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Illumina, Fisher, Eisenberg Brothers, Partek, Mogene, Sigma, One NorthEast, Newcastle University, University of Malaga


Illumina to Use $96M from Stock Sale to Fund R&D, Manufacturing Expansion

Illumina will use the $96.2 million it raised last month through a public stock offering to fund research and development, expand its manufacturing capacity, and for general working capital needs, according to a document filed recently with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (see BAN 5/30/2006).

In April, the company announced plans to double its current manufacturing capacity. Illumina is also prepping its BeadXpress platform for release later this year (see BAN 4/25/2006).

Additionally, the company said that it "may use a portion of the net proceeds to acquire, license, or invest in complementary businesses, technologies, or products."

However, Illumina said that it currently has no "agreements or commitments" related to any acquisition, license, or investment.

Fisher's Pierce Unit Becomes NIH's 'Preferred Vendor' for Protein Profiling

The US National Institutes of Health has chosen Fisher Biosciences' Pierce Biotechnology unit to be its 'preferred vendor' for conducting protein sample analysis, Fisher said last week.

The NIH will use Pierce's SearchLight multiplex-profiling technology to analyze secreted protein expression in samples submitted by the NIH, including the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and other affiliated NIH organizations, according to Fisher.

SearchLight is an multiplex sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in a 96-well plate-based microarray format. Fisher claims it can measure up to 12 secreted proteins simultaneously per well. The company announced plans to upgrade SearchLight in March (see BAN 4/4/2006).

Financial details of the arrangement were not discussed.

Eisenberg Brothers to Sell, Support Partek Software in Israel

Eisenberg Brothers will sell and support Partek's statistical analysis and data-visualization software in Israel, Partek said last week.

The distribution agreement includes Partek's Genomics Suite for microarray data, Discovery Suite for multi-dimensional non-microarray data, QSAR Solution for chemistry data, and Screener Solution for HTS screening data.

The Partek Genomics Suite is Affymetrix GeneChip-compatible for gene expression, exon expression, and chromosomal copy number analysis.

The St. Louis-based company has recently been building up its profile in the Israeli market. Last week, Partek announced that it had licensed Genomics Suite to the Chaim Sheba Medical Center and the Weizmann Institute of Science, which are based in Tel Aviv and Rehovot, respectively (see BAN 5/30/2006).

Financial details of the agreement with Eisenberg Brothers were not discussed.

Mogene Is First to Offer Sigma's GenomePlex Amplification Technology

Sigma-Aldrich last week announced that Mogene has become the first array service provider to offer the company's GenomePlex Whole Genome Amplification technology.

Sigma said that the new service follows a licensing agreement it signed in February with Rubicon Genomics that allows Sigma to offer the kits to service providers.

Mogene, an Agilent-certified services provider, said it will integrate GenomePlex WGG into its setup. Mogene currently offers microarray-based gene expression and comparative genomic hybridization services on the Agilent platform.

Two Life Science Labs Open at Newcastle University

UK regional development agency One NorthEast said that it will open two life science research facilities at Newcastle University this week.

One of the labs will host a so-called "Knowledge Crucible," which will support multidisciplinary research in human genetics, aging and health, and cancer research.

The labs will be based at the Life Knowledge Park at the university's Institute of Human Genetics.

The labs are among six such genetics knowledge parks funded by the UK's Department of Health and Trade and the Department of Industry.

One NorthEast has provided ö.3 million ($11.8 million) in funding to support the two centers.

University of Malaga Awarded $250K Grant to Design Forestry Biochips

Researchers of the University of Malaga in Spain were recently awarded 190,900 ($250,000) to develop molecular markers and biochips for improving forest production, according to a statement from the Andalusian Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Enterprise.

The project is funded through the ministry, a state-run regional economic development agency, with the aim of designing biomarkers and chips to select prime specimens for pine trees. The final goal of the project is to identify "genotypes with a better product quality in natural populations or in those resulting from reforestation," the ministry said.

The ministry added that the research would benefit Spain's paper and wood industries and help scientists better address environmental concerns such as deforestation and global warming.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.