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Navigenics, Osmetech, Marshfield Clinic, Elan Pharmaceuticals, GeneGo, DeCode Genetics, ABRF

Navigenics Officially Launches, Closes Financing Round
Personal genetics firm Navigenics officially launched this week. The firm is offering a saliva-based, whole-genome analysis service based on the Affymetrix platform that matches an individual's DNA against scientifically and clinically vetted gene-disease correlation studies.
Navigenics said it has also closed a Series B financing round, led by MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures and with continued pro rata investments from A-round investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Sequoia Capital. The company said that it has raised more than $25 million in funding to date.
As part of the investment from MDV, Sue Siegel has joined the Navigenics board of directors. Siegel formerly served as president and president emeritus of Affymetrix.
Navigenics said in a statement that it is “developing relationships” with the Cleveland Clinic, Georgetown University, Mayo Clinic, Scripps Health, and Partners HealthCare.

Osmetech Licenses Warfarin-Dosing SNP from Marshfield Clinic
Osmetech said last week that it has exclusively licensed a molecular biomarker from the Marshfield Clinic, a clinical and research facility in western Wisconsin, that it plans develop into a genetic test for determining appropriate warfarin doses.  
Osmetech plans to develop, manufacture, and sell a genetic test based on the biomarker for use on the company’s XT-8 platform.
"We are excited to add this new SNP to our warfarin product, which is due to be submitted later this year to the US Food and Drug Administration,” CEO James White said in a statement. “The marker provides additional information to improve the dosage accuracy over any other product on the market."
Osmetech said it plans to market the product in the first half of 2008. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Elan Licenses GeneGo's Data Suite
Elan Pharmaceuticals has licensed GeneGo’s MetaCore suite, GeneGo said last week. Elan plans to use the software and data suite in its neurology and autoimmune programs.
“MetaCore has substantial knowledge content coverage in the areas of CNS and autoimmune diseases, which the Elan scientists can leverage in their innovative research,” said Julie Bryant, GeneGo's vice president of business development, in a statement.
Financial terms of the deal were not released.

DeCode’s Genotyping Business Drives Double-Digit Growth in Q3 Revenues
DeCode Genetics this week said third-quarter revenues rose 27 percent while R&D spending was steady and net loss widened by 3 percent.
Total receipts for the three months ended Sept. 30 climbed to $10.9 million from $8.6 million year over year — an increase that the company attributed to its growing genotyping business.
R&D spending ticked down to $14.1 million from $14.2 million year over year.
Net loss increased to $24.3 million from $23.6 million in the year-ago period. DeCode said it had around $118.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments as of Sept. 30.
Company CEO Kari Stefansson said DeCode has continued to expand its DNA-based risk predisposition tests by launching an assay for myocardial infarction. DeCode also plans to launch tests for other conditions, including one for glaucoma, in the near future.

MARG Surveys Future of Array Labs
The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities’ Microarray Research Group is seeking input for its biannual survey on the status and future of array labs.
The survey may be accessed at the following website using the access password “abrf”.

The Scan

Latent HIV Found in White Blood Cells of Individuals on Long-Term Treatments

Researchers in Nature Microbiology find HIV genetic material in monocyte white blood cells and in macrophages that differentiated from them in individuals on HIV-suppressive treatment.

Seagull Microbiome Altered by Microplastic Exposure

The overall diversity and the composition at gut microbiome sites appear to coincide with microplastic exposure and ingestion in two wild bird species, according to a new Nature Ecology and Evolution study.

Study Traces Bladder Cancer Risk Contributors in Organ Transplant Recipients

In eLife, genome and transcriptome sequencing reveal mutation signatures, recurrent somatic mutations, and risky virus sequences in bladder cancers occurring in transplant recipients.

Genes Linked to White-Tailed Jackrabbits' Winter Coat Color Change

Climate change, the researchers noted in Science, may lead to camouflage mismatch and increase predation of white-tailed jackrabbits.