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BioArray Briefs: 2009.03.24


Quest Gets NY State OK for CGH Neonatal Test

Quest Diagnostics has received clinical laboratory approval from New York State for its ClariSure microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization neonatal test.

The ClariSure aCGH test was approved as an aid in detecting copy-number chromosomal abnormalities implicated in dozens of medical conditions including mental retardation, birth defects, and autism spectrum and developmental disorders, the Madison, NJ-based clinical lab firm said.

Quest said that with approval from the State Department of Health Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program, Quest operates one of only three laboratories in the US approved to perform aCGH testing on neonatal samples collected from patients in New York.

Since the test's launch in mid-2007, "physicians outside of New York have used our ClariSure test to identify the genetic etiology of congenital anomalies, autism, and other disorders for dozens of patients whose conditions had eluded prior diagnostic efforts," said Charles Strom, medical director of the genetic testing center of Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, in a statement. "We look forward to providing broader access to our ClariSure test, so that more parents have the diagnostic insights they need to provide appropriate schooling and social support to their infants and children," he added.

CPGR, SimuGen Enter into Biomarker Assay Pact

South Africa's Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research last week said that it has entered into an agreement with SimuGen to develop biomarker assays for the prediction of toxicity of existing and new drug compounds.

SimuGen is a Malaysia-based pharmacogenomics firm working on novel dose-toxicity models for drug-development customers.

"The work we will do with Simugen, aimed at improving the ability to develop novel, safe drugs, fits perfectly into our vision of creating cutting-edge ex vivo drug screening workflows that make full use of our genomic and proteomic platforms," Reinhard Hiller, managing director of CPGR, said in a statement.

CPGR was founded in 2006 as a non-profit organization to provide South African scientists with analytical services, project support, and collaborative research capabilities in the genomics and proteomics fields. The organization has a particular interest in translational research and has branched out into molecular diagnostics and drug discovery.

Terms of the collaboration with SimuGen were not disclosed.

Arrayit Closes Merger, Goes Public

Microarray instrument company Arrayit said last week that it has completed its merger with Integrated Media Holdings, and it has begun trading as a public company on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the ticker symbol "ARYC."

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company struck the plan to merge with the digital media company in February 2008 in a deal at around $23.1 million. It also announced at that time that it would start doing business under the Arrayit name, rather than its previous name of Telechem International, and would conduct a one-for-30 reverse stock split, which it also has now completed.

Arrayit CEO Rene Schena said in a statement that the conclusion of the "long process of going public" leaves the company in a position to "obtain capital for rapid expansion of our existing product line."

Arrayit also said that it has moved its domicile state to Nevada from Delaware, though its headquarters is in California.

Phalanx Licenses Rosetta Resolver System

Phalanx Biotech Group has licensed Rosetta Biosoftware's Resolver system for use in its high-throughput gene-expression and miRNA-profiling services.

Rosetta said that its software system will enable the Taiwan-based microarray and genomics services firm to meet data management and analysis requirements associated with high sample volumes and will facilitate collaboration and results sharing between Phalanx and its customers.

Financial terms of the license were not disclosed.

Exiqon Signs OEM Pact with Norgen Biotek

The Canadian company Norgen Biotek will supply RNA purification kits to Exiqon under an OEM agreement, Norgen said last week.

"Adding these products to our miRCURY LNA product line is an important step in order to broaden our product portfolio and to fulfill our ambition of being a total solution provider in the field of miRNA analysis," Henrik Pfundheller, Exiqon's VP of sales and marketing, said in a statement.

Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

TcLand to Use Genedata Software

Biomarker developer TcLand Expression will use Genedata's Phylosopher and Expressionist software platforms in its research programs, Genedata said this week.

Under the agreement, TcLand Expressions will integrate the two platforms into its computational infrastructure to support interdisciplinary biomarker identification, validation, and mode-of-action studies that are focused on transplantation and autoimmune disease research. Genedata said that the platforms will enable Nantes, France-based TcLand to "take a cross-technology approach by using automated workflows and integrated analysis tools to streamline the research workflow, from experimental design through to final results."

The Genedata Phylosopher software is used for target discovery and integrative data management, and Expressionist is designed to support biomarker discovery and personalized medicine research.

Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

GeneGo, Entelos Ink Gene-Expression Data License

GeneGo will use gene-expression data from Entelos to develop its predictive toxicology modeling technology, GeneGo said.

Under the license agreement, GeneGo will use Entelos' DrugMatrix gene expression data to further develop its Functional Descriptor models.

Richard Brennan, GeneGo's director of toxicology, said that access to "a comprehensive, pharmacologically diverse and fully annotated compendium of gene expression data is critical to developing high-performance predictive models."

Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Integrated DNA Technologies Purchases VH Bio's Oligo Business

Oligonucleotide synthesis company Integrated DNA Technologies announced today that it has purchased VH Bio's oligonucleotide business.

Under the agreement, IDT will serve VH Bio's oligonucleotide customers from IDT's European synthesis facility, which opened in Leuven, Belgium, this past September. As such, IDT plans to provide current VH Bio customers with a broader product range of quality-controlled oligonucleotides that are available for next-day delivery. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

IDT and VH Bio, which is based in Gateshead, UK, also announced that they plan to work together to expand IDT's oligonucleotide business in the UK. VH Bio will continue distributing its other products, including those for immunologists and molecular biologists.

SciGene Hires Canadian Distributor

Microarray instrument maker SciGene said last week that it has tapped research products distributor Inter Medico to distribute its products in Canada.

Ontario-based Inter Medico will distribute SciGene's automated microarray workflow systems throughout Canada for labs that are transitioning to aCGH-based methods, SciGene said. Inter Medico also will support SciGene's customers through its sales and service organizations.

SciGene's instruments are designed to enhance the quality of FISH and microarray-based diagnostic tests, the company said.