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Gene Express, VWR, Illumina, Genome Canada, Partek, Sheba, Weizmann Institutes

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Gene Express, VWR Expand Distribution Agreement to 15 European Countries

Gene Express and VWR International have expanded their three-year agreement to resell and distribute Gene Express' automated gene-expression platform in 15 European countries, the companies said last week in a statement.

The agreement enlarges the companies' market for the Gene Express Standardized Expression Measurement Center platform beyond North America to include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, and Ireland, the statement said.

VWR's European sales organization includes 22 representatives trained in bio-services sales, the companies said.


Illumina to Pocket Additional $13.4M as Underwriters Exercise Stock Options

Illumina last week said it stands to pocket an additional $13.4 million after the underwriters for its public stock offering exercised their option to buy a maximum of 525,000 additional shares for $25.50 apiece.

The company said that a total of 4.025 million shares were sold in the stock offering for a net gain of $96.2 million. In total, Illumina is expected to pocket net proceeds of about $83.6 million from the sale, which the company announced earlier this month (see BAN 5/23/2006).

Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch performed joint bookrunning and acted as co-lead managers of the offering, while Cowen and Company and Robert W. Baird acted as co-lead managers.


Genome Canada Provides $16.7M to Six 'Platform' Labs

Genome Canada will provide more than CA$18.6 million ($16.7 million) to six science and technology centers over the next 15 months, funding services in DNA sequencing, genotyping, microarrays, proteomics, bioinformatics, genetic analysis, and DNA mapping, the agency said last week.

The centers, which the Canadian government calls "platforms," serve researchers funded by Genome Canada. The government said 20 percent of their activities are devoted to work related to other Canadian agencies. Two of the platforms are located in Vancouver while Victoria, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal host one platform each.


Partek Licenses Genomics Software to Sheba, Weizmann Institutes

Partek announced last week that it has licensed its Partek Genomics Suite software to the Chaim Sheba Medical Center and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based Sheba Medical Center will use the software to statistically analyze data from its hemato-oncology studies. The Rehovot, Israel-based Weizmann Institute will use it to aid in research in a multitude of areas, including cancer, diabetes, nanoscience, and the environment.

Financial details were not discussed.

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.