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NuGen Technologies, University of Rochester, Aventis, Sanofi-Syn, Zeptosens, GlaxoSmithKline, American Association for the Advancement of Science

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U of Rochester Functional Genomics Center In Agreement on NuGen Amplification System

NuGen Technologies of San Carlos, Calif., last week announced that the University of Rochester has adopted its Ovation system as its standard RNA amplification and labeling system in the of the Medical Center Functional Genomics Center.

The lab validated the company’s technology in its the microarray core facility. Users supply RNA from experimental tissue, and the core performs all molecular biological sample preparation including nucleic acid amplification, sample archiving, microarray hybridization and development, and gene expression validation studies, including Q-PCR.

This agreement is part of an ongoing broad collaboration between NuGen and the University of Rochester, which has validated Ovation as the method of choice across multiple tissue types and analysis platforms including spotted arrays, Affymetrix GeneChips, Applied Biosystems Micro Fluidic Cards, and real-time Q-PCR, the company said.


Aventis Accepts $65.3 Billion Sanofi Takeover Bid; Deal Creates Third Biggest Pharma

After having previously put up heavy resistance to a hostile takeover bid by French drug maker Sanofi-Synthelabo, Aventis said this week that it is recommending its shareholders accept the deal in light of improved terms.

In January, Sanofi offered roughly $60 billion to buy Aventis, which rejected the deal as offering “inferior value” to shareholders. This week, however, Aventis said that it has accepted a sweetened offer worth about $65.3 billion from Sanofi.

If accepted by Aventis’ shareholders, the merger will create the world’s third largest drugs firm behind Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively. Aventis generated about $20 billion in net sales last year, while spending roughly $3.4 billion on research and development; Sanofi had sales of about $9.5 billion in 2003, and spent $1.5 billion on R&D.

The two companies also have numerous arrangements with genomics, informatics, and microarray firms, including Ardais, Affymetrix, Ingenuity, Serenex, and Pharsight.


Zeptosens Designs Protein Arrays for GSK

Zeptosens said this week that it will supply GlaxoSmithKline with custom-made protein microarrays.

Under the agreement, Zeptosens, located in Witterswil, Switzerland, will provide GSK with protein microarrays designed using GSK analytes and binding reagents. GSK already owns a Zeptosens protein microarray analysis system, which is based on planar waveguide technology.


AAAS: FY 2005 Budget Proposal Would Mean Drop in R&D Funding for Most Agencies

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s R&D budget director said this week that US President George Bush’s proposed FY 2005 budget would decrease R&D funding for nine of the 12 federal agencies with the largest R&D budgets.

Kei Koizumi, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, speaking at the annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, said funding for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would increase, while funding in all other R&D areas would decline.

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.