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Illumina Launches Genotyping System Alone After ABI Drags Its Feet

Illumina of San Diego has gone ahead and launched its BeadArray-based genotyping system alone, after Applied Biosystems delayed the launch of the genotyping system the two companies are jointly developing..

The company said it will ship the system to customers beginning the fourth quarter.

The delay of the joint ABI system comes after recent discussions in which ABI indicated that it would not be able to launch the system by the planned mid-2002 date. Illumina “is currently working with Applied Biosystems to understand the exact nature and extent of the delay,” according to a company press release.

“We are disappointed in the launch delay for the collaboration product, but are excited at the prospect of marketing our own system,” said Illumina CEO Jay Flatley, in a statement. ”We will continue discussions with Applied Biosystems to better understand the alternatives for moving forward with the collaboration and other ways we can work together in the genotyping market.”

The new genotyping system is based on the fiber optic stalk-based BeadArray platform in which a plate holds bundles of fiber optics, with concave wells at one end. In each well is a fluorescent bead to which probes are attached. The system is LIMS-controlled, and can deliver up to 1,152 SNP loci per sample, as well as more than one million genotypes per day. It is the same system that the company uses internally in its 13 genotyping services agreements.

The company said several weeks ago that it had 2,300 assayed SNP markers for the system. The SNP set will be available as a linkage analysis study tool for Illumina’s genotyping service customers, the company said. The markers were assembled from the SNP Consortium panel, in addition to new loci that Illumina has discovered. The company then tested and optimized the set for accuracy and multiplex assay performance.

 

Strand Genomics Partners with Cligene to Analyze Data

Strand Genomics of Bangalore, India has entered into a partnership with Cligene, a subsidiary of BioCon India, to analyze Cligene’s clinical data using the Soochika microarray analysis software. Cligene has proteomic, genomic, and clinical data in diabetes and lipidemia.

“The Clinigene-Strand partnership is the first of its kind in the country to pursue biomarker discovery in specific disease segments through clinical research on a bioinformatics platform,” A.S. Arvind, Clinigene’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

 

Luminex Achieves ISO 9001 Management System Certification

Luminex of Austin, Texas has received approval from Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance that its quality management system for its xMap bead-based technology meets the international quality standard ISO 9001:2000.

“Achieving this is a significant milestone for Luminex,” stated Mark Chandler, Luminex’s CEO and chairman of the board. “ISO certification is required by the large multinational corporations that will establish the Luminex laboratory throughout the life sciences industry.”

 

GeneData Licenses Software to Arrow Therapeutics

GeneData of Basel, Switzerland has licensed its gene function software, including its expression analysis software, to microbial drug discovery company Arrow Therapeutics of London.

This agreement includes licenses to the GeneData Phylosopher, the company’s gene function prediction and pathway analysis program, and GeneData Expressionist, the company’s DNA microarray data analysis software.

 

Agilent Sells Microarrays to Abgenix

Abgenix of Fremont, Calif., which develops human therapeutic antibodies, has signed a deal to use Agilent’s custom microarrays, Agilent said this week.

Abgenix researchers will have access to Agilent’s microarray design services, custom oligo microarrays, microarray scanner, and the Rosetta software analysis system.

 

David Lockhart to Speak at Microarray Fabrication Pre-Conference

The Duke Bioinformatics Shared Resource, which hosts the Critical Assessment of Microarray Data Analysis conference this November 14 to 15 in Durham, NC, plans to add to the roster a pre-conference one-day event, “Microarrays: Fabrication to Analysis,” on November 13. This workshop, to be held from 10AM to 5PM at the Millennium Hotel in Durham, will be led by David Lockhart, an early developer of arrays with Affymetrix. Lockhart, who is now president and chief scientific officer of chemi-genomics company Ambit Biosciences, will take users through the process of fabricating, using, and analyzing data from microarrays. For more information on the CAMDA conference and registration, please see www.camda.duke.edu/camda02.

 

Genomic Solutions Gets Asian Distributors

Genomic Solutions of Ann Arbor, Mich., has signed agreements with two companies to distribute its microarray instruments and other products in China, Australia, and New Zealand.

The distributors include Gene Company, of Hong Kong, which will distribute to China, and BioLab Group, with offices in Australia and New Zealand, which will distribute to these countries.

The products to be distributed include Genomic Solutions’ GeneTAC, Investigator, GeneMAP, and Cartesian tools.

These new agreements come after Genomic Solutions’ distribution agreement with PerkinElmer ran into trouble. PerkinElmer earlier had an exclusive agreement to distribute Genomic Solutions’ products outside the US and Japan, but when PerkinElmer bought Genomic Solutions competitor Packard Biosciences, its sales of Genomic Solutions products flagged. Genomic Solutions and PerkinElmer then agreed that their non-US distribution agreements would be non-exclusive, enabling Genomic Solutions to find other non-US distributors for its instruments.

 

SPSS and Duke Sign Data Mining Deal

SPSS and the Duke Bioinformatics Shared Resource at Duke University in Durham, NC, have signed an agreement to grant the DBSR licenses, training, and technical support for SPSS’s Clementine data mining module for microarray data, combinatorial chemistry, and clinical data. In return, DBSR will evaluate Clementine, including its proprietary algorithms, and provide information on how it has applied Clementine software to SPSS.

The partnership comes under the rubric of the SPSS Alliance Program, which is designed to foster these partnerships in order to advance the use of SPSS technology, and expand the functionality and applications of software such as Clementine.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.