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Biomedino and Waters, GE Healthcare, and Agilent Technologies, Becton Dickinson and Clontech, Harvard University, European Consortium, and GeneOhm Sciences


Biomedino Sues Waters, GE Healthcare, Agilent Over Immunoassay Technology

Seattle-based Biomedino has sued Waters, GE Healthcare, and Agilent Technologies for allegedly infringing its immunoassay technology for measuring psychoactive drugs, BioArray News’ sister publication GenomeWeb News reported last week.

Biomedino filed suit on Jan. 7 with the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle division. The company claims that Waters, GE Healthcare, and Agilent infringe its US patent No. 6,602,502, entitled “Methods and devices for removing species.”

The patent, granted to Meir Strahilevitz, the sole inventor, in August 2003 and licensed to Biomedino, covers immunoassays of psychoactive drugs and treatment methods, based on the antigenic properties of protein conjugates of these drugs.

Biomedino said in its complaint that several chromatography-based separations systems made by the three plaintiffs infringe its patents. The company is seeking damages from all three, “which in no event can be less than a reasonable royalty.”

An Agilent spokesperson said the company has not yet been served with the suit. Officials from GE Healthcare and Waters did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Becton Dickinson to Sell Clontech in Q2 or Q3; Buyer Remains Undisclosed

Becton Dickinson expects to complete the sale of its Clontech division in the second or third quarter, a company official said last week.

“The process is moving ahead according to schedule,” Vince Forlenza, president of BD Biosciences, said at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

Last October BD announced plans to sell the Clontech business because it wants to “focus its strategy on cell analysis, discovery labware and its new platforms of imaging and in vitro drug metabolism/toxicity testing,” Edward Ludwig, chairman, president and CEO of BD, said in a statement.

The planned sale “also allows us to direct our resources toward higher-growth opportunities in the pharmaceutical drug discovery arena,” Ludwig added. BD has still not disclosed the buyer.

BD has hired Goldman Sachs to be its financial advisor for the divestiture.

Harvard to Soon Release Database Linking Genes and Biological Terms

A new database that lists genes associated with biological terms will soon be released by Harvard University, BioArray News’ sister publication GenomeWeb News reported last week.

According to Joshua LaBaer, director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, the database, called BioGene, is an addendum to MedGene, a database developed by members of LaBaer’s laboratory that lists in rank order genes associated with any disease. The information is based on literature search analysis.

While MedGene worked with 4,000 human diseases and 53,000 human genes, BioGene will be expanded in scope, working with over 500,000 biological terms, such as “cell cycle” or “nuclear membrane” said LaBaer, following his keynote presentation at the Peptalk conference in San Diego.

European Consortium to Study Genetics of Addiction

A consortium of eight European research organizations, including DeCode Genetics of Iceland, has won an €8.1 million ($10.6 million) contract from the European Union to study the genetics of addiction, the UK’s University of Surrey said this week.

The project, headed by Ian Kitchen at the University of Surrey, will combine human population genetics with animal genetics and gene expression studies to identify genes involved in addiction. DeCode will head the human genetics component, working with Iceland's National Center of Addiction Medicine.

The consortium includes researchers from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain; Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France; Life and Brain in Bonn, Germany; the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow, Poland; and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary.

Geneohm Completes $14 Million Second Closing of Series C Round

GeneOhm Sciences has raised $14 million in a second closing of a Series C venture capital financing round.

The San Diego-based firm, which develops tools for molecular diagnostic applications, completed a $12 million first closing of the round late last year when it merged with Infectio Diagnostic.

New investors Kaiser Permanente Ventures, QuestMark Partners, and Posco Bioventures participated in the financing round along with existing investors Domain Associates, SGF Sante, CHL Medical Partners, CB Health Ventures, and CDIB.


The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.