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PamGene, Nottingham University, CombiMatrix, Myriad Genetics, Korea Food and Drug Administration, Centre for Applied Genomics Microarray Facility, Invitrogen, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Cepheid


PamGene Sells Nottingham University License for its 3D Microarray Platform

PamGene International of Den Bosch, The Netherlands, on Monday said that it has licensed its three-dimensional, flow-through microarray platform technology to Nottingham University in England.

According to the company, the service license includes the sale of a PamGene four-array PamStation and will allow the university to develop multiplex amplifiable probe hybridization as a service on the PamGene platform.

Financial terms of the licensing deal were not disclosed.

Nottingham University’s Institute of Genetics will house the PamStation, enabling researchers there to automate MAPH tests in a microarray format. PamGene noted that the university will initially use the PamStation for internal MAPH research but plans on offering services through a company to be spun out of the university’s Institute of Genetics in the near future.

CombiMatrix to Co-Market Strand Genomics’ Microarray Analysis Software

CombiMatrix, the life sciences unit of Acacia Research, will market Strand Genomics’ microarray analysis software, the companies announced on Friday.

Under the agreement, CombiMatrix, the life sciences business of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Acacia Research, will co-market Strand’s Avadis software, a data analysis tool for microarray gene expression. The companies will also co-develop an interface that will facilitate ordering CombiMatrix CustomArray products through Avadis.

Strand Genomics is located in Bangalore, India.

Myriad Genetics Wins $14.2M NIH Contract to Analyze Host-Pathogen Protein Interactions

Myriad Genetics has won $14.2 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to analyze pathogen-host protein interactions using high-throughput proteomics.

Under the five-year contract announced on Thursday, Salt Lake City-based Myriad will use its yeast two-hybrid technology, bioinformatics, and DNA sequencing to conduct proteome-wide analyses of protein interactions between humans and selected pathogens. Myriad also plans to validate these interactions by other methods, such as microbial gene knockout and siRNA.

Myriad will have the rights to commercialize diagnostic and therapeutic targets discovered in the project. All protein interaction and validation data will be made publicly available through the Proteomics Research Program Administrative Center.

French Scientists Sequence Genomes of Four Yeast Species

A consortium of French scientists has sequenced the genomes of four hemiascomycetes yeast species and studied their evolutionary relationships.

The researchers sequenced the genomes of Candida glabrata, which causes candidiasis in humans; Kluyveromyces lactis, a species used in the laboratory; Debaryomyces hansenii, a salt-tolerant yeast; and Yarrowia lipolytica, an alkane-using yeast commonly used in genetic studies.

The scientists reported their results in last week’s Nature. They found approximately 24,200 novel genes in total. Their genomic analysis revealed that the four species have evolved through a variety of molecular mechanisms, including tandem gene repeats, duplication of segments, a massive genome duplication, and extensive gene loss.

Korean Regulatory Authorities to Allow Diagnostic Use of DNA Chips: report

The Korea Food and Drug Administration will approve the use of DNA chips for medical diagnostics as early as this month, the Korea Times reported on Sunday.

The South Korean authorities said this past weekend that they had recently concluded safety tests on DNA chips for detecting human papilloma virus made by two local firms, Biomedlab and Mygene. According to the Korea Times, the KFDA plans to approve the chips as soon as it completes inspections of the firms’ production facilities.

Biomedlab and Mygene have been selling DNA chips for research purposes only and would be the first Korean companies to reach the market with chips for diagnostic purposes, the report said.

Toronto Core Licenses InforSense Platform for Genomic Research

The Centre for Applied Genomics Microarray Facility at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto has signed a multi-year license to use InforSense's Open Discovery Workflow informatics platform for genomic research.

The InforSense 1.9 software enables researchers to perform analysis on Affymetrix GeneChip data. The microarray facility is one of seven core facilities within the hospital's Center for Applied Genomics that provide services available to all Canadian researchers, according to London, UK-based InforSense.

Invitrogen launches Biodefense Subsidiary

Invitrogen has spun out a subsidiary that will focus on biodefense applications, the company announced Tuesday.

The subsidiary, called Biological Defense Systems, will be headquartered on Invitrogen's Frederick, Md., campus. BDS will build on Invitrogen's current product portfolio to develop detection kits for airborne, food-borne, and water-borne pathogens. Invitrogen said the spin-off would also work on vaccines and “other prophylactic measures” related to biodefense.

The company has appointed James Meegan, a 13-year veteran of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at NIH, to lead R&D at BDS as senior director of biodefense. James Gilmore, Invitrogen's current biodefense business segment director, will lead the commercial activities of the subsidiary.

Garner and UT Southwestern Team Develop New Chromatin Array

Harold “Skip” Garner, professor of biochemistry and internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and colleagues, have developed a new chromatin array. The new technique enables researchers to detect the relative compactness of several stretches of DNA at a time with high resolution and will allow them to determine which genes might have the ability to make RNA, according to a UT Southwestern statement. In addition, the researchers expect the chromatin array will allow them to study genes that previously were inaccessible because there wasn't enough RNA to measure their activity.

Garner and his team intend to apply various drugs, particularly anti-cancer therapies, to cells and use the chromatin array to determine their affect on DNA compaction. The chromatin array is described in a paper published last week in the journal Genome Research.

Garner developed a microarray fabrication technique that was the foundation of a UT Southwestern spin-off, Light Biology, which was later sold to Madison, Wis.-based NimbleGen Systems.

Cepheid Taps Gene Company as Distributor for China's Life Science Market

Cepheid has tapped Gene Company as its distributor in the China and Hong Kong markets. Cepheid said it signed a non-exclusive, three-year agreement with the company to distribute its SmartCycler Systems, accessories, and reagents across China and Hong Kong.

Gene Company is headquartered in Hong Kong and has around 18 offices across China.


The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.