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Illumina, Molecular Mining, GlaxoSmithKline, Gyros, Infineon, Eppendorf, Tm Bioscience


Illumina Provides Oligos to Cold Spring Harbor Effort

Illumina said this week it has signed an agreement to provide 100,000 long oligonucleotides to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for a study that explores the mechanism through which RNA interference takes place.

The company will prepare its oligos using its high-throughput Oligator DNA synthesis facility. Oligonucleotide synthesis is an alternative source of revenue for the San Diego-based company, which also provides SNP genotyping services using its BeadArray fiber-optic array technology.

The principal investigator in this study, Gregory Hannon, will work with Illumina on validating the quality of the oligos. Hannon’s work centers on the mechanism through which RNA interference leads to the degradation of mRNA, and possibly participates in gene silencing and gene regulation.


Molecular Mining, GSK collaborate on Gene Expression study of Bone Formation

Molecular Mining announced a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline this week to analyze gene expression data in order to learn more about mechanisms underlying bone formation.

The researchers are looking at the effect of bone-growth stimulating treatments on cells. In the study, they will analyze gene expression in bone tissues that are subjected to these treatments. Molecular Mining will analyze the data from these studies, determining combinations of expression levels over specific genes and time points, and discerning interactions between genes, in order to model the regulatory networks associated with response to these treatments. The companies did not disclose the financial details of the agreement.


Gyros Opens German Sales Office

Swedish compact disc microfluidics company Gyros has opened a sales subsidiary in Munich. The company also has sales offices in the US and UK, as well as distributorship agreements in Switzerland, and Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.


Infineon Biochip Wins Innovation Award from WSJ Europe

Siemens spinoff Infineon, which has developed a porous “flow-through” microarray chip with MetriGenix of Gaithersburg, Md., said it has been named a recipient of a Technology Innovation Silver Award from the Wall Street Journal Europe. The initial chips measure one quarter of a square centimeter, and contain 128 microchannels that are each 100 microns in diameter.


Eppendorf Finds Home for Microarray Unit: Plans Product Rollout

German lab-equipment giant Eppendorf, which purchased a majority interest in Belgian microarray startup Advanced Array Technology last July, has settled its subsidiary into a new home.

The subsidiary, Eppendorf Array Technology, is located in Namur, a small town approximately an hour south of Brussels. The facility employs 25 people, most of whom are researchers, said Jörn Peplow, a spokesman for Eppendorf. Namur was chosen because Advanced Array Technology was initially a spin-off of the University of Namur.

The company expects EAT to launch its first product lines of low-density microarray chips, scanners, and reagents in the first half of next year, said Peplow. He said the line will be “continuously expanded.”


Tm Bioscience Reports Q3 Results

Tm Bioscience of Toronto, which is publicly traded on the TSX Venture exchange in Canada, reported its third-quarter results last week — but not in a form that complies with generally accepted accounting principles.

The company reported no revenues, and total expenses that increased to $CA1.4 million ($US 0.9 million), compared to $CA0.9 million, ($US 0.6 million), in the third quarter of 2001. The company’s losses totaled roughly the same amount as its expenses.

At the end of the quarter, Tm had $CA 2.7 million ($US 1.7 million) in cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments. But it subsequently secured financing of $CA 4.66 million ($US 3 million) from the Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund in November.

At its current burn rate, Tm has enough cash to last another five quarters. However, the company said it expects to start seeing revenues soon, when Metrigenix, which has licensed its Tm100 and Tm1000 universal array tags for a flow-through microarray, launches this product. The company also has a deal with Luminex to commercialize the Tm100 on the xMap bead-based system, but has no launch date set. Meanwhile, Tm is working to validate a P450-2D6 drug metabolization test with a US reference lab, and said it plans to launch that product in mid-2003.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.