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NINDS and Affymetrix, NHLBI and Agilent Technologies, US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, NCI and Translational Genomics Research Institute, CombiMatrix and Benintec, and Biolog


NINDS to Purchase Affy Arrays for Fabry Disease Study

The Developmental and Metabolic Neurology Branch of the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke plans to purchase Affymetrix human genome arrays and cycle labeling kits for an ongoing study on Fabry Disease, according to a recent government presolicitation notice.

“These are the only arrays that are compatible with the existing NINDS Government owned Affymetrix equipment and will be used in continuation of ongoing experiments and related genomic work on Fabry Disease which was done using Affymetrix chips. Changing chips now would affect the scientific validity and add new variables into ongoing protocols,” the notice says. “Therefore, these arrays must be procured from Affyemtrix.”

No financial or other details of the proposed contract were disclosed.

NHLBI to Buy SpringCore License from Agilent

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute intends to purchase, on a non-competitive basis, an annual license for Agilent Technologies’ SpringCore gene expression analysis software, according to a recent government presolicitation notice.

The SpringCore program, which Agilent subsidiary Silicon Genetics developed for core microarray labs, includes 100 seats for company’s SigNet knowledge management software, a three-year license to the GeneSpring software, a license for a GeneSpring workstation, and training.

The software will be installed at the NHLBI Bioinformatics Core Lab, according to the notice.

No financial details were provided in the notice.

US Army to Contract VBI for Microarray Analyses

The US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, the contracting arm of the US Army Medical Research and Material Command, plans to award a contract to the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute for microarray assay and data analysis services, according to a government presolicitation notice from January.

VBI was chosen “on a sole source basis…in order to guarantee the best correlation between previously generated microarray data in our laboratory and the new ones to be generated to reduce technical variability,” according to the notice.

No financial details of the proposed contract were disclosed.

NCI to Hire TGen for Genotyping, Gene Expression Analyses for MS Study

SAIC Frederick, the operations and technical support contractor for the National Cancer Institute at Frederick, plans to award the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a contract to perform SNP mapping and gene expression profiling as part of a NINDS-sponsored study called “Biomarker in Multiple Sclerosis,” according to a recent government special notice.

Under the contract, TGen, based in Phoenix, Ariz., would map single nucleotide polymorphisms in 1,000 MS patients using Affymetrix’s GeneChip Mapping 100K arrays. TGen would also profile gene expression in 1,000 MS patients using Affymetrix’s 133-Plus microarray platform.

Financial details of the pending contract were not provided.

CombiMatrix and Benitec Enter Cross- Licensing and Collaboration Agreement

CombiMatrix and Benintec announced yesterday that they have entered into a cross-licensing and collaborative agreement to pool their research and intellectual property for a variety of projects.

Through the agreement, CombiMatrix will license its intellectual property rights related to the use of pools of siRNAs, or cocktails, as therapeutic agents against viral diseases.

Benitec will also share a sublicense with CombiMatrix to two key HIV gene sequences that it has licensed exclusively from irsiCaixa, a Spanish genomic research center.

In return, CombiMatrix will receive access to Benitec’s portfolio of 10 issued and 60 pending patents that Muliteo, Wash.-based array company will use in developing RNAi therapeutics.

Biolog Wins $451,000 SBIR Grant for Antimicrobial Drug-Discovery Apps on Phenotype Microarray

Biolog has been awarded a phase I SBIR grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to further develop its Phenotype Microarray technology for antimicrobial drug discovery.

The $451,000 award, provided from NIAID’s biodefense program of the National Institutes of Health, will fund the application of the Phenotype Microarray technology as a tool to evaluate biologically active compounds using Staphylococcus aureus as the model organism, Biolog said.

Pharmaceutical and biotech companies will be able to then add profiles of chemicals from their libraries to the new database, the company said.

The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.