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Cellular Genomics, Affymetrix, Micralyne, MicroCHIPS, NimbleGen, CombiMatrix, European Commission

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Cellular Genomics and Affymetrix Enter Research Collaboration

Cellular Genomics of Branford, Conn., last week announced a research collaboration with Affymetrix.

Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Cellular Genomics will use the Affymetrix GeneChip platform to develop high-content assays for kinase drug discovery, tracking changes in cellular gene expression resulting from very specific small molecule-mediated human kinase target inhibition as the company attempts to develop high-content drug screens to use for functional selectivity profiling of kinase inhibitors.


Micralyne and MicroCHIPS Expand Research & Development Partnership

Micralyne of Edmonton, Canada, and MicroCHIPS of Bedford, Mass., last week said the two companies have expanded a research and development partnership originally signed in September 2002 that focuses on drug delivery and biosensing devices.

Financial details were not disclosed.

MicroCHIPS has a microfabricated technology containing reservoirs that can be filled with drugs, reagents, or other chemicals, or with biosensors. The company is developing methods to use the device to administer proteins or small-molecule drugs. Micralyne, a developer and manufacturer of MEMS components, will manufacture the device.


Affymetrix Releases Data for 120,000 SNPs

Affymetrix announced last week the public release of genotype data from 120,000 SNPs selected from the SNP database compiled by Perlegen Sciences, as well as from public databases.

The SNP information can be downloaded from Affymetrix’s website.

The company generated this data using its GeneChip technology. An initial set of approximately 535,000 SNPs from 54 people was tested using the arrays over eight weeks, to generate about 29 million genotypes. The company then chose the SNPs with “the best distribution across the genome and the highest accuracy and call rates,” it said.

About half of the SNPs are from the Perlegen database, Stephen Fodor, Affymetrix’ chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“Over time, we will put all of the SNPs from the Perlegen database into the public domain while also developing products that use both these and public SNPs,” Fodor said. “We believe this will aid and complement the public/private haplotype map effort led by the National Human Genome Research Institute.”


NHGRI Awards NimbleGen $2.5M for ENCODE Project

NimbleGen Systems has secured two National Human Genome Research Institute grants worth $2.5 million, the company said last week. Both grants are part of NHGRI’s Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, also called ENCODE.

The first grant, for $1.3 million, is called “Discovery of Binding Sites for Transcription Factors” and will have NimbleGen working with the laboratory of Peggy Farnham at the University of Wisconsin.

The second grant, for $1.2 million, is called “DNA Array-based Exon Detection and Linkage Mapping” and will have the company working with Michael Pirrung at Duke University. Both grants are payable over a three-year period.


SBRI Enlists CombiMatrix’s Array RNA Tech for Infectious-Disease Research

CombiMatrix will collaborate with researchers at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to study how the company’s RNA technology and microarray platform may contribute to infectious disease research, the partners said last week.

SBRI scientists will use CombiMatrix’s microarrays in their study of differential gene regulation of the Leishmania parasite lifecycle, the company said.

In addition, the school will use CombiMatrix’s RNA technology to develop pools of RNAi compounds to silence multiple genes in Trypasonoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmania major.


EC Targets €100M Funding For 19 Cancer Research Projects

The European Commission this week announced a €100 Million funding of 19 new projects in cancer research over the next four years under the Sixth Framework Program.

A total of six projects are being funded in the area of genomics. These include two integrated projects using innovative oncogenomic technologies to identify novel cancer genes and study their involvement in cancer progression, and four other projects investigating potential molecular targets for new cancer drugs, according to a report published by the Cordis news service.

The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.