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Incyte, HTS Biosystems, Gentel, Tm Bioscience, Gene Network Sciences, Genomics Collaborative, Febit, PerkinElmer


Incyte Lays off 37 Percent of Staff, Sharpens Focus on Drug Discovery

Incyte Genomics of Palo Alto, Calif., announced a layoff of 37 percent of its staff, or 259 people, in a restructuring program to slash $88 million in annual costs, the company said last week.

Incyte, which earlier announced plans to buy drug-discovery firm Maxia Pharmaceuticals of San Diego, for $28.3 million, said it would consolidate four research centers into two. Incyte cut jobs at Palo Alto, Beverley, Mass., and Cambridge, UK, the company said. Incyte said it intends to hire between 80 and 100 researchers during the next year to bolster its drug-discovery efforts. The company, which will take a $40 million charge in the fourth quarter as a result of the reorganization, plans to continue buying back $30 million of its own shares.


HTS Biosystems, Ciencia Share $600K NASA Grant For Zero-Gravity Proteomics

NASA awarded HTS Biosystems and Ciencia $600,000 to develop space-bound protein-analysis technology, the companies said this week.

The Phase II grant, which is part of NASA’s Cellular Biotechnology Program, will help HTS Biosystems and Ciencia develop a proteomics biosensor chip array integrated into a microfluidics cartridge.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center oversees the Space Station Cellular Biotechnology Program, which aims at conducting cell-biology research in a microgravity environment.


Gentel Receives $200,000 Technology Development Loan from State Of Wisconsin

GenTel, a Madison, Wisc., startup, recently received a $200,000 low-interest loan from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. GenTel is commercializing a line of gold-surface substrates for biochip research based on technology licensed from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.


Tm Bioscience Closes on $4.6M Debt Financing

Toronto-based Tm Bioscience closed on a C$4.6 million ($2.9 million) debt financing from Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund.

The funding will allow the company to complete the commercialization of its genetic testing products.

The loan is secured by Tm Bioscience assets and is payable over 36 months. Canadian Medical Discoveries, a labor-backed venture capital investor, also purchased 3.7 million stock warrants. CMDF currently owns 24,625,001 common shares, representing approximately 21.7 percent of Tm Bioscience’s issued and outstanding common shares, and controls options to purchase 91,400 common shares, representing approximately 24.2 percent of the company’s common shares.


Gene Network Sciences Gets $2M ATP Grant

Gene Network Sciences, an Ithaca, N.Y., based cancer-research startup has received a $2 million Advanced Technology Program grant. The funding is administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is matched by industry.


Genomics Collaborative Collects $5.1M in VC

Genomics Collaborative of Cambridge, Mass., last week closed on $5.1 million in venture capital funding. The firm maintains a repository of clinical research material, including human DNA, RNA, sera and tissue samples as well as medical information. Investors include Applied Genomic Technology, Invesco Private Capital, Oracle Venture Fund, Singapore Economic Development Board, and TL Ventures. Founded in 1998, the company has taken in $63 million in six rounds.


Febit Adds €30M in Venture Capital

Mannheim, Germany-based Febit has closed on a third-round funding of €30 million led by EMBL Technology Fund and Infineon Ventures and including funds from Marco Polo Investments, First Ventury and Grazia Equity as well as existing investors Heidelberg Innovation and TechnoStart Venture Capital. The 75-employee company said it will use the funds for sales and marketing for a rollout expected to begin in Europe in 2003.


PerkinElmer Selected as Nucleotides Supplier to New York’s AMDeC Foundation

PerkinElmer said last week that it will discount price the non-radioactive-labeled nucleotides it will provide to AMDeC Foundation (Academic Medicine Development Co.), a research and technology cooperative consisting of 39 New York medical and scientific institutions.

This agreement with PerkinElmer represents AMDeC’s initial agreement pertaining to microarray related products. AMDeC is founded partially to leverage the purchasing power of its member institutions for group discounts.

The Scan

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.

Using Bees to Gain Insights into Urban Microbiomes

As bees buzz around, they pick up debris that provides insight into the metagenome of their surroundings, researchers report in Environmental Microbiome.

Age, Genetic Risk Tied to Blood Lipid Changes in New Study

A study appearing in JAMA Network Open suggests strategies to address high lipid levels should focus on individuals with high genetic risk and at specific ages.

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.