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Mobidiag, Osmetech, RayBiotech, AnaSpec, MD Anderson Cancer Center, BioDiscovery, ImaGenes, Agilent Technology

Mobidiag Seeks VC Support for Diagnostics Launch
Mobidiag said this week that it is seeking funding to expand and further commercialize its array-based diagnostics, Prove-it Herpes and Prove-it Sepsis.
Mobidiag launched the two research-use-only molecular products aimed for severe infections during the second quarter of this year. Since that time, Helsinki-based Mobidiag said it has been “actively engaging” hospital customers. According to the company, its Prove-it Sepsis product has undergone broad clinical evaluations in multicenter studies and a CE-IVD marking is expected by year end.
Mobidiag’s current investors include SITRA, a publicly funded healthcare investment organization, as well as the University of Helsinki. The company’s latest financing round aims at ramping up of the firm’s sales, marketing, and distribution organization. The company has been serving existing customers with its own personnel, and is looking to add personnel in key markets and sign distributors in smaller ones. Mobidiag is also open to partnering with a global distributor, the firm said.
“With the broadening of our investor base, Mobidiag is now seeking the ability to quickly bring its full Prove-it test portfolio to clinical centers,” CEO Jaakko Pellosniemi said in a statement.

Osmetech Files to Float Shares in US
British molecular diagnostics firm Osmetech has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 5.5 million American Depositary Shares on the Nasdaq Global Market.
Each ADS represents 35 ordinary shares, which means the offering represents an aggregate of 192.5 million ordinary shares. The firm expects the American IPO to price between $7 and $9 per ADS.
Assuming a mid-range offering price of $8 per ADS, Osmetech expects to receive net proceeds of around $37.7 million. It plans to use roughly $20 million of those funds for the development of a broad menu of tests for its eSensor XT-8 System, with a focus on additional tests using biomarkers for detecting infectious diseases and cancer.
It also expects to spend around $5 million to make improvements to its molecular diagnostics platform, including improving sample prep on the system and possibly developing a smaller, point-of-care instrument. Other funds will be used to support sales and marketing initiatives, Osmetech said in its filing.
Osmetech’s revenues for the six-month period ended June 30 were £127,994 ($254,784), an increase of 83 percent over revenues of £70,061 for the comparable period of 2007. The firm held cash and cash equivalents of £6,676,043 ($13,289,332) as of June 30.
In July, Osmetech received US Food and Drug Administration clearance to sell its eSensor XT-8 System and related eSensor Warfarin Sensitivity Test. BioArray News spoke with CEO James White about the firm’s plans for the North American market at that time (see BAN 7/22/2008).
The company said that it expects “for the foreseeable future” that its warfarin test and a cystic fibrosis carrier detection test that runs on its eSensor4800 system will drive nearly all of its revenues. London-based Osmetech currently trades on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange.

RayBiotech to Use AnaSpec Dyes in Arrays
RayBiotech has licensed the use of AnaSpec’s HiLytePlus and HiLyte Fluor dyes for use in its protein and antibody arrays.
The dyes have been optimized for long-wavelength biomarker labeling, AnaSpec said in a statement today.
Terms of the licensing deal were not disclosed.

MD Anderson Expands BioDiscovery Microarray Software License
MD Anderson Cancer Center has expanded its license agreement with bioinformatics company BioDiscovery for the Nexus Copy Number microarray software platform, the company said last week.
The software is used to analyze and visualize chromosomal aberrations from microarray data, and the agreement allows many users in different labs to use it at the same time. MD Anderson expanded the original site license agreement to enterprise level, BioDiscovery said.
The Nexus Copy Number platform supports a variety of microarray platforms including Agilent, Affymetrix, Illumina, GenePix, BlueFuse, ImaGene, Roche NimbleGen, Empire Genomics, and custom data files.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

ImaGenes Named Agilent Service Provider
German microarray services firm imaGenes said last week that it has been named an Agilent Technologies Certified Services Provider for expression profiling services.
The Berlin-based firm said that the CSP status involves the application of the entire Agilent microarray workflow, from quality controls to reagents, data extraction, and analysis software with the Genespring DX platform.
“We anticipate synergy between the Agilent microarray platform and imaGenes’ next generation sequencing service, bioinformatics offerings, and corresponding clone resources,” Chris Grimley, Agilent’s senior marketing director for genomics, said in a statement.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.