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Decision Biomarkers, Affymetrix, Iconix, Nanogen, MD Anderson, OGT, Oxford GKP, Lakeland, Rosetta Resolver, DNAPrint, Lumera, MUSC


Decision Biomarkers Picks Up $7.6M in Latest Round of VC Funding

Decision Biomarkers last week announced that it has earned $7.6 million in a second round of Series A financing.

The company, which changed its name from Clinical Microarrays to Decision Biomarkers in August 2005, said the round was led by Oxford Bioscience Partners and included Rock Maple Ventures, Fletcher Spaght Venture Partners, and a group of individual investors led by Jean "Coco" Montagu, the chairman of DBI, a former vice president of advanced technology at Affymetrix, who had provided seed funding for the company (see BAN 8/17/2005).

DBI received $7.5 million through an earlier round of fund raising, led by the same group of investors, in November 2004 (see BAN 11/30/2004).

DBI is getting ready to launch its first instrument later this year. Peter Maimonis, DBI's vice president of biological research, told attendees of Cambridge Healthtech Institute's PepTalk conference in San Diego this month that the company's MultiMark Express, a small bench-top reader designed to read multiplexed immunoassays in the proteomics field, would be launched this June (see BAN 1/17/2006).

Roger Dowd, CEO and president of the Waltham, Mass.-based firm, said last week in a statement that the additional funding would be used to "complete the product launch [of the MultiMark Express] and achieve early sales."

Affymetrix and Iconix to Co-develop Drug Toxicology Research Tools

Affymetrix and Iconix Pharmaceuticals plan to co-develop products to help study the toxicological and pharmacological properties of drugs and drug candidates, the firms said this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, Affymetrix will combine its GeneChip platform with Iconix's DrugMatrix 640 compound reference database and analysis software. Researchers will also be able to compare gene-expression profiles to Iconix's Drug Signatures library to help predict the impact that gene-expression changes may have on the body's toxic response, the companies said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nanogen Closes $7.7M Acquisition of Spectral Diagnostics' Cardiac Test Business

Nanogen this week said it has closed its acquisition of Spectral Diagnostics' rapid cardiac immunoassay test business, originally announced in December (see BAN 12/21/2005).

The total cost for the deal was CDN$9 million ($7.7 million), comprising CDN$5.65 million in cash and CDN$3.35 million in Nanogen common shares, Nanogen said.

Nanogen will now assume sales, marketing, and manufacturing activities for the Cardiac Status, Decision Point, and i-Lynx reader product lines which it said it will combine with its own StatusFirst congestive heart failure test.

MD Anderson to Use Sequenom Systems for Epigenomic and Genotyping Research

The MD Anderson Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers at the University of Texas has purchased Sequenom's MassArray genetic analysis system and iPlex assay, Sequenom said this week.

The technology will be used for the center's molecular marker research and individualized cancer case initiatives, according to a statement. Researchers at the center will use the systems to identify individuals at high risk for developing specific types of cancer, develop screeing approaches for early diagnosis of cancer, and "tailor therapy to the genetic make-up of each patient."

Financial details were not provided.

Oxford GKP Picks up OGT Microarrays for NHS Labs

OGT Services announced this week that Oxford Genetics Knowledge Park is using its custom-made microarrays to develop tests for use in the UK's National Health Service Regional Genetics Laboratories.

The microarrays will be used to develop tests for complex diseases such as colorectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and learning disabilities, said OGT.

Jenny Taylor, program director at Oxford GKP, said in a statement that her center is "sure that [OGT's] technology will be applicable to other diseases."

Financial details of the deal were not discussed.

Lakeland to Use Rosetta Resolver for Clinical Cancer Research

Lakeland Regional Cancer Center has licensed the Rosetta Resolver software system to investigate the clinical value of microarrays for assisting in cancer staging, the licensing partners said last week.

The Florida-based center will use the technology for investigating the clinical value of oligonucleotide microarrays, according to a statement.

No further details were released.

DNAPrint Expands Capacity for Genotyping Services Offering

DNAPrint Genomics said last week that it has expanded the capacity for its genotyping services offering from 1.3 million genotypes per day to more than 3.9 million genotypes per day.

The company has genotyping facilities at headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., as well as at facilities in Richmond, Calif., and Toronto, Canada. The US laboratories use Beckman Coulter's GenomeLab SNPstream genotyping platform, while the Toronto lab uses Illumina's BeadStation.

DNAPrint did not provide details on the additional capacity that it has added for these platforms. Company officials could not be reached for comment.

The company said that the increase in processing capacity will enable it "to process clinical trials samples to ensure that patient population groups are accurately categorized, and perform large-scale genotyping work for the various industries interested."

Lumera and MUSC Sign Protein Array Development Pact

Lumera and the Medical University of South Carolina have signed a co-development agreement, Lumera said this week.

Under the deal, MUSC researchers will work with Lumera to co-develop a new protein array based on Lumera's NanoCapture HPT technology.

In addition, MUSC has committed to buying Lumera's ProteomicProcessor biosensor instrument.

Lumera retains the commercial rights to all jointly developed intellectual property, Lumera said.

No further details were provided.


The Scan

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

Embryos produced with spindle transfer-based mitochondrial replacement had delayed demethylation, but typical aneuploidy and transcriptome features in a PLOS Biology study.

Cancer Patients Report Quality of Life Benefits for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy was linked in JAMA Network Open to enhanced quality of life compared to other treatment types in cancer patients.

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.