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BioProjects International Ups Stake in ViaLogy

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BioProjects International Ups Stake in ViaLogy

BioProjects International, a London-based investor, last week increased its stake in ViaLogy of Altadena, Calif., with the purchase of 3.1 million shares for $1.8 million. The London-based company now owns 44.6 percent of the equity of ViaLogy, BioProjects said in a statement.

The company’s initial product, based on quantum interferometric computing, is an expression amplification software that increases the detection and quantitation of hybridized microarray signals.

The company is a spinoff of five-year-old ViaSpace Technologies, a technology commercialization company developed by the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Additionally, ViaLogy sold 2.2 million shares to Aeris Holdings of Switzerland at an undisclosed sum.

 

Taiwan Company Intros SARS Biochip

The Dr. Chip Biotechnology company of Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, last week announced a SARS virus diagnostic chip that it will seek to have approved for use in Taiwan and mainland China, according to an article in The China Post, a Taiwan newspaper.

The chip analyzes PCR-based samples and will cost from between $10 to $15, and can screen patients before they reach the contagious fever stage, according to the newspaper report.

The five-year-old company currently produces the DR. EV chip, which the company website (http://www.bio-drchip.com.tw/eweb/6/news.htm) describes as an enterovirus diagnosis system that detects 67 strains of enterovirus and identifies serotype enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A 16 in 6 hours.

 

NanoString Technologies Wins U of Washington Biz Plan

NanoString Technologies, the company based on a microarray labeling technology developed by Krassen Dimitrov, the director of DNA Microarray Laboratory, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, won a grand prize of $25,000 in a business plan competition sponsored by the University of Washington Center for Technology Entrepreneurship. The company also won an additional $6,000 prize for “Best Idea in the ‘High-Growth’ Category.” The company’s business plan has now earned $52,000 in prize money, taking third place in a competition at Purdue University recently.

Dimitrov was a subject of a BioArray News Lab Report last week. Additionally, the Institute of Systems Biology, which will hold an equity stake in Nanostring should the company get the funding it needs to expand development of the technology, announced that it and three venture capital firms, and a real estate firm have formed a company called Accelerator that will help startups emerging from, or affiliated with, the ISB get off the ground.

MPM Capital (Boston), Arch Venture Partners (Seattle), Versant Ventures (Menlo Park, Calif.), and Alexandria Real Estate Equities (Pasadena, Calif.) committed $15 million in capital in a financing led by MPM. Accelerator will provide management, infrastructure, and facilities for startup companies and help them raise further funding.

 

FDA Meeting Scheduled

The Pharmacology and Toxicology Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science of the FDA will meet on June 10 at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in Rockville, Md., to review issues relating to the format and content of genome- scale gene expression data generated during non-clinical pharmacology and toxicology investigations and the submissions of this data to the agency.

Information is available at http://www.fda.gov/cder/coe.htm. See also (BioArray News, March 14, 2003) and (BioArray News, March 21, 2003).

 

Citigroup Reorganizes, ENds Life Sciences Analyst Coverage

Lakshmi Bhojraj, Smith Barney’s biotechnology analyst, was among seven analysts fired last week, news reports said. The changes came as Citigroup reorganized its investment banking unit, slashing several sectors of its analytical coverage, a service offered to investors and one that has been buffeted throughout the industry as a result of a bear market and regulatory intervention.

Bhojraj covered Affymetrix, Applied Biosystems, and PerkinElmer in her life sciences beat.

 

Our 100th — This edition marks the two-year anniversary of BioArray News. We look forward to continuing to provide exclusive industry and science focused information on microarrays and biochips. Thank you for reading.

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