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GE Healthcare, Ambion, Toshiba, Antara, Reaction Biology, PamGene, J&J


GE Affirms Commitment to Manufacture MirVana Arrays

GE Healthcare will continue to manufacture Ambion's MirVana miRna arrays on its CodeLink platform, even though rival Applied Biosystems completed its acquisition of Amion's research products division earlier this month, according to a GE spokesperson (see BAN 3/7/2006).

'We've enjoyed a successful working relationship with Ambion and expect this will remain the same under ABI's ownership," the spokesperson told BioArray News last week. "GE Healthcare will continue to manufacture MirVana miRNA Bioarrays on our CodeLink activated slides as we have in the past."

ABI recently paid $273 million for Ambion's research products division, and, because ABI markets its own microarray technology, it could choose to migrate Ambion's miRNA content to its own array platform.

However, according to ABI, it will sell Ambion's MirVana arrays "as is," though the company declined to discuss the future of the product when pressed last week.

Toshiba Licenses DNA Chip Patents to Antara

Antara Biosciences has licensed from Toshiba patents to its DNA chips and electrochemical DNA analysis system for in vitro diagnosis, Toshiba said last week.

Under the agreement, Antara, a California-based company started by Tokyo-based Eurus Genomics, will develop the products for US Food and Drug Administration approval.

Toshiba said the deal "is a major step ... toward establishing the methodology as a core methodology for DNA-based diagnostics."

Financial details were not released and Toshiba and Antara did not reply to calls and e-mails seeking comment by press time.

Reaction Biology Gets $1.8M from NHGRI for HTS Microarray Technology

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Reaction Biology $1.8 million over four years for development of its microarray-based high throughput screening technology, the company said this week.

The grant is one of eight awarded under RFA RM-04-020, which the National Human Genome Research Institute issued in July 2004 as part of the Molecular Libraries and Imaging Initiative of the NIH Roadmap.

Reaction Biology said that it is the only private corporation to receive an award under the RFA. Other recipients include the University of Texas, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the University of Houston, the Burnham Institute, UT Battelle, and the University of California, Davis.

Reaction Biology said that the grant will support further development of its spray deposition technology for high-throughput screening reaction activation, as well as the development of enhanced microarray printing technology for use in its DiscoveryDot HTS system.

PamGene Platform Progresses in J&J's Kinase Drug R&D Program

PamGene said last week that, following evaluation of its microarray-based biochemical kinase activity profiling and cellular inhibition assays, its technology will be further implemented in J&J's research and development programs.

According to PamGene, J&J's evaluation program involved kinase inhibitor characterization on a panel of recombinant kinases. Also, a number of reference and J&J-developed kinase inhibitors were characterized in whole cell-based experiments. Kinase activity was measured by phosphorylation profiles obtained from the kinetic readout from lysates of compound-treated cells, PamGene said.

Further details were not disclosed.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.