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Immune Tolerance Network, Expression Analysis, Lumera, Sysmex, USC, Lynx, ABI, PerkinElmer, Aviva Systems Biology

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Immune Tolerance Network Chooses Expression Analysis as Microarray Core Facility

The Immune Tolerance Network has chosen Expression Analysis to serve as its microarray core facility, the company said last week.

Using Affymetrix GeneChips, EA over the next 20 months will help support clinical trials for the ITN, an international collaborative research project involving more than 70 scientists and clinical professionals.

Terms of the deal call for EA to provide the ITN with a single-source environment for processing clinical trials samples submitted from multiple locations. EA said it expects to process several thousand clinical samples during the initial contract period.

Founded in Durham, NC, in 2001, EA offers high-throughput sample processing and statistical support for microarray-based gene-expression, genotyping, and resequencing.


Lumera Licenses Helix Technology in Bid to Enter Protein Array Market

Lumera has acquired the exclusive rights to protein surface chemistry from Helix Biopharma in order to further its development of a proteomic microarray, the company said last week.

Lumera reported that it will combine Helix Biopharma’s Heterodimer Protein Technology with its own NanoCapture Array technology. The integrated technologies will allow Lumera to produce and capture proteins on a silicon surface while keeping the proteins fully functional, the company said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not provided.

The company said it has already produced prototype chips using the combined technologies, and carried out enzymatic, binding, and proteomic studies.

Lumera said it plans to begin shipping a product based on the technology later this year.


Sysmex Develops Chip-based Test for Breast Cancer Recurrence

Sysmex, a Kobe, Japan-based firm that specializes in clinical trial support, announced that it has developed a new method that uses protein chips to diagnose the recurrence of early-stage cancer in breast cancer patients.

Using a multi-protein analysis chip it developed in February 2004, Sysmex said that it can detect the resurgence of breast cancer in patients that have undergone surgery by observing the expressions of specific proteins related to cancer cell proliferation.

The company said it believes the new technology will enable doctors to decide whether or not their patients need mild or aggressive cancer therapy after surgery.

Sysmex developed the new method with Osaka University’s Graduate School of Medicine and said it will continue clinical trials on detecting other cancers with an eye on launching the method commercially in FY 2007.


USC Renews Contract with Lynx

Researchers at the University of Southern California have renewed a contract to use Lynx Therapeutics’ whole-genome gene-expression technology, after winning a grant from the National Science Foundation, Lynx said this week.

The researchers have been using Lynx’s Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing to understand the genetics and physiology of oysters, making use of its capability to work on a genomic level with organisms that have unsequenced genomes. The researchers said in a statement that the project could be useful to conservationists and marine fisheries management.

Under the new agreement with USC, Lynx will be paid for performing genome-wide transcriptome-sequencing services on oyster samples.


Revenues for ABI’s DNA Sequencing Business Slide 17 Percent in Q2

Buoyed by a 2-percent benefit from foreign currency exchange, Applied Biosystems reported a 1-percent increase in total revenue for its second quarter of fiscal 2005, the company said last week.

ABI had total revenues of $463 million for the quarter, compared to $458 million for the year-ago quarter. The company’s DNA-sequencing segment had revenues of $141 million, a 17-percent decrease over the year-ago quarter. Sequentially, the revenues were an improvement over the $116 million the segment reported in the last quarter, which was the company’s lowest revenue performance for the last 12 quarters for what was once its flagship growth product.

However, for this quarter, ABI’s real-time PCR and mass-spectrometry segments reported growth of 29 percent and 10 percent, respectively. RT-PCR revenues increased to $135 million for the quarter from $104 million one year ago. Mass-spec revenues were $114 million, compared to $103 million a year ago.

The company reported R&D expenses of $54 million for the quarter, compared to $61 million a year ago, a decrease ABI attributed to a realignment of its R&D investments.

Net income increased 40 percent as ABI reported $73 million for the period, compared to $52 million for the same period last year.

ABI reported a net gain of $30 million related to the previously announced sale of certain MALDI-TOF assets to MDS as part of the expansion of a joint venture with MDS Sciex. ABI also took charges of $3 million for severance and benefit costs and $2.3 million for a lease agreement as part of the company’s ongoing restructuring.


PerkinElmer Sales Rise in Q4

PerkinElmer last week reported that total receipts jumped 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004, spurred by revenue in its Life and Analytical Sciences division.

Total company revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 shot up to $478 million from $431.8 million in the year-ago period. The Life and Analytical Sciences division saw revenue grow to $311 million in the fourth quarter of 2004 from $290 million in the same period last year — a rise of 6.8 percent.

PerkinElmer’s R&D expenses for the fourth quarter of 2004 were up $4.7 million to $23.6 million.

Net income grew 27 percent, as PerkinElmer reported $37.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to $27.9 million year-over-year.


Aviva Licenses Regulatory Gene-Mapping Technology from UCSD

Aviva Systems Biology has licensed the rights to develop and commercialize products based on Gene Regulation Elements Mapping and Analysis (GREMA) technology from the University of California, San Diego, the company said this week.

GREMA, developed by UCSD professor of cellular and molecular biology Xiangdong Fu, is a method for detecting DNA fragments that interact with proteins.

Aviva has used its bioinformatics platform to identify approximately 32,000 potential promoter sequences, 20,000 of which it has incorporated into a DNA microarray to be sold to the basic research market.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.