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Lynx Therapeutics, OncoGenex Technologies, BioTrove, Transgenomic, AstraZeneca, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Pyrosequencing


Lynx Closes $3M in Private Stock Placement

Lynx Therapeutics last week announced the completion of a $3 million private financing round of common stock and warrants for common stock.

The financing, to undisclosed institutional investors, comprised the sale of 744,000 newly issued common shares at approximately $4.03 per share, and the issuance of warrants to buy 186,000 shares of common stock for around $9.91 per share.

“While our primary goal remains to improve our financial position and fund our operations through payments to us under existing and prospective relationships with customers, collaborators, and licensees, this financing gives us added flexibility. We will continue to consider various other financing options,” Kevin Corcoran, Lynx’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Last month, Lynx, of Hayward, Calif., reported $3 million in cash and cash equivalents, including restricted cash, and said it is “considering various other options, including additional equity financing.” Also in August, the company retained the Washington, DC-based investment bank Friedman, Billings, and Ramsey as a financial advisor.

In May, Lynx was delisted from the Nasdaq exchange and began trading on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market exchange. The company, which had been floundering financially since late last year, was ordered by the Nasdaq to transfer its common stock to the smaller market because Lynx’s market cap fell below the Nasdaq’s minimum requirement.

Oncogenex raises $11.5 M Private Placement

OncoGenex Technologies of Vancouver, BC, announced this week the closing of a $11.5 million financing. Ventures West led the round and was joined by other new investors, HIG. Ventures and Working Opportunity Fund, managed by GrowthWorks Capital. The syndicate also included existing investors Business Development Bank of Canada and Milestone Medica.

OncoGenex is an antisense drug development firm using tissue microarray analysis. The company was spun-out from the Prostate Center at Vancouver General Hospital.

BioTrove Licenses Genencor’s Through-Hole Array Technology IP

BioTrove announced this week that it has licensed from Genencor International a portfolio of patents and patent filings related to nanofluidic through-hole array technology. BioTrove said that the intellectual property would bolster its existing through-hole array technology patent portfolio with new method and device claims. BioTrove said that the technology is used in its Living Chip platform for molecular, cell, and tissue screening and storage.

Specific terms of the licensing deal were not disclosed.

Transgenomic Extends Geron Licensing

Transgenomic said last week that it will provide an additional supply of modified nucleic acid building-block compounds to Geron, which will use the tech-nology to synthesize one of its thiophosphoramidate-based telomerase inhibitor cancer drugs.

The extended non-exclusive licensing agreement will enable Transgenomic to manufacture phosphoramidate-based oligonucleotides and the chemical building blocks required for their synthesis “for use in diagnostic and therapeutic applications by other biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies to the mutual benefit of both Transgenomic and Geron.”

AstraZeneca Obtains Gene-Expression Patents

AstraZeneca has obtained worldwide, non-exclusive rights to patents held by Discovery Partners International for an in vitro gene expression-profiling technology, the company said last week.

Specifically, the patent portfolio covers the use of in vitro gene expression profiling as a response to drug-induced stresses for indicating toxicity of chemical compounds.

Novartis Taps Genomics Collaborative For Two-Year Target Validation Project

The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research will use Genomics Collaborative’s Global Repository of human DNA, sera, and tissue samples in a research program to prioritize drug targets before they enter clinical trials.

The non-exclusive research collaboration will initially run for two years, with the option to extend for two more years. It will cover up to four therapeutic areas, beginning with type 2 diabetes.

Pyrosequencing to Lay off 30

Pyrosequencing of Uppsala, Sweden, said this week that it will lay off 30 people as part of a new belt-tightening program.

The new corporate structure took hold with the arrival of new company president Hans Johansson, previously president of Personal Chemistry.


The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.