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Lynx Therapeutics, Solexa, Oklahoma State, CombiMatrix, Ionian, Iconix, Agendia


Lynx and Solexa Buy DNA Cluster Technol- ogy from Manteia

Lynx Therapeutics and Solexa have acquired technology for generating DNA colonies from Manteia, the companies said last week.

The technology, from Switzerland-based Manteia, generates millions of DNA fragments from a single DNA molecule to create DNA colonies, or clusters on a surface.

Lynx, based in Hayward, Calif., plans to replace its Megaclone micro-beads, part of its Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing technology, with the DNA cluster approach. As a result, the company will be able to deliver its technology and instrumentation directly to customers, according to Lynx CEO Kevin Corcoran.

Solexa, of Essex, UK, plans to integrate the DNA cluster technology into its sequencing system, which is based on single molecule arrays. This will enable the company to launch a product earlier, according to Solexa’s CEO, Nick McCooke.

Lynx and Solexa also said they anticipate further collaborations based on the DNA cluster technology.

Oklahoma State Researchers to Use CombiMatrix Bird Flu Arrays

Researchers at Oklahoma State University will use microarrays from Acacia Research’s CombiMatrix unit to study influenza A viruses, the company said last week.

Scientists led by Ulrich Melcher and Alexander Lai plan to use CombiMatrix’s Bird Flu custom array to type various strains of the human and avian flu viruses.

Ionian Gets $2.7M DARPA Contract to Develop Hand-Held Biodetectors

Ionian Technologies has received a $2.7 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense to develop hand-held rapid detectors of biological agents, the company said last week.

Ionian, located in Upland, Calif., will develop assays and chemistry based on a DNA detection technology, Expar, that it licenses from the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, Calif., a subcontractor for the project.

Expar allows researchers to amplify nucleic acids isothermally and rapidly.

Iconix to Release Genomic Biomarker Data

Iconix Pharmaceuticals said last week that it plans to publicly release a subset of its proprietary genomic biomarker data in a move to support the US Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing pharmacogenomics initiative. \

At the 43rd Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting in Baltimore, Md., March 23, Iconix said it would provide “immediate early access” to five of its Drug Signature gene-expression biomarkers “to qualified researchers and organizations who agree to make their findings publicly available in support of the program.”

Iconix said it plans to publish its own findings on the derivation, validation, and application of its genomic biomarkers in peer-reviewed journals later this year.

The new initiative is designed “to make a greater body of evidence available to researchers in support of the FDA initiative to finalize guidelines on the use of pharmacogenomic data in regulatory decision-making,” the company said. In particular, Iconix said it intends to “stimulate increased public dialogue and research on the definition and application of ‘Known Valid Biomarkers’” — a concept still being developed by the FDA.

Iconix said that it has derived and validated hundreds of Drug Signatures, which it uses to predict the potential toxicity, mechanism, or side effects of a drug candidate. The five biomarkers selected for the research initiative were selected based on their “relevance to a broad cross-section of the scientific community and targeted at key drug-induced toxicities in liver, kidney, and heart tissue that are often cited as the reason for failed drug development programs,” the company said.

Agendia closes series A funding: Funds to Finance Marketing of Breast Cancer Test

Netherlands-based Agendia on Tuesday announced the closing of a Series A financing round led by Glide Investment Management of Utrecht, The Netherlands, with Global Life Science Ventures and AXA Private Equity Venture Funds also participating.

The amount was not disclosed. Agendia officials told GenomeWeb, BioArray News’ sister publication, that the financing round was in “double digit” millions of dollars.

Agendia was founded by scientists from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, who have developed a microarray-based diagnostic test to predict the aggressiveness of breast cancer tumors based on the expression levels of key genes.

The funds raised will go toward marketing the test and developing microarray-based diagnostic tests for other cancers based on gene-expression profiles, the company said. (For more on the test, seeBAN 9/2/03 and BAN 2/1/02.)

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.