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Medical University, Japan Bioservices, Integrated DNA Technologies, Eurgentec, Synthegen,, Trilink Biotechnologies, Sigma-Genosys, ViaGen, ProLinia, TGen, Ciphergen, BioMrieux, UK government


Medical University of South Carolina Cashes in on Lotto

The Medical University of South Carolina last week received $11 million in South Carolina funding, of which $7 million was earmarked for programs in genomics and proteomics.

The state’s nine-member Centers of Excellence Review Board carved up $30 million in lottery proceeds for six specialized research projects that are seen as stimuli for economic development in high technology. The program, the endowed chairs fund, is a four-year effort funded for $30 million each year. The first-year committee will allocate another $30 million after the fiscal year begins July 1. The awarded programs will have to raise matching funds to qualify for the money.

The Medical University at Charleston will receive $4 million for a marine genomics project, $4 million for proteomics research, and $3 million for neuroscience research.

The funding will endow at least two professorships for MUSC’s Research Center of Economic Excellence in Applied Marine Genomics. The center will use genomics tools to research disease resistance and infection in aquatic species, as well as pathogen detection, and the development of diagnostic tools. The center will collaborate with Clemson University’s Genome Institute and the College of Charleston’s marine biology and environ-mental science graduate programs.

Another $4 million will go to the school’s proteomics research center, which is already receiving $15 million as one of 10 labs nationally developed with NIH funding.


Eight Firms License Alexa Fluor Dyes

Japan Bioservices, Integrated DNA Technologies, Eurgentec, Synthegen,, Trilink Biotechnologies, and Sigma-Genosys have licensed its Alexa Fluor dyes, Eugene, Ore.-based Molecular Probes said this week. The dyes are used in nucleic acid analysis, including microarrays.


ViaGen Acquires ProLinia

Austin, Texas-based ViaGen, a genomics services company, announced this week that it had acquired ProLinia of Athens, Ga., a cloning services provider for the livestock industry. Financial details were not provided.

ViaGen provides functional genomics services using the Affymetrix GeneChip platform, while ProLina holds a non-exclusive license from Geron for nuclear transfer technology for agricultural purposes, specifically, worldwide rights to clone swine and cattle.


TGen Spurs Software Firm to Open in Phoenix

Life sciences software firm 5AM Solutions announced last week that it has started operations in Phoenix, Ariz., near the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the firm and TGen said.

5AM is headed up by Brent Gendleman (CEO) and Rob Daly (COO), who recently relocated to Phoenix from the Washington, DC, area.

The firm is currently working on TGen’s bioinformatics facility, as well as a data collection system for a national microarray consortium. Dietrick Stephan, director of the TGen Neurogenomics Division, is overseeing this national microarray consortium project, which is funded by NIMH and NINDS.


Ciphergen, BioMérieux Partner for Biomarker Discovery

Ciphergen Biosystems and diagnostics firm BioMérieux have entered a collaboration using Ciphergen’s ProteinChip technology to discover biomarkers that may improve the diagnosis and management of colon cancer, Ciphergen said this week. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ciphergen will install its technology platform at BioMérieux’s Marcy-l’Etoile, France, site and the company’s Biomarker Discovery Center team will collaborate with BioMérieux’s research team.


UK Government to Invest £50M in Genetics Initiative

The UK government said last week that it plans to invest more than £50 million ($82.5 million) in genetics and genomics over the next three years.

Details of the initiative are published in a government White Paper entitled “Our Inheritance, Our Future: Realizing the potential of genetics in the NHS.”

The largest part of the funding, £18 million ($29.7 million), will be used to upgrade genetics laboratories for genetic testing, and more than £7 million ($11.5 million) will go towards genetics-based healthcare.

Gene therapy research for single-gene disorders will receive up to £3 million ($4.9 million), in addition to £2.5 million ($4.1 million) earmarked specifically for research into cystic fibrosis gene therapy. Pharmacogenetics research on commonly used drugs will receive over £4 million ($6.6 million), which includes funding for a new university chair and department in pharmacogenetics.

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.