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Hitachi, BASF, Oryzon Genomics, IP Holdings, Ryogen, NIH


Hitachi Developing Wireless Array

Hitachi has been developing a method for detecting DNA variation in samples wirelessly from the inside of a sample container, according to an article in the May 2005 issue of MIT Reports.

According to the report, the chip uses a biosensor, radio transceiver, and antenna coil to send signals to an external analysis unit. Hitachi claims the method can detect up to 100 variations at one time. It can also be used to monitor temperature and pH, according to the report, which the company said would be useful for maintaining the quality of the assay.

BASF and Oryzon Genomics Ink Research Pact for Plant Pathogen Safety

Agrichemical giant BASF and Oryzon Genomics, a spinoff of the University of Barcelona plan o co-develop technologies for use in assuring plant pathogen safety, or phytosanitation, the firms said last week.

The collaboration will give Germany-based BASF access to Oryzon Genomics products, including custom DNA chips and related bioinformatics.

According to Josef Appel, chief of BASF's Agro Business division in Spain and Portugal, said the company plans to release 10 new compounds for the phytosanitary area targeting the insecticide and fungicide markets in Spain in the next few years.

Carlos Buesa, chief executive officer of Oryzon noted that the agreement with BASF was the firm's first agreement with a multinational.

Financial details were not disclosed.

IP Holdings Founds New Company to Commercialize Applications for Human Gene

IP Holdings, a business incubator in Suffern, New York, has founded a company, Ryogen, that aims at commercializing applications for a recently patented human gene.

According to IP Holdings, the IP, which centers on the XPNPEP2 gene, "pertains to extensive segments of the human genome sequence and its applications to microarray manufacturing, gene testing, and development of therapeutic agents."

The gene codes for the protein membrane-bound aminopeptidase P (AmP). The gene has received a US Patent, No. 6,399,349, entitled "Human Aminopeptidase P Gene."

IP Holdings claims the gene is a marker for hypertension, angioedema, rejection of kidney transplants, and certain tumors. The patent covers cDNA and gDNA sequences coding AmP; a method of producing AmP; the diagnostics for detecting AmP abnormalities; and prevention and treatment of medical conditions associated with the mutation of the AmP gene, IP Holdings said.

"We plan to pursue a comprehensive licensing program to ensure the broad proliferation of Ryogen's IP," said Alexander Poltorak, managing director of IP Holdings.

Ryogen is exploring a number of alternatives to license the AmP patent, including "ways to make this gene widely available for research so as to promote the development of genetic testing and treatment.

NIH Makes New Methods for Preparing Sample Arrays Available

The National Institutes of Health last week announced the availability of new methods and devices for preparing tissue microarrays for licensing and commercial development.

According to NIH, the patent "Template Methods and Devices for Preparing Sample Arrays," which was filed in application by Steven Hewitt from the National Cancer Institute last year, describes methods for placing a template of openings over a surface of the recipient block with receptacle holes on the array, such that a needle or punch that contains a sample can be inserted through the openings of the template and the sample is then inserted into the receptacle hole in the recipient block.

In addition to licensing, the technology is available for further development through collaborative research opportunities with the inventors, the NIH said.


The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.