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CombiMatrix, BioDiscovery, Empire Genomics, Illumina, Affymetrix

CombiMatrix Molecular Diagnostics to Develop Autism Dx with TCAG Markers
CombiMatrix’s molecular diagnostics unit will create an array-based test using biomarkers linked to autism that were developed by the Center for Applied Genomics, the company said last week.
The company said it will use the markers through a partnership with TCAG in a constitutional genetic array test that will be used to screen for autism and “more than 50 disorders.”
One version of the test will be available sometime before the end of the month, and another version, to be created with TCAG, that uses the new autism indicators will be available at the end of the year, CombiMatrix said.   
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

BioDiscovery and Empire Genomics to Integrate, Co-Market aCGH Tech and Related Software
Empire Genomics and BioDiscovery will integrate and co-market certain of their products for the array comparative genomic hybridization market, BioDiscovery said last week. 
Empire Genomics, a Buffalo, NY-based start-up, specializes in molecular karyotyping technology in an aCGH platform that is used to quantify “changes in chromosomal abnormalities,” BioDisovery said.
BioDiscovery will provide imaging and aCGH analysis software to the partnership.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CombiMatrix Inks BAC-Array CGH Lab Service Deals With Two Genetics Companies
CombiMatrix said this week that its molecular diagnostics subsidiary has penned two partnerships for its newly launched BAC-array comparative genomic hybridization “Technical Only Program.”
Under the deals, the partners will take orders and receive samples, but all of the technical lab testing will be conducted at CMDX’s facilities. The data will be delivered to the partner, who will interpret the information.
CombiMatrix did not name the partners, but quoted spokespeople from the Southwest Genetics Laboratory and the University of Michigan in a statement announcing the agreements.

Jury Says Illumina Infringes Affy IP; Must Pay $16.7M in Royalties
A jury in the US District Court for the District of Delaware this week said that Illumina has infringed five Affymetrix patents and must pay Affymetrix $16.7 million commensurate with a royalty rate of 15 percent.
Affymetrix sued Illumina in July 2004 in Delaware, where both firms are incorporated, over six patents, later dropping one from its case (see BAN 8/24/2005). A Markman hearing later established 12 claims in the five patents where Illumina allegedly infringed Affy’s IP (see BAN 9/5/2006).
In the jury’s March 12 verdict, Illumina was found to have infringed on 11 of the 12 claims. However, the jury did not find that Affymetrix was entitled to the lost profits damages it had sought. Instead it decided that Illumina must pay Affy a 15 percent royalty rate or $16.7 million, according to court documents.
Neither Affymetrix nor Illumina had publicly commented on the jury’s verdict by press time.

The Scan

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.

Using Bees to Gain Insights into Urban Microbiomes

As bees buzz around, they pick up debris that provides insight into the metagenome of their surroundings, researchers report in Environmental Microbiome.

Age, Genetic Risk Tied to Blood Lipid Changes in New Study

A study appearing in JAMA Network Open suggests strategies to address high lipid levels should focus on individuals with high genetic risk and at specific ages.

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.