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Genomic Solutions, BioRobotics, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Graffinity Pharmaceuticals, CombiMatrix, Tm Bioscience, Epoch Biosciences


Genomic Solutions Acquires BioRobotics’ Assets for $3.2 Million

Harvard Bioscience this week announced that its subsidiary, Genomic Solutions, has acquired the assets of BioRobotics, a Cambridge, UK, subsidiary of Apogent Technologies. The purchase price of approximately $3.2 million will be partly payable in cash and partly on the assumption of BioRobotics liabilities, the company said. BioRobotics designs, develops, manufactures and distributes life science instrumentation for DNA microarray manufacturing and colony picking.

The acquisition will unite Genomic Solutions’ GeneMachines high-capacity arrayers and BioRobotics’ bench top instruments. The BioRobotics support and sales staff will join Genomic Solutions’ sales and marketing team in the UK, the company said. Product development and manufacturing will be consolidated into Genomic Solutions facility in Huntingdon, England.

BioRobotics is expected to achieve revenues of approximately $3 million and to be accretive to pro forma earnings per share in 2004.

Panasonic Parent Seals Deal to Build Quantum Dot Nano-scale Scanner

Japanese consumer-electronics giant Matsushita Electric Industrial of Osaka, Japan — which owns brands like Panasonic and Quasar — has closed a deal with Quantum Dot to develop and manufacture the Mosaic Optical Scanner, a high-speed scanner that will be marketed for research applications. The technology is based on “quantum dots,” nanoscale particles developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, MIT, and elsewhere, and licensed to QDC. In this application, the technology will be used for labeling and sensing.

Graffinity Pharmaceuticals Links Up with Genentech

Heidelberg, Germany-based Graffinity Pharmaceuticals last week announced a research and development collaboration with Genentech for the identification and development of small-scale therapeutics.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. Under terms of the collaboration, Genentech will provide Graffinity with a number of drug targets and Graffinity will deliver lead structures for the targets, utilizing its Raise (Rapid Affinity Informed Structure Evolution) technology. Genentech will have the option to license the programs exclusively or the two companies can enter into a joint research program. Graffinity will receive an upfront fee, plus research funding and success milestones upon delivery of lead compounds. Additionally, Graffinity may receive either development milestone payments and royalties or non-U.S. rights to products resulting from any joint programs.

CombiMatrix, Japanese Government Lab Develop Tech for DNA Methylation Research

CombiMatrix and the Computational Biology Research Center, a division of the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, have developed a novel way to prepare and measure DNA methylation in tissue biopsies, the groups said last week.

The technique, which relies on CombiMatrix’s microarrays, is the culmination of a technology-access and -purchase agreement that CombiMatrix’s Japanese subsidiary and CBRC penned in April 2002. Since then, the partners have signed on a third undisclosed collaborator, which intends to use this technology.

Tm Bioscience Sells Mayo Foundation on Microarray-based P450-2D6 Test

Tm Bioscience of Toronto last week announced that the Mayo Foundation has signed a two-year agreement to purchase the company’s Tag-It brand P450-2D6 drug metabolism test.

The Mayo Foundation of Rochester, Minn., will use the product in the Mayo Medical Laboratories, a facility that provides lab testing services for Mayo as well as other medical centers and hospitals, Tm said.

Tm’s P450-2D6 test was launched in June. The company said that Mayo has begun internal validation tests for the product through an early-access agreement.

The P450-2D6, a test that is designed to identify the presence or absence of mutations common in patients with atypical drug metabolism, is based on Tm’s universal array platform.

Epoch Licenses Quencher TechNology To ABI for Environmental Testing

Epoch Biosciences of Bothell, Wash., last week announced that it has licensed its Eclipse-brand dark quencher technology to Applied Biosystems.

Epoch will supply ABI its technology for integration into ABI’s TaqMan probes for use in 5’ nuclease assays. The license agreement covers ABI’s use of the quencher technology for detection of microorganisms in the environment, Epoch said.

Epoch will receive license fees and royalties.


The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.