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MAQC, SuperArray, ABI, ShanghaiBio, Genomic Health

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MAQC’s Titration Group Could Prepare Series of Manuscripts for Project
 
The Microarray Quality Control Consortium’s Titration Working Group has generated enough data to write several manuscripts and could be able to submit those manuscripts prior to September 2008, when the MAQC has tentatively scheduled publishing papers related to the second phase of the project.
 
Richard Shippy, a scientific applications manager at Affymetrix and a coordinator for the TWG, told BioArray News via e-mail this week that the titration team “is currently working to develop objective and quantitative microarray performance metrics which can be obtained from RNA titration experiments.”
 
Shippy wrote that the group is “investigating the use of these quantitative performance metrics to establish a 'method validation' approach for expression microarrays.” Eventually, he added, “It is possible titration experiments can be used to model cell population fractions from clinical biopsies as well as robustness for diagnostic performance.”
 
Shippy wrote that the Titration Working Group has “developed enough content to write a series of manuscripts, but will focus first on a concept paper describing the justification for performing a titration study and what might be learned.”
 
In addition, Shippy wrote that it is likely the group “will be ready to submit this concept manuscript sooner than September 2008 but we shall decide as a team how best to proceed when the time arrives.”
 

 
SuperArray Licenses ABI's PCR Tech to Develop, Sell Assays and Reagents
 
SuperArray Bioscience has licensed PCR and real-time PCR technologies from Applied Biosystems to develop and market PCR and related reagents, SuperArray said this week.
 
Under the non-exclusive agreement, SuperArray said it will market reagents and assay kits for PCR and real-time PCR that use ABI’s SYBR Green and probe-based methods, and will develop real-time PCR reagents and technologies that it will market to researchers. SuperArray sells its PCR kits in 96-well formats, which it calls PCR arrays.  
 
SuperArray President Li Shen said in a statement that the combination of qRT-PCR with SuperArray’s coverage of human, mouse, and rat genes will help researchers “unveil important biomolecular networks of genes.”
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
ShanghaiBio's VP Says Biochip R&D Market in China is $20M
 
Jason Jin, co-founder and executive vice president of ShanghaiBio, said in a news report that the market for biochip R&D services is growing and that total revenues related to this business in China last year were approximately $20 million.
 
In an interview with Interfax China, Jin also said that the dynamic of the Chinese biochip market has been changing. “Over the past three to five years, biochip technology has mainly been applied to the research of mechanisms of action,” Interfax reported. 
 
“However, in recent years, biochip technology has been taking a more important role in the assessment and evaluation of new drugs at both pre-clinical trial and clinical trial stages,” Jin said. He also told Interfax that ShanghaiBio, one of the major biochip firms in China, has partnerships with “eight multi-national pharmaceutical companies, which include Merck, GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly.”
 
In the report, Jin added that ShanghaiBio has developed a biochip test for HIV, and that it has plans to develop a biochip diagnostic reagent to test for chronic diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. 
 

 
Genomic Health Taps Medical Solutions to Distribute Oncotype DX in UK
 
Genomic Health said last week that it has hired Medical Solutions to exclusively distribute its Oncotype DX breast cancer assay in the UK.
 
Chu Chang, vice president of business development at Genomic Health, said the agreement with the UK diagnostics and healthcare company is part of Genomic Health's strategy to broaden access to its test to patients outside of the US.
 
The Oncotype test predicts the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in women with newly diagnosed, early stage invasive breast cancer. It also predicts the chance that chemotherapy will benefit “a large portion” of patients with early-stage breast cancer, the company said.
 
Genomic Health said it has service and supply agreements for the Oncotype in Israel and Japan. In the US the test is performed by CLIA-certified labs.

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