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Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research-South Africa, TeleChem International, BioSystems International, Roche Diagnostics, Exiqon, CDC, Golden Helix, Affymetrix, Medical Prognosis Institute-Denmark, GeneGo, NCI, FDA

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South Africa's CPGR Begins Offering Services Using Affymetrix Microarray Platform
 
The Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research in Capetown, South Africa, has begun offering genomic research services using Affymetrix’s GeneChip microarray platform, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said this week.
 
The company said the center is using many GeneChip arrays, including the exon array and the SNP 6.0 for applications including molecular diagnostics research, large-scale genotyping, and seeking new ways to advance drug research and development in South Africa.
 
The CPGR, which was founded in 2006, aims to “facilitate high-quality research and enable the growth of existing southern African biotech companies,” the center’s managing director, Reinhard Hiller, said in a statement.
 
“The range of projects we work on is particularly diverse,” Hiller added, noting that the center would use Affy’s products for toxicology, gene expression, and genotyping studies.
 
The company did not provide more specifics about its deal with the CPGR, or the financial terms of the agreement. CPGR also offers access to a variety of other array platforms, including Agilent Technologies and Exiqon.
 

 
Telechem, BSI Co-Develop Human Plasma Proteome Array
 
TeleChem International, an Integrated Media Holdings company, this week said it has obtained the right to produce human plasma proteome microarrays featuring BioSystems International’s antibodies.
 
This agreement allows for the research, development, commercialization, and marketing of the first global human proteome profiling microarray. Each party will contribute its own cash to fund the R&D startup, and will eventually share the revenues.
 
BSI will provide normal human plasma profiling monoclonal antibodies, while Telechem will manufacture and market the arrays through its existing network of world-wide marketing partners. The first microarrays will be available in first quarter of 2009.
 
Jean-Pierre Tirouflet, CEO of BioSystems International, said in a statement that the company is “eager to license its PlasmaScan antibody libraries as a first step to developing global proteomics profiling tools for biomarker research enabling the identification and characterization of human disease states."
 
Financial details were not disclosed.
 

 
Roche Amends ProbeLibrary Licensing Deal with Exiqon
 
Roche Diagnostics and Danish firm Exiqon have amended their 2005 licensing agreement covering the Universal ProbeLibrary, which is based on Exiqon’s Locked Nucleic Acid oligonucleotides.
 
Roche said that its exclusive rights to sell and distribute the ProbeLibrary products have been extended on a co-exclusive basis. It also gained co-exclusive rights to use the ProbeLibrary in developing and manufacturing its new line of RealTime ready qPCR assays, which are gene expression assays that can run in a single assay format or in a multiwell plate format on its LightCycler System.
 
The partners did not disclose the length of the new contract or provide financial terms of the amended pact.
 
“We will address the need for increased speed and flexibility in biomedical research providing customized on demand supply of single assays and ready to use qPCR panels for virtually every gene of the human genome and other important organisms,” Manfried Baier, head of Roche Applied Science, a business area within Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement.
 

 
CDC Licenses Golden Helix's Genome Association Software for Blood Disorder Research
 
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded a license agreement with Golden Helix for the company’s genetic association software platforms for use in whole-genome association studies, the company said last week.
 
The CDC will use the Golden Helix SNP and Variation Suite, including the HelixTree software for population-based studies, the PBAT software for family-based studies, and the CNAM copy number association tool.
 
This agreement marks the first time that the CDC has licensed the Golden Helix software for use in its Division of Blood Disorders, the company added.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
Denmark's MPI To Develop Cancer Drug Response Tests on Affy Platform
 
Affymetrix said this week that Medical Prognosis Institute, a cancer diagnostic firm based in Denmark, will use the Affy microarray platform to develop drug sensitivity prediction and prognostic tools for patients with cancer.
 
Under the terms of the “Powered by Affymetrix” agreement, MPI gains non-exclusive access to Affy’s technology to develop and commercialize tools that will identify patients likely to respond to anti-cancer drugs.
 
The partnership “also boosts the probability of successful anti-cancer drug development in partnership with drug companies," Jesper Drejet, president and CEO of MPI, said in a statement.
 
Drejet added that the company is “confident” that it will be able to obtain regulatory clearance and begin commercializing its tests within one to two years.
 
Affymetrix and its PbA partners are currently developing more than 20 different tests on the Affy microarray platform, the company said.
 

 
GeneGo to Use NCI SBIR Grant to Work with FDA on Cancer and Nutrition Studies
 
GeneGo said today that it has received a grant of an undisclosed sum from the National Cancer Institute that it will use to work with the US Food and Drug Administration to develop technology for studying nutrition and cancer causes and prevention.
 
The company said it will use the one-year Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to collaborate with Jim Kaput, director of FDA’s Personalized Nutrition and Medicine program.
 
The GeneGo program will include a manually curated nutrition database, an ‘omics data repository, and advanced search and statistical modeling technology.
 
"For the last 60 years, it has been well established that cancer and nutrition are intrinsically connected," but that knowledge has been scattered across “thousands of sources” and is hard to find, GeneGo CEO Yuri Nikolsky said in a statement. “We will assemble the first specialized database on the topic and develop automated tools for data analysis.”

The Scan

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Can't Be Used

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PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.