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NCI, Illumina, Agendia, OGT, NMC, GenUS BioSystems, Perlegen, Glaxo


NCI Purchases Illumina BeadLab for Cancer Genotyping Studies

The National Cancer Institute has purchased genotyping instrumentation from Illumina for its Advanced Technology Center core genotyping facility in Gaithersburg, Md., the company said last week.

The facility plans to use the BeadLab station initially for research into the genetics of breast and prostate cancer and will support the NCI's Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility initiative.

NCI researchers plan to genotype approximately 15,000 loci for each of more than 6,000 DNA samples.

Later, they want to develop a pool of 1,536 SNP assays associated with prostate cancer and genotype over 15,000 samples to validate a set of biomarkers for prostate cancer.

Illumina has already been providing genotyping services for the NCI's SNP500 cancer project.

Agendia Gets ISO Accreditation for Microarray-Based Breast Cancer Diagnostic

Agendia, a Dutch firm that specializes in gene-expression services, said this week that it has been granted ISO 17025 accreditation for its MammaPrint service, which assesses the risk of metastasis in breast cancer patients.

According to the company, it is the first to be granted this accreditation for a microarray-based diagnostic test.

Agendia said that the accreditation is granted for four years, but that the Dutch Accreditation Council will perform yearly inspections of the Agendia laboratory facilities in order to confirm that the company meets the ISO requirements.

OGT Grants License to Norwegian Microarray Consortium

Oxford Genome Technology, the Cambridge, UK-based company that handles the patent estate of microarray pioneer Sir Edwin Southern, will license a microarray patent to the Norwegian Microarray Consortium, OGT said last week.

The NMC, a collaboration between the Norwegian University of Science and Technology,the University of Bergen, and the Norwegian Radium Hospital, sells spotted DNA microarray technology and related services to the scientific community in Norway. The NWC will now be allowed to extend its microarray sales into European territories covered by the OGT Southern array patents.

According to NMC head Ola Myklebost, the agreement with OGT means that the NMC can now offer all of its array products, including those for academic use, to customers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands.

GenUS BioSystems, Expression Profiling Provider, Hatches from Incubator

GenUs BioSystems, a provider of gene expression-profiling services, has moved from the Chicago Technology Park's Research Center, a biotechnology incubator, to larger premises, the Illinois Medical District Commission said last week.

GenUs, founded in 2003, is now located in Northbrook, Ill., where the company acquired 2,400 square feet of lab and office space.

The company's move was prompted by the addition of new technologies and services and by the continued growth of its customer base, according to IMDC.

Perlegen Signs Third Genotyping Deal With Glaxo

Perlegen Sciences will conduct further genetic analysis studies for GlaxoSmithKline under a new agreement, Perlegen said last week.

The companies did not disclose any details of the agreement, other than saying that it "enables multiple genetics related studies to be conducted over a period of time."

Perlegen has conducted two whole-genome association studies for GSK in the past. The first, announced in September 2002, aimed at identifying drug response markers. The second, from October 2004, sought to determine genetic variants associated with a "specific GSK trait of interest."

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.