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GenTel, Abnova, Ruder Finn, Affy, Solexa, DNT, Lumera, CombiMatrix, Novavax


GenTel, Abnova to Co-develop Custom Immunoassays

GenTel Biosurfaces will combine its custom multiplex immunoassay development service with Abnova's high-throughput protein and antibody content-manufacturing capabilities in order to launch new multplex immunoassays, a GenTel official said this week.

Robert Negm, GenTel's director of business development, told BioArray News via e-mail that the new assays will be the first "off-the-shelf" kits the company will offer.

"We currently offer multiplex immunoassay development, contract arraying and fee-for-sample services, but our deal with Abnova allows us to introduce our customer and market-driven themed protein chip product lines for us to sell as off-the-shelf kits," he said.

"This is a big plus for our business as it moves us from a surface chemistry company into a life sciences market," said Negm,

According to Negm, the new kits will use GenTel's PATH Protein MicroArray System, which is based on ultra-thin nitrocellulose surface chemistry developed specifically for antibody arrays. The kits will specifically include "pre-printed arrays, cocktails of detector antibodies and antigens, as well as Dy547 fluorophores," he said.

The assays developed with Abnova's content will be available for one- and two-color fluorescent detection assays, and should be ready for sale in 2006, Negm said.

The new kits are part of GenTel's strategy to reach out to pharmaceutical companies with more content-specific applications. "Pharma is our primary business and customer target market," Negm said.

GenTel CEO Alex Vodenlich told BioArray News in July that his firm is also interested in rolling out a pre-spotted antibody array with similar intentions next year (see BAN 7/13/2005).

Negm said that the company is "also developing higher-density single-capture antibody arrays" that combine Kreatech Biotechnology's Universal Linkage System, which the company has licensed.

Negm said that the company's "partnership with Abnova is directly in line with [its] overall business model to offer higher-value assays and services to reach the life science and clinical research markets.

According to Negm, custom development for the new assays will be between $50,000 and $150,000, "depending on the customer's product specifications."

Ruder Finn Receives BMA Dx Awards for Affy Ad Campaign

Ruder Finn Design, a division of New York-based PR firm Ruder Finn, said last week that it received five awards at the Biomedical Marketing Association Dx Awards competition in Baltimore for work related to its client, Affymetrix.

The agency received awards for an advertising campaign, corporate identity and product collateral for its array-making client.

According to Ruder Finn, the Affymetrix "Symbols" campaign took first place in the Advertising- Healthcare category. The campaign won the same award last year.

The two-year-old Symbols campaign uses the number "1" as the lead symbol and campaign visual, Ruder Finn said.

Ruder Finn also said it came in first, second and third in branding and identity work. The Affymetrix Open Community Identity System won first place in the Corporate Identity category, while the Affymetrix Product Support Literature Templates garnered a second in Product/Service Brand Creation.

Finally, the Affymetrix Core Lab Logo Program placed third in the Corporate Identity category, according to the PR firm.

Solexa Revenues Rise in Q3 with Lynx Business;
Firm Reaffirms Launch Date for New Sequencer

Solexa this week reported an increase in revenues for the quarter ended Sept. 30 and reaffirmed its production timeline for 2006.

Solexa's revenues for the third quarter rose to $844,000 from $31,000 in the same period a year ago. The reported financial results for third quarter 2005 include results from Lynx Therapeutics, whose genomics service business Solexa added on March 4. The financial results from 2004 do not include Lynx.

Solexa generates revenues from service fees generated from the genomics service business. Revenue does not yet reflect fees from Solexa's reversible-terminator and the Clonal Single Molecule Array DNA sequencing platform.

"We are on track with our stated milestones of completing the introduction of our genetic analysis instrument later this year and continue to expect commercial instrument sales in the first half of 2006," John West, chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The company spent $4.5 million on research and development costs this quarter.

Solexa reported a net loss for the third quarter 2005 of $10.8 million, or $.43 per share, compared to $3.2 million, or $3.07 per share, year over year.

Solexa ended the third quarter with approximately $19 million in cash and cash investments as of Sept. 30.

DNT, Lumera to Co-develop Surface Chemistries for Lumera's ProteomicProcessor

Dendritic Nanotechnologies and Lumera will co-develop surface chemistries for Lumera's label-free array reader ProtomicProcessor, the companies said last week.

Under the agreement, Lumera will test and evaluate the dendrimer-based approaches built by DNT on Lumera's surfaces. DNT's dendrimer technology is called Priostar.

Additional terms were not disclosed. Last week, a representative of Lumera said that two ProteinProcessor systems would be available for demonstration at the end of the fourth quarter (see BAN 11/09/05).

CombiMatrix and Novavax to Accelerate Flu Vaccine Production

Novavax and CombiMatrix plan to develop a technique monitoring vaccine production, Acacia Research said last week.

Traditional flu-vaccine development and production is too slow to accommodate rapidly evolving flu strains, the company said. CombiMatrix's technique improves the process by tracking the genetic fidelity of the genes encoding the vaccine.

CombiMatrix and Novavax will test the method's efficacy on Novavax's VLP process for producing H5N1 bird flu vaccine.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.