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Innogenetics and PamGene, Illumina and Children s Hospital of Philadelphia, IMC and Expression Analysis, and Harvard Bioscience and Genomic Solutions

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Innogenetics to Debut Tissue Typing on PamGene System in Q3

Innogenetics last week said that its 4-MAT system, an array-based diagnostic platform developed with fellow Dutch firm PamGene, will be available in the second half of this year, and that the first assays on 4-MAT will target the human leukocyte antigen typing market.

The 4-MAT instrument will be gradually developed for other diagnostic fields within Innogenetics' interest, the biopharmaceutical company said. The firm's diagnostics division is currently developing products covering the infectious disease, genetic testing, and neurodegeneration areas.

Bertrand Jordan, who sits on PamGene's scientific advisory board, told BioArray News in March that Innogenetics would begin offering HLA typing on a customized PamStation-12 this year (see BAN 3/28/2006).

Jordan said at the time that Innogenetics planned to introduce next year additional tests for the PamStation platform, including tests for cystic fibrosis and the mannose-binding lectin 2 (MBL2) gene, expected in 2007, and for infectious disease, neurodegeneration, oncology, and immunological diseases, due in 2008.

As part of the deal, Innogenetics may use as many as 130 of the PS-12 stations as it adds tests to its menu, he said at the time

This week, Innogenetics' business-development and licensing manager Filip Goossens said that the new 4-MAT platform combines the PamStation-12 technology with a chip that contains four arrays per cartridge.

He also confirmed that Innogenetics is planning CF and MBL2 gene assays for next year, as well assays for neurodegenerative and infectious diseases at a later date.

However, Goossens declined to give exact dates on when the follow-up tests could become available.


Illumina to Place BeadLab System at CHOP; Deal Could Exceed $25M

Illumina will provide the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with its BeadLab genotyping system, the company said last week.

The hospital will house the system at its new Center for Applied Genomics and will provide a core capability for CHOP's research goal of ultimately genotyping over 100,000 children with a focus on asthma, obesity, diabetes, and cancer, Illumina said.

According to the company, the initial value of the agreement, which includes arrays and reagents for the first 30,000 samples, is expected to exceed $25 million.

CHOP said that it plans to first conduct whole-genome genotyping using Sentrix HumanHap550 BeadChips, though subsequent phases of its research will use Illumina arrays and reagents to study focused sets of SNPs thought to be implicated in disease cause and progression.


IMC Selects Expression Analysis for Microarray Processing Services

IMC selected Expression Analysis for microarray processing services to support its clinical trial on drug addiction, Expression Analysis said last week.

The Durham, NC-based company will isolate genomic samples and analyze them on both gene-expression and genotyping microarrays. The samples are from a clinical trial IMC is conducting.

The clinical trial is funded through an award received last year from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The trial uses IMC's TeraGenomics, a data-warehousing product that manages, analyzes, and shares Affymetrix GeneChip microarray data to analyze the effectiveness of a compound used to treat methamphetamine addiction.

Financial details were not disclosed.



Harvard Bio to Cut Staff at Genomic Solutions' UK Operations

Harvard Bioscience plans to eliminate certain jobs at the Huntingdon, UK, facility of its Genomic Solutions subsidiary, according to an 8-K filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Genomic Solutions currently sells OmniGrid and MicroGrid arrayers for researchers designing arrays for genomics and proteomics.

In the filing, Harvard Bioscience said that it will reorganize, consolidate, and eliminate certain activities at the UK facility. Part of the reorganization includes relocating some activities to the firm's Holliston, Mass., facilities.

According to Harvard Bio, "this will result in the elimination of a number of employee positions."

The firm expects to take second-quarter charges of $600,000 to $800,000 related to severance and benefits and charges of $100,000 to $300,000 related to lease terminations.

Genomic Solutions is part of Harvard Bio's capital equipment business, which the firm last August said it plans to divest. At that time, Harvard Bio said it expected to complete the divestiture or sale within one year.

According to the most recent filing, Harvard Bio is continuing its efforts to divest the capital equipment business. The firm said it would kill the reorganization plan if it sells the business "prior to our completion of all activities under this plan."

 

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.