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LabCorp, Roche, UNMC, Affymetrix, Applera, Functional Genomics Center of Zurich, Rosetta, Canada


LabCorp to Sell Roche's AmpliChip CYP450 Assay

Laboratory Corporation of America will sell Roche Diagnostics' Amplichip Cytochrome P450 2D6/2C19 genotyping and phenotyping assay, the company said this week.

The assay was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in January, and is designed to identify multiple genetic variants in two cytochrome P450 genes, CYP2D6 and CYP2C19, which metabolize 40 to 45 percent of all prescription drugs, including antidepressants, pain relievers, and cardiovascular agents (see BAN 1/5/2005).

This summer, the reference lab helped validate the chip for Roche, and worked with the Swiss diagnostic giant to evaluate its research leukemia microarray, which is currently in development.

UNMC Awarded NCI Grant to Use Affy Chip in Cancer Study

Researchers at the University of Nebraska's Medical Center have received funding from the National Cancer Institute to discover biomarkers associated with non-Hodgkins lymphoma using a custom-built microarray, NCI said this week.

According to the NCI, the UNMC project will refine and validate diagnostic and prognostic molecular signatures for the major subclasses of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma using a microarray, called LymphDx, that was developed for the project by Affymetrix.

The funding — totaling approximately $1.7 million — was made available through the NCI's Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures Program and UNMC was one of six groups to receive grant money.

Applera Grants 266K Restricted Stock Units to Executive Officers

The management resources committee of Applera's board of directors last week approved a grant of Applied Biosystems restricted stock units to several officers and employees of Applera and its subsidiaries, the companies said this week in a statement.

Each restricted stock unit gives recipients the right to one share of ABI common stock at the time the restricted unit vests, Applera said. Restricted units bestowed to executive officers typically vest in four increments, each amounting to 25 percent of the total value, occurring at the ends of fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, the company added.

The grant follows Applera's Amended and Restated 1999 Stock Incentive Plan, and includes the following restricted stock transactions involving company officers: 88,800 shares granted to Tony White, Applera CEO; 43,200 shares granted to Catherine Burzik, senior vice president and president of ABI; 12,000 shares granted to Ugo DeBlasi, Applera vice president and controller; 19,200 shares granted to Dennis Gilbert, ABI CSO and vice president for research; 25,200 shares granted to Barbara Kerr, vice president of human resources at Applera; 15,600 shares granted to Sandeep Nayyar, ABI vice president of finance; 31,200 shares granted to William Sawch, Applera senior vice president and general counsel; 31,200 shares granted to Dennis Winger, senior vice president and CFO of Applera.

Swiss Functional Genomics Center Licenses Rosetta's Resolver

The Functional Genomics Center of Zurich, Switzerland, has licensed the Rosetta Resolver gene expression-analysis system, Rosetta said last week.

The center will use the system to analyze and store cross-platform microarray data generated from its regional functional genomic projects.

Rosetta Resolver is developed and supported by Rosetta Biosoftware and is distributed exclusively by Agilent Technologies. Rosetta Biosoftware is a business unit of Rosetta Inpharmatics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Canada Earmarks $5.5M for Cod Genomics Research

The Canadian government will contribute up to CA $6.5 million (US $5.5 million) over the next three years to support a genomics research project on cod aquaculture in Atlantic Canada, Canada's Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development announced this week.

The project, which is set to run for four years, is a part of Genome Canada, an organization established in 2000 to develop and implement nation-wide genomics and proteomics research projects. The cod effort has a total value of $18.2 million. Additional funding will be provided by a range of regional innovation and research partners.

"Cod has always been important to Atlantic Canada," Michael Dennis, CEO of Genome Atlantic, a division of Genome Canada, said. "Funding of the cod project will enhance the world-class genomics research capacity in Atlantic Canada and bring important breakthroughs to our growing aquaculture industry."


The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.