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Linden Bioscience, Biolog, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge Antibody, Micromet, Enzon, US Department of Health and Human Services, Lark Technologies, The Drug Information Association and Cardiff University


Linden Bioscience to Supply Oligo Probe Design for PamGene

Linden Bioscience of Woburn, Mass., last week announced a supply agreement with PamGene of ‘S-Hertogenbosh, Netherlands. Linden will provide its Tilia oligonucleotide design service for PamGene’s 5D-Pulse microarray platform. Financial details of the agreement were not provided.

Biolog Earns $2.28M NIAID Grant To Develop Phenotype Arrays

Hayward, Calif.-based Biolog last week announced a $2.28 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The multi-year grant will be used to develop detection and identification methods for bacteria, including those that could be used in bioterrorism. The company will also use the information gained in the project to develop diagnostic tools and its phenotype microarray technology, the company said.

Oligos? By the Bucketfull.

Isis Pharmaceuticals has manufactured more than 4 kilograms (660 millimole scale) of high-quality crude 20-mer oligonucleotide, in a single run of approximately 5.3 hours, using the Amersham Bioscience’s OligoProcess technology, Amersham said in a statement, calling it the world’s largest-scale antisense oligonucleotide synthesis. The company said that the run is equivalent to a metric ton of crude oligonucleotide on an annualized basis, or up to 10 kilograms of crude oligo every 6.3 hours.

Cambridge Antibody, Micromet, and Enzon Sign Cross-Licensing Deal

The US Department of Health and Human Services last week announced that grants totaling $350 million over five years are being awarded to establish eight Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases at institutions across the country.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will administer the grants, which were awarded to Duke University, Harvard Medical School, the New York State Department of Health, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, University of Texas Medical Branch, University of Washington, and Washington University in St. Louis.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will provide its microarray expertise in a regionally based collaboration with the University of Washington.

The grants stipulate that the institutions use genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics, among other biological methods, to develop methods of dealing with agents of potential bioterrorist attacks — such as anthrax and smallpox — and emerging diseases, such as SARS. The institutions must also provide facilities and services in the case of a national biodefense emergency.

Lark Technologies Completes Reverse/Forward Stock Split

Houston-based Lark Technologies, a microarray services provider, last week announced that its shareholders have approved a proposal to complete a 1-for-100 reverse stock split, followed immediately by a 100-for-1 forward stock split. Stockholders with less 100 shares will receive a cash payment of $4.31 per share. Registered shareholders with more than 100 shares are unaffected and the total number of shares held by such holders will not change, the company said.

Lark expects to reduce its total number of shareholders from 2,549 to 797, at a purchase price cost of $73,000 as the company prepares to move from the OTC bulletin board to the Nasdaq Small Cap exchange.

Pharmacogenomics Workshop

The Drug Information Association will host a workshop, Pharmacogenomics in Drug Development and Regulatory Decision-Making [PDF], on Nov. 13-14 in Washington, DC.

Cardiff University to Open Center For Economic, Social Aspects of Genomics

A center for the economic and social aspects of genomics, CESAGen, will open at the University of Cardiff in the UK, the university said this week. The center will research ethics and regulation, economics and innovation, and genomic risk. It is a collaboration between Cardiff, the University of Wales College of Medicine, and Techniquest.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.