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Molecular Staging, ChondroGene, NanoInk, Xpogen, Beckman Coulter, GenTel


Molecular Staging Shares NIH Grant, Installs Protedyne Lab Automation

Molecular Staging of New Haven, Conn., and the Scripps Institute will share a NIH grant to produce DNA samples for genetic disease studies.

The funds come from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney disease of the NIH.

The company said in a release that the grant could provide funding of as much as $2.5 million over 30 months to make freely available individual DNA samples from well-characterized human population groups. Molecular Staging will use its whole genome amplification method to make multiple copies of 8,000 DNA samples from The Scripps Institute.

Separately, Protedyne announced that it has installed its BioCube System at Molecular. The BioCube laboratory automation system is for high-throughput protein biochip processing and includes a LIMS system and a plate identification system.


ChondroGene Starts Seeing Revenues

ChondroGene of Toronto, which trades on the TSX Venture Exchange of Canada, reported revenues of CAN $150,000 for the second quarter ended Nov. 30, 2002, compared to zero for the same quarter in 2001. ChondroGene has developed a cartilage-specific microarray, the ChondroChip. All the revenues came from a two-year research collaboration with Pfizer announced in October. The company had a net loss of $487,347 for the quarter and said it had $1.1 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand at the end of the quarter.


NanoInk Gets $1 Million Boost for HQ

NanoInk is getting $1 million in assistance from the city of Chicago to create a lab facility and headquarters, the city announced last week. The assistance is in the form of Tax Increment Financing, a fiscal tool that cities use to help pay for improvements to vacant and underused land.

NanoInk, a Northwestern University spinoff founded by Chad Mirkin in 2001 to develop and commercialize a technology marketed as the direct-write dip-pen writer, will convert a three-story, 44,000 square-foot building into office space within the Kinzie TIF District area. The company in January announced the closing of a $6 million second round of venture capital investment.

Xpogen Sells Two PathlinX Licenses

Cambridge, Mass.-based Xpogen has licensed its PathlinX 3.0 bioinformatics software to McLean Hospital of Belmont, Mass., and Sloan-Kettering Institute of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The software is used in gene expression analysis and combines phenotypic and clinical data.

Beckman Coulter eyes Protein Microarrays

At the recent CHI PepTalk meeting in San Diego, John Hobbs, Beckman’s strategic marketing manager, said the company is planning to roll out protein microarrays this spring, according to a report in ProteoMonitor, BioArray’s sister publication. Beckman will use a microtiter plate format, with up to 100 features per well. Each well will be studded with oligonucleotide linkers, to which the proteins will be attached via complementary oligos. The first protein chips will be custom arrays, to be followed by a cytokine detection array.

GenTel Completes $1.65 Million Financing

Madison, Wis.-based GenTel has sold $1.65 million in Series A convertible preferred stock to an unnamed institutional investor, the company said in a statement. GenTel develops biochip-based surface chemistries.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

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.