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BioArray Briefs: 2009.04.21


Illumina, Agilent in Resequencing Co-marketing Pact

Illumina and Agilent have entered into a non-exclusive co-marketing agreement focused on researchers conducting targeted resequencing.

The firms jointly announced this week that they will co-market Agilent's SureSelect Target Enrichment System with Illumina's Genome Analyzer. They said the combination will provide researchers with a method for efficiently resequencing specific regions of interest in the genome and will enable researchers to conduct studies that otherwise would not be feasible.

"When combined with Illumina's Genome Analyzer, researchers can design their own experiments and take advantage of Illumina's long reads to achieve timely, reproducible results while reducing cost and increasing robustness," Nick Roelofs, general manager of Agilent's Life Science Solutions Unit, said in a statement. "The SureSelect System enables scientists to easily and efficiently design custom content through eArray probe design and incorporate automation for scalability and cost efficiencies."

The firms said that the new research protocol using the combined technologies "enables scientists to interrogate multiple regions of interest in order to detect rare mutations, such as those commonly found in cancer, while taking advantage of low sample input requirements."

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Roche NimbleGen, Sigma Aldrich Ink Co-marketing Deal

Roche NimbleGen said this week that it has aligned its chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-microarrays (ChIP-chip) with Sigma Aldrich's GenomePlex whole-genome amplification technology, and the companies will co-market the technologies together.

Researchers can use the two platforms together to study the genome for epigenetic interactions between DNA and DNA-binding proteins to find out what regions are transcriptionally active or repressed, and the mechanisms that regulate these processes, Roche said.

The companies plan to publish protocols for ChIP-chip research and will provide technical support to assist researchers integrating the two platforms, and each company will co-market the products together.

The firms did not disclose financial or other terms of the alliance.

DNAVision Gains Two New Certifications

The genetic sequencing and genotyping company DNAVision said last week that it has received accreditation from the commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists and received GMP certification from Belgian regulatory authorities.

The GMP certification covers the Brussels-based firm's submission of DNA sequencing for biopharmaceutical products.

The company offers nucleic acids extraction, expression profiling, SNP genotyping, and DNA sequencing services. A spin-off from the University of Brussels and the Institute of Pathology and Genetics, the company said it also has received GLB, CLIA, and ISO certification or accreditation.

"We are now in a new era where the analytical data generated for pharmacogenomic studies or for genetic stability studies in biopharmaceuticals needs the highest quality requirements," DNAVision CEO Jean-Pol Detiffe said in a statement.

BioTek, Promega Integrate Platforms


The microplate instrument and software maker BioTek Instruments is collaborating with Promega to offer a screening method for cell viability, cytotoxicity, and apoptosis.

The collaboration involves an integration of BioTek's Precision SX Automated Sample Processor and Promega's microwell cell-based assays that will provide a cell-based screening method to "obtain more biologically relevant data per well," the firms said.

BioTek Product Manager Jason Greene said in a statement that the company's sample processing platform cost, "ease of use, and small size lends itself to the small scale automation" of Promega's cell-based assays.

Terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Decode Genetics to Utilize Grace Period on Convertible Notes

Decode Genetics last week said that it would utilize a three-day grace period for the scheduled April 15 interest payment on its outstanding 3.5 percent senior convertible notes due 2011.

The firm said that it is exercising that option "in order to provide more time for the execution of our strategic alternatives currently under consideration."

In recently announcing its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2008 financial results, Decode said that it finished the year with cash, cash equivalents, and current investments of $3.7 million, which it said was sufficient to fund operations only into its second quarter.

The company had announced in December that it was evaluating strategic alternatives for its business, including finding buyers or partners for its non-core business units, programs, and intellectual property.

The firm did not disclose the amount of the interest payment that was due today.

Clinical Data Completes Cogenics Sale to Beckman Coulter

Clinical Data has completed the sale of its Cogenics division to Beckman Coulter for $17 million, the firm announced after the close of the market last week.

At closing, Beckman paid $15.4 million in cash, with $2.5 million held in escrow for 18 months. Clinical Data retained around $2.2 million in cash from Cogenics immediately prior to the sale, which resulted in net cash proceeds of $14.9 million.

The acquisition, which was initially announced earlier this month, includes Cogenics' operations in the US, UK, Germany, and France.

Cogenics provides genomics services, such as DNA sequencing, gene expression, clinical and non-clinical genotyping, biomanufacturing support, nucleic acid extraction, and biobanking. Its services will complement those of Beckman's Agencourt Biosciences business, which also offers genomics services and nucleic acid purification products.