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InforSense, GenSense, BioMicro, Kreatech, Fluidigm, Lumera, Epigenomics

InforSense Makes GenSense Software Affy-Compatible
InforSense said this week that it has joined the Affymetrix GeneChip-compatible Applications Program in order to make its GenSense software compatible with the GeneChip platform.
Affymetrix has also become a member of InforSense's Open Workflow Partner Network, the company said.
InforSense said the integration will allow researchers to analyze and interpret information from Affy's Genome-Wide Human SNP 5.0 and SNP 6.0 arrays.
The company said its embedded analytics software now offers access to Affy's software for analyzing loss of heterozygosity and copy number variation, and several of Affy's calling algorithms, including BRLMM, BRLMM-p, and Birdseed.

BioMicro to Distribute Kreatech's Microarray Labeling Technology in North America
BioMicro Systems will distribute Kreatech Biotechnologies' Universal Linkage System for microarrays to customers in the US and in Canada, the companies said last week.
Amsterdam-based Kreatech's ULS products are used to attach "a variety of labels directly to DNA, RNA and proteins," and are built on a platinum-based system. “We have created a simple, easy-to-use, yet highly reproducible and sensitive solution for microarray labeling strategies,” the company said.
The distribution agreement "expands our reach into the North American microarray user base through a focused and experienced microfluidic and microarray technology solution provider," said Rik van Heijningen, Kreatech's vice president of commercial operations.
Van Heijningen told BioArray News this week that BioMicro will exclusively distribute the Kreatech-labeled product line for nucleic acid and protein labeling. The firm also has a North American alliance, with Immunicon, for its cytogenetics or fluorescence in situ hybridization product line, he said.  
Kreatech currently has numerous distribution pacts covering most Western markets. “At the moment we believe that the way forward is to work together with a local American player,” Van Heijningen said. “I think the alliance is going together on the ambition of both firms to strengthen offering to microarray users and service providers in the North American market,” he added.
The Salt Lake City-based company also recently inked a distribution pact with UK-based instrument vendor Arrayjet in May (see BAN 5/22/2007).
BioMicro has carved out a niche for itself in the array market by selling its MAUI hybridization system to array users. However, CEO Michael Feldman told BioArray News in May that distribution agreements, like the one with Arrayjet, signal his firm’s increased willingness to diversify its sales and marketing activities in the US and Canada.  
"I am looking at developing BioMicro into a company that’s known for innovative technology; that provides solutions that help the researcher improve the quality of data, throughput, and consistency," Feldman said at the time.

Fluidigm Signs up Bioke as Benelux Distributor for BioMark
Fluidigm said last week that Bioke has become the exclusive distributor for Fluidigm’s BioMark PCR and genotyping system in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
Fluidigm said the BioMark system offers performance improvements over standard RT-PCR systems because it is based on nanofluidic chips with preprogrammed fluidic networks that “automatically combine sets of samples with sets of PCR assays.”
The company said each BioMark array generates 2,304 PCR assays, but needs only 96 pipetting steps — 1/40 the steps required by 384-well systems.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Lumera's Q2 Revenues Rise 40 Percent on Govt. Contracts
Lumera last week said second-quarter revenues grew 40 percent as R&D spending fell 13 percent and net loss grew 3 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended June 30 increased to $934,000 from $665,000 year over year.
Nearly all of the company’s revenue came from US government service contracts, Lumera said. Much of the gain in revenue was due to a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop electro-optic polymer modulators. Electro-optic product sales contributed $6,000 over the quarter.
Lumera did not break out revenues for its bioscience business, which it recently restructured into a wholly owned subsidiary called Plexera Biosciences (see BAN 7/24/2007).
R&D spending dipped to $1.4 million from $1.6 million in the year-ago period. Lumera said net loss rose to $3.3 million from $3.2 million in the year-ago period. Lumera said it had around $2.9 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30.

Epigenomics' Q2 Revenues Dwindle 17 Percent, R&D Rises in Dx Push
Epigenomics last week said second-quarter revenue fell 17 percent as R&D spending rose 17 percent and net loss decreased 21 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended June 30 fell to €524,000 ($718,000) from €628,000 year over year.
The company said €511,000 of its €1.3 million total half-year revenue came from residuals from a collaboration with Roche Diagnostics, which officially ended in March.
R&D spending increased to €2.8 million from €2.4 million year over year. Net loss was €3.4 million, compared with €4.3 million in the year-ago period. Epigenomics said it had around €16.6 million in liquid assets as of June 30.
The company said it expects full-year 2007 revenue to be “similar” to the €3.5 million it posted in 2006.
Epigenomics’ CEO Geert Nygaard said the company made “significant progress” in the second quarter toward the commercialization of its cancer molecular diagnostic tests.
The company said it has “completed preparations” to raise equity capital over the next 12 months. “The exact timing will depend upon Epigenomics' progress in executing the strategy and delivering on its plans, in particular the structuring of an IVD deal, as well as prevailing market conditions,” the firm said.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.