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OGT, AutoGenomics, University of Göteborg

OGT, Two UK Facilities to Develop Array-Based STD Dx
Oxford Gene Technology, St. George’s University of London, and St. George’s Healthcare NHS plan to develop a single-platform microarray that can diagnose multiple sexually transmitted diseases, OGT said this week.
OGT said the test would have the capacity to diagnose many STD pathogens in a single specimen and would offer cost-effective results on the same day. It did not elaborate.
The company hopes eventually to develop the technology into accurate, point-of-care testing that would detect many STDs. But first it hopes to have a prototype after one year, at which point it plans to begin validating the array using clinical samples.
OGT said it will couple its microarray services with PCR amplification and also may use its multi sample array format in efforts to reduce the cost per sample and speed up the diagnostic process.
Tariq Sadiq, a urinary specialist and a senior lecturer at St. George’s, said STDs directly cost the UK’s National Health Service £1 billion ($1.9 billion) a year. “If successful, we think the microarray may be an important tool in the attempts to reduce the burden of STDs and their transmission,” Sadiq said.
OGT and the Heptagon Proof of Concept Fund will fund the program.

AutoGenomics Files Infiniti Warfarin-Metabolism Assay with FDA
AutoGenomics last week said it has filed an Infiniti assay for warfarin dosage with the US Food and Drug Administration for 510(k) pre-market review. The assay runs on its Infiniti Analyzer microarray system.
AGI said it expects to receive 510(k) approval around the middle of 2007. Until that approval comes through, the company said, customers may use a self-validation process.
The assay is designed to spot genetic variants of an enzyme linked to the therapeutic use of the common anti-coagulant warfarin.
The company said it has finished a multi-center clinical study of how genetic variations within the enzyme CYP450 2C9/VKORC1 can affect a person’s ability to metabolize warfarin.
The company said it submitted the assay in October 2006.

Swedish University Buys Febit Geniom System
The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Göteborg has purchased a Geniom microarray system from Febit Biotech, the German array company said this week.
The company said it is currently developing tools for analyzing organisms of interest for several Göteborg-based teams. Joakim Larsson, assistant professor at Göteborg University, said in a statement that the Geniom will be used “in very diverse areas, anywhere from cancer research on human cells all the way to environmental research on fish or even complex microbial communities.”
“Together with our present infrastructure for proteomic and metabolomic analyses, Geniom will contribute strongly to our possibilities to develop molecular biomarkers and increase our understanding of the mode of actions of human drugs in non-target species,” Larsson said.
Financial details were not discussed, although the company said that the system was purchased with grant money from Sweden’s Lundberg Foundation for Research and Education.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.