by a team at the University of Basel in Switzerland have sequenced and analyzed the genome of Ashbya gossypii, a filamentous ascomycete. The 9.2 megabase genome is the smallest of a free-living eukaryote yet characterized.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.