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BioDiscovery, Bio-Rad, NuGen, BioForce Nanosciences, Tm Bioscience, Harvard, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Spotfire, Applied Biosystems, European Commission, Cepheid, Althea Technologies, Uppsala University, Iconix


BioDiscovery and Bio-Rad Link Up To Distribute Array Analysis Software

BioDiscovery and Bio-Rad this week announced a co-marketing agreement to customize and develop microarray analysis software.

Financial details were not disclosed.

BioDiscovery will adapt its ImaGene imaging analysis software and its GeneSight data analysis package for distribution with Bio-Rad scanner and arrayer products.

J. David Gladstone Institutes To Implement NuGen’s Ovation

NuGen Technologies this week announced that the genomics core lab at the J. David Gladstone Institutes at the San Francisco General Hospital campus of the University of California, San Francisco, will implement the company’s Ovation Biotin System for RNA amplification and labeling for the Affymetrix platform.

NanoArrayer Beta-trial Planned at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

BioForce Nanosciences of Ames, Iowa, last week announced an agreement to field test the company’s NanoArrayer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

The evaluation will follow an external trial and extensive internal testing by the company, which has shown the device capable of depositing ultra-microscale and nanoscale spots of proteins in precise patterns while retaining biological activity. The trial will begin in July and last approximately four months, the company said.

TM Bioscience Consolidates Shares

Tm Bioscience of Toronto last week completed a 1-for-5 consolidation of its issued and outstanding common shares following the company’s move in April to the Toronto Stock Exchange. Tm Bioscience shareholders approved the consolidation of shares at the company’s annual and special meeting of shareholders on June 2, the company said.

Harvard, Johns Hopkins Medical Schools to Establish Genomics Centers of Excellence

The National Human Genome Research Institute this week awarded grants to establish Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The Harvard center will be focused on developing technologies for genomic molecular imaging, while the Johns Hopkins center will work on advancing the field of epigenetics, NHGRI said.

Spotfire, Applied Biosystems Ink Gene-Expression Technology Deal

Spotfire announced last week the signing of a deal with Applied Biosystems under which the companies will combine certain of their technologies for human gene-expression research.

Under the deal, Applied Biosystems will build analysis capabilities on top of Spotfire’s DecisionSite platform, and offer with its newly released Expression Array system a 90-day evaluation license of the Spotfire’s DecisionSite for Functional Genomics software.

European Commission to Commit €12M To Research Animal Disease Genomics

The European Commission will earmark €12 million to study the genomics of animal pathogens as part of its Sixth Framework Program, the EC announced last week.

The program, part of the “Food Quality and Safety” theme of FP6, will fund a network of 14 partners from 10 countries, called European Animal Disease Genomics Network of Excellence, to look into genomics-based control methods for preventing farm animal diseases.

The institutes involved will start up joint research and training programs on major diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and other parasites in pigs, cattle, chickens, and farmed fish.

Cepheid Licenses RT-PCR for Thermal Cyclers

Cepheid has expanded its license to Applera’s core PCR patents to include real-time PCR for applications in thermal cyclers, the companies said last week.

Cepheid has obtained a non-exclusive global license to make, use, and sell its SmartCycler and GeneXpert brand thermal cyclers, as well as other Cepheid thermal cyclers, using Applera’s real-time PCR technology.

Additionally, with a payment of $11.5 million over a two-year period, Cepheid expands its rights under its existing thermal-cycler supplier agreement with Applera to include human diagnostics but not HIV and Hepatitis C applications.

The licensing deal was announced as Applera’s Applied Biosystems group obtained injunctions to halt the manufacture and sale of RT-PCR thermal cyclers by a group of companies.

Additionally, Cepheid obtained non-exclusive license to several PCR-related patents from Roche for in vitro diagnostic product applications, the company said.

Cepheid will pay Roche a licensing fee and ongoing royalties on sales of relevant products.

Under the license, Cepheid is permitted to make, use, and sell products based on these technologies for in vitro human diagnostics.

Althea Awarded NIH Toxicology Grant

Althea Technologies last week announced an NIH Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant of $100,000, by way of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The funds will go to the development of a low-cost mechanism for translating gene-expression-based research in toxicology into validated, high-throughput, expression screens for the assessment of a range of different toxicological and disease mechanistic endpoints.

The approach will use Althea’s eXpress Profiling technology, a high-throughput, highly-multiplexed, quantitative RT-PCR-based gene expression analysis technique, which was recently licensed to Beckman Coulter.

The grant will focus on the development and validation of gene sets and predictive classifiers for specific and important toxicological endpoints.

Althea’s aim is to provide a roadmap for translating microarray-based discoveries into high-throughput, low-cost assays and validating their use in the drug discovery and development processes, the company said.

Sequenced: Trench Fever, Carrión’s Disease Pathogens, and S. Aureus Strains

Scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden have sequenced and compared the genomes of two human pathogens transmitted by lice, Bartonella quintana and Bartonella henselae; while a group of researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK, has mapped the genome of two disease-causing strains of Staphylococcus aureus.

The research was published in PNAS.

Iconix Enters Chemogenomics Collaboration with Icos

Iconix Pharmaceuticals of Mountain View, Calif., said last week that it will provide its chemogenomic profiling technology to Icos.

Iconix will provide its Drug Signature collection of predictive biomarkers, derived from its DrugMatrix chemogenomics reference database, in the deal.

Under the agreement, Icos will use Iconix’s chemogenomics platform to study preclinical drug responses and to discover biomarkers to predict drug efficacy and side effects.


The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.