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Ilumina, Med BioGene, Duke University, US Air Force, CombiMatrix, Van Andel Institute, Spectrum Health, German Environmental Health Center, Partek

Accounting Rules Block Ilumina From Booking Revenue For at Least 13 Sequencers
Accounting rules will prevent Illumina from booking most of the revenue from the sale of at least 13 Genome Analyzers that Solexa shipped to early-access customers, Illumina President and CEO Jay Flatley said at an investor conference last week.
A few weeks before it was acquired by Illumina in late January, Solexa said it had begun invoicing early-access customers in the fourth quarter, and that it expected to begin recording revenue from these placements in the current quarter, according to BioArray News' sister publication In Sequence.
“Due to the wonders of acquisition accounting, much of the revenue that occurred [before the merger was completed], even though it was not recognized as revenue for Solexa, … will not be recognizable by us,” said Flatley, who spoke at the Cowen and Company 27th Health Care Conference in Boston. “So that revenue will disappear, it will not be recognized either by Solexa or by Illumina.”
The rule will affect all 13 units that Solexa shipped in 2006, as well as any additional systems shipped between Jan. 1 and Jan. 26, the date Illumina completed the acquisition, a company spokeswoman told In Sequence.
Illumina said in February that it expects to generate between $64 million and $68 million in total revenues for the first quarter but did not break out how much of that would derive from its sequencing business. The company generated $29 million during the same period in 2006.

Med BioGene Partners with Duke for Biomarker Validation
Med BioGene, a Vancouver, BC-based array diagnostics company, said this week that it has entered into a research collaboration and option agreement with Duke University to develop and validate MBI's genetic biomarkers for lymphoma and leukemia using its gene-expression profiling system.
MBI CEO Erinn Broshko said in a statement that the partners will develop a tool using microarray analysis for disease diagnosis and prognosis and therapeutic development. "We expect our Gene Expression Profiling System to be more accurate, faster, and more cost effective than current methods of diagnosing lymphoma and leukemia," Broshko said.
David Rizzieri, associate professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center, said in a statement that "Med BioGene's technology may have applications in clinical research, disease diagnosis, treatment and drug development."
Further details of the collaboration were not discussed.

US Air Force Extends CombiMatrix Contract to Develop Flu Assays
CombiMatrix last week said that the US Air Force has extended its contract to develop an influenza genotyping system.
Under the $890,000 deal, CBMX will develop a field-deployable system designed to identify all influenza strains, including H5N1 avian flu, and other respiratory pathogens. The original program started in 2005 when the USAF’s Institute of Occupational Health paid CBMX $340,000 for a one-year contract to begin developing an array to identify the infections (see BAN 10/5/2005).
That agreement gave the company the right to sell the resulting assays to other customers.
CBMX CEO Amit Kumar said it is important to be able to track mutations in bird flu, and added that CBMX’s system can “determine when any other strain of influenza A is gaining [the] upper hand in a population, and can identify other infectious diseases that cause flu-like symptoms.”
The company said the first goal of the effort will be to update the array with new information from influenza A sequencing that is related to human disease.

Van Andel Institute, Spectrum Health Create Lab to Study Genomics, Proteomics of Disease
The Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Health have started a molecular technologies lab that will study genomics and proteomics for application in cancer, heart disease, mental illness, and other diseases, Spectrum Health said last week.
Spectrum, a non-profit group that operates seven hospitals in Western Michigan, said the Center for Molecular Medicine, located in Grand Rapids, has $6 million in funding.
The CMM will use Van Andel’s infrastructure and employees along with Spectrum’s clinical lab and research resources. Van Andel CEO and Chairman David Van Andel said Spectrum has “a large patient population which allows us to apply what we're learning directly into the clinical setting."
The CMM will house and use DNA and RNA extraction, DNA microarrays, multiplex protein detection, and gene-expression profiling. Directing the CMM will be Dan Farkas, who Spectrum said has established three other hospital-based molecular diagnostics labs.

German Environmental Health Center to Use Partek's Genomics Suite
A German government agency has purchased Partek Genomics’ software to analyze data from studies of cancer, heart disease, and lung disease, Partek said last week.
The National Research Center for Environment and Health, or GSF, will use Partek’s Genomics Suite with Affymetrix GeneChip data at its facility in Neuherberg.
GSF studies disease by focusing on genetic dispositions, environmental factors, and biological systems, Partek said. Partek’s software suite analyzes gene expression, exon expression, chromosomal copy number, promoter tiling arrays, and SNP arrays.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.