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BioArray Briefs: 2009.03.17


Illumina Files Suit Seeking Payments from Shuttered DNAPrint

Illumina has filed a lawsuit against DNAPrint Genomics and its Ellipsis Biotherapeutics subsidiary seeking payment for products Illumina shipped to the firm in 2007 and 2008.

According to the suit, which was filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, Illumina is seeking nearly $275,000 in payments from DNAPrint Genomics for genotyping kits and DNA analysis kits that it ordered from Illumina and didn't pay for, as stipulated under a contract between the firms in April 2007.

DNAPrint Genomics shut down its operations sometime in February or early March.

Between December 2006 and June 2008, DNAPrint entered into nine separate purchase order contracts with Illumina. The suit alleges that although Illumina provided all of the products under the agreements, DNAPrint never made payments on the products.

Illumina has demanded a jury trial seeking payment of the full amount due, plus interest and the award of attorneys' fees.

Asuragen Certified for Agilent Arrays

Agilent Technologies said this week that it has certified Asuragen to offer its array-based comparative genomic hybridization and microRNA assays along with its lab services offerings.

Agilent named Asuragen a certified service provider for these assays after a training and assessment program that included proficiency in analyzing Agilent's 60-mer oligo microarrays, providing sample quality control on the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer, using its reagents and protocols, scanner and extraction software, and using the GeneSpring bioinformatics platform for data analysis.

"Agilent's miRNA microarrays and array CGH allow us to add another dimension to our comprehensive oncology services and Encompass [services] for [formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded] tissues … for our clients," Carol Berry, GM of Asuragen's Pharmaceutical Services Division, said in a statement.

CombiMatrix Nabs New NASA Contract

CombiMatrix announced last week that it has received a four-year contract from NASA's Ames Research Center to design and test a microfluidic system using the company's semiconductor microarray that can be integrated into an automated genetic analysis platform suitable for use in satellites.

The $858,298 contract provides $214,051 in funding for the first year and three option years with comparable funding. In a statement, David Danley, director of CombiMatrix's homeland security and defense programs, said the size and cost-effectiveness of CombiMatrix's array reader will help to enable the project. The company plans to launch an array reader in the third quarter of this year that is the size of a cell phone, he said.

"Our microfluidic system and custom DNA microarray with electrochemical detection can be integrated into a compact package to provide all of the capabilities of ground-based research instruments for studying genetic changes in bacteria over time as they circle the Earth," Danley said.

NASA is reportedly concerned about how space flight might alter bacterial genetics and metabolism following recent reports by NASA investigators, who found increased virulence in bacteria grown in a microgravity environment.

CombiMatrix President and CEO Amit Kumar said that developing a completely automated sample collection, preparation, and analysis system to use in space will also advance automated terrestrial systems that may have both medical and military applications.

SeqWright Granted Cali Lab License, Adds Roche NimbleGen Arrays to Service

Genotyping and genomic sequencing services provider SeqWright has received its clinical laboratory license from the State of California, which allows it to provide its genetic testing services to state residents, the company said last week.

The company does not focus on developing and marketing such tests internally, and so it expects its role to be that of a support lab working with other companies using previously validated assays.

The Houston, Texas-based company also said that it has become an authorized service provider of Roche NimbleGen's sequence capture arrays, which are used to enrich genomic DNA that can be sequenced using Applied Biosystems' SOLiD or the Roche 454 Titanium system for genetic analysis. This service will help the company reduce the time and cost associated with sequencing all coding DNA and custom targeted regions in an individual's genome.

The Scan

Taking Stock of the Stockpile

The US and European countries are evaluating their smallpox vaccine stockpiles as the number of monkeypox cases increases, the Washington Post reports.

Vitamin D From Tomatoes

According to Reuters, researchers in the UK have gene-edited tomatoes so their fruit contains vitamin D.

Cause Not Yet Spotted

NPR reports that a new study was unable to find a cause for persistent long COVID symptoms.

PNAS Papers on Central African Hunter-Gatherers, Myopia Development, Ancient Microtia Allele

In PNAS this week: population patterns among Central African hunter gatherers, effect of myopia-linked gene variant, and more.