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BioArray Briefs: Dec 2, 2008

Leiden University Medical Center to Use FlexGen's Arrayer
Leiden University Medical Center said Nov. 20 that it has acquired a FlexArrayer from FlexGen for in-house synthesis of oligonucleotide microarrays.
FlexGen is a LUMC spinoff company.
Johan den Dunnen, head of the Leiden Genome Technology Center, said in a statement that the center will use the FlexArrayer for “well established types of genetic analyses but [we] also intend to work on the development of new applications.”
Specifically, den Dunnen said, LGTC is “keen to implement” the system for array-based hybridization capture to sequence specific DNA regions.
Financial terms of the agreement were not provided.

Geospiza Acquires GeneSifter Microarray Software from VizX
Geospiza has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the GeneSifter Data Analysis product from VizX Labs, the Seattle-based firm said Nov. 20.
Geospiza said GeneSifter is a gene expression analysis platform for both microarrays and next-generation sequencing. It expects the integration of GeneSifter with its own FinchLab will be “fast and seamless.”
“GeneSifter will expand our market by addressing the demand for sophisticated data analysis across microarray, capillary electrophoresis, and next-generation sequencing platforms," Geospiza President Rob Arnold said in a statement.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Burnham Licenses GeneGo Software
The Burnham Institute for Medical Research will use GeneGo’s data analysis suite for training and support in its experimental research programs, the company said this week.
Under the license agreement, Burnham scientists will have access to GeneGo’s MetaCore across the institution. The institute will use MetaCore as a central data repository and as a management and collaboration platform.
Burnham has two California locations, at La Jolla and at Santa Barbara, and one center in Orlando, Fla.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Harvard Medical School to Use High Throughput Genomics' qNPA Technology
Harvard Medical School researchers will use High Throughput Genomics’ technology to develop an assay that can measure the expression of miRNA precursors, mature microRNAs, and regulated RNA.
Tucson, Ariz.-based HTG said this week that it will collaborate with the Harvard Catalyst Laboratory for Innovative Translational Technologies at Harvard Medical School to create the biogenesis assay.
Under the agreement, the lab will use HTG’s quantitative Nuclease Protection Assay technology, which the company said allows researchers to “test any sample, including fixed tissues, without RNA extraction or target amplification.” The qNPA technology is used to carry out quantitative, multiplexed gene-based drug programs, including target validation, HTS lead optimization, metabolism, toxicology, and clinical development.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Med Biogene's Loss Rises as It Gears Up for Test Launch
Med BioGene last week reported that its net loss rose 22 percent for the third quarter as it prepares for the US launch of its LungExpress Dx test in mid-2009.
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based firm posted a net loss of C$675,383 (US$547,694), or C$.02 per share, compared to a net loss of C$552,563, or C$.02 per share, for the third quarter of 2007.
Med BioGene’s R&D expenses grew to C$330,877 from C$276,341 year over year, while its general and administrative spending increased to C$320,437 from C$285,557.
During August and September, the firm raised gross proceeds of C$1.8 million from the sales of 12,168,667 units consisting of one common share and one-half of one transferable common share purchase warrant. The money is being used to finance the creation of Med BioGene’s commercial operations.
The company’s lead product, LungExpress Dx, is a gene expression-based test for early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer patients. The firm expects the test to be used for guiding treatment and improving the selection of patients for chemotherapy following surgical removal of cancerous tumors.
Med BioGene finished the quarter with C$1.4 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Signature Genomic Teams with Med Center on Fellowship Program
Signature Genomic Laboratories last week said that it will be a partner site for Sacred Heart Medical Center’s genetic fellowship program, which recently received accreditation from the American Board of Medical Genetics.
Spokane, Wash.-based Signature Genomic Labs offers microarray-based cytogenetic diagnostic testing services. The firm’s Chief Medical Officer, Bassem Bejjani, who also is co-director of the molecular diagnostics lab of the Spokane medical center, said that Signature’s microarray testing “was instrumental in ABMG’s decision to offer accreditation” to Sacred Heart’s program.
The accreditation program allows doctors to complete a two-year training program in clinical cytogenetics or clinical molecular genetics at Sacred Heart and its partner sites at Signature and Inland Northwest Genetics Clinic.

Cogenics to Serve as Astellas' Global Genotyping Provider
Clinical Data’s Cogenics division will provide genotyping services to Tokyo-based drug developer Astellas Pharma, the company said last week.
Under the agreement, Cogenics will serve as Astellas’ exclusive global provider of biorepository and extraction services and whole-genome association and targeted genotyping services for clinical studies in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Cogenics has facilities in North Carolina, Texas, the UK, France, and Germany.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.