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Biochip, Lark Technologies, MetriGenix, Waban, Qiagen, Agilent Technologies, University of New Mexico, CEA-LETI, Yamatake


German Biochip Company Friz Biochem Starts €3 Million Series B

Biochip developer Friz Biochem of Munich, Germany, last week closed its first investment in a €3 million ($3.2 million) Series B financing, the company said.

The company is commercializing its Push biochip platform, a DNA microarray system based around an on-chip electrical read-out technique for the detection of hybridization. Friz Biochem is targeting the medical diagnostic and food-testing markets with the system, which it said requires neither pre-amplification nor labeling of sample material for gene-expression profiling or SNP analysis.

Lark Technologies Reports Increased Revenues for Fourth Quarter

Houston, Texas-based Lark Technologies, a provider of genomic services including microarray support, reported increased revenues but a lower net income for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2002.

The company had revenues of $1.73 million for the fourth quarter, up 3 percent from $1.68 million for the year-ago quarter. Net income for the quarter was $78,000, compared to $300,000 for the same period in 2001.

MetriGenix and Waban in Marketing Deal

MetriGenix of Gaithersburg, Md., and Waban Software of Cambridge, Mass., last week announced a marketing collaboration for the MetriGenix 4D Array System.

MetriGenix will integrate the Waban Explorer data management system into its gene expression analysis platform. The software is a data warehouse system that will allow users to store and analyze microarray data in a single database, as well as collect diverse information from outside sources such as GenBank.

MetriGenix manufactures an array analysis system based on its Flow-Thru Chip technology, which it builds in collaboration with European partner Infineon, and sells in the North American market.

The MetriGenix 4D Array System combines public and proprietary genomic and proteomic content to enable scientists to perform differential gene expression studies.

It is currently offered with focused content in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular, central nervous system, and autoimmune diseases. The Waban Explorer system complies with the FDA’s CFR 21 part 11 regulation, which covers the authentication of electronic records submitted with new drug applications.

Qiagen and Agilent Technologies to Co-Market Lab-on-a-Chip

Agilent and Netherlands-based Qiagen entered a co-marketing agreement for the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer and LabChip kits with Qiagen consumables and instruments, the companies announced last week.

In a non-exclusive agreement, the Agilent microfluidics-based products will be co-marketed with Qiagen products for separation, purification, and handling of nucleic acids and proteins.

University of New Mexico Microarray Core Facility Installs Acuity

Axon Instruments last week announced that it would provide its Acuity 3.0 microarray informatics software to the University of New Mexico’s microarray core facility.

Acuity 3.0 is a multi-user microarray database and analysis platform.

CEA-LETI and Yamatake in Biochip Pact

CEA-LETI (the Atomic Energy Commission of France’s Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory) of Grenoble, France, and Yamatake of Tokyo announced last week a collaborative agreement to develop biochips and automation technology.

CEA-LETI will apply its intellectual property on oligo DNA arrays, while Yamatake will contribute micro-electro-mechanical systems expertise and automation to create a next-generation system, the companies said.

CEA is a research organization specializing in nuclear power, informatics, and biotechnology.

Implantable DNA Chip Envisioned in India

India’s Department of Science and Technology has funded a three-year project at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune to develop a DNA chip to use for sequencing, according to a report in The Economic Times of India.

The nano-scale biochip is being created with the hope that it can be implanted within the human body to identify India-specific genetic disorders, the article said.

China starts construction on Biochip Center

Construction began last week on China’s National Engineering Center for Biochips in Pudong. The center, funded with $28 million in government grants, is scheduled to open by the end of the year, according to an article in the Shanghai Daily newspaper.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.