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CombiMatrix, University of Washington, Cepheid, Eksigent Technologies, Agencourt Bioscience, Ambion, Sagres, Genome Institute of Singapore


CombiMatrix, University of Washington to Co-develop Array-Based Dx for Lymphoma

CombiMatrix and the University of Washington plan to co-develop a microarray-based test for diagnosing lymphoma, the two groups said last week.

A team of university researchers led by Daniel Sabath and Stephen Schmechel, at the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in the School of Medicine, claimed to have identified a subset of genes whose expression pattern can “distinguish the various lymphoma types.” The goal of the collaboration is to harness those data and develop array-based diagnostics that detect lymphomas and predict clinical outcome.

To help develop and commercialize a potential product, CombiMatrix has penned an agreement with RationalDiagnostics. Last year, Seattle-based RationalDiagnostics, which was co-founded by Sabath and Schmechel, signed a deal with the University of Washington and the Washington Technology Center that ultimately helped uncover ways of using microarrays to diagnose lymphoma.

Cepheid Says US Postal Service Test of Anthrax Detection System a Success

Cepheid said this week that the US Postal Service has completed a successful 15-city test of its Biohazard Detection System (BDS), and would begin to deploy the system nationwide early in 2004. This announcement, the company said, came in an interview between a USPS representative and Global Security newswire Sept. 9. The system uses Cepheid’s DNA detection system to test the air surrounding mail handling equipment for anthrax spores, and automatically alerts officials by e-mail. Cepheid was originally awarded the $750,000 contract with the USPS for a pilot phase of the project in May 2002. In October 2002, Applied Biosystems announced it would be providing the reagents for the system.

Eksigent Collects $2 Million NIST Grant

Microfluidics company Eksigent Technologies of Livermore, Calif., won a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program, the firm said last week.

The grant will help fund the company’s ChipLC system, which is designed to enable researchers to use high-performance liquid chromatography and perform highly parallel chip-based chemical analysis.

The ATP funding will be used for a three-year development program. Eksigent expects to commercialize intermediate-stage chip-based products in three years.

Agencourt Bioscience and Ambion enter Distribution Agreement

Agencourt Bioscience of Beverly, Mass., and Ambion of Austin, Texas, this week announced a distribution agreement on RNA amplification products.

Ambion will distribute AMPure, Agencourt's nucleic acid purification reagent, as a component in its MessageAmp RNA amplification kit.

Sagres, Genome Institute of Singapore to Collaborate on Oncogenomics

Sagres Discovery of Davis, Calif., and the Genome Institute of Singapore this week announced a research collaboration to study gene mutations in certain cancers and to discover networks of gene expression patterns in such cancers. GIS will apply its expression profiling technologies to characterize a collection of Sagres' proprietary provirus-tagged mouse tumors.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.