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Perlegen, Affymetrix, Lumera, University of Copenhagen, World Microarray Congress

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Perlegen Scuttles IPO Plan on Advice to Wait for Results of 'Important' Genetic Studies
 
Perlegen Sciences has withdrawn its plans for an initial public offering, according to a letter the company sent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week.
                  
Perlegen, a subsidiary of Affymetrix, separately said it has named former Chiron official Bryan Walser interim CEO.
 
In an April 30 SEC letter, Affy CEO Stephen Fodor said Perlegen’s board last May “determined not to proceed with the offering” after its lead underwriters advised the company to wait for “the outcome of certain genetic studies in connection with an important, ongoing research initiative.”
 
Perlegen filed for an IPO last April, saying it hoped to raise as much as $115 million.
 
In Monday’s letter, Fodor wrote that “coincidentally” with the board’s decision to scuttle the IPO, the company’s audit committee found that in 2005 Perlegen had billed the federal government around $1.3 million for costs related to a contract “that were not properly recoverable.”
 
Fodor said the company credited those costs back to the government, and that the audit committee had advised Perlegen it must “strengthen controls related to government contracting activities, as well as the company’s overall internal control and compliance environment.”
 
These changes would include “changes in financial reporting management, structure and personnel” of Perlegen, Fodor added.
 
Fodor, who is also chairman of Perlegen’s board, said in a statement that Bryan Walser will take over management for the company’s operations and its organizational development, and will work on “honing Perlegen’s strategic mission.”
 
Walser was previously vice president of strategy and corporate affairs at Chiron. "While our board envisioned expanding the senior team with the recruitment of a new CEO and was in the process of starting a formal search, the chance to bring Dr. Walser into the company presented itself, and we decided to take advantage of the opportunity,” Fodor said in the statement.
 
Fodor added that the hunt for a new CEO will continue but that Walser “remains a candidate” for the permanent CEO position.
 

 
Lumera's Q1 Sales Surge 70 Percent as Losses Narrow; Firm Extends ISB Alliance
 
Lumera last week said first-quarter revenues increased 71 percent as R&D spending fell 20 percent and net loss narrowed 15 percent.
 
Total receipts for the three months ended March 31 increased to $860,000 from $503,000 million year over year. Lumera also said it had just over $2 million in backlogged government contracts at the end of the quarter.
 
R&D spending dipped to $1.3 million from $1.6 million in the year-ago period. Lumera said net loss fell to $2.7 million from $3.1 million in the year-ago period. Lumera said it had around $5.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and $18.7 million in available-for-sale securities as of March 31.
 
Separately last week, Lumera said it had extended an agreement with the Institute for Systems Biology, which uses the company’s ProteomicProcessor to identify biomarkers associated with drug toxicity and cancer.
 
Lumera said the tool analyzes antibodies used by an ISB-developed label-free assay that works with Lumera’s NanoCapture-Gold microarray.
 
Lumera and ISB last extended a proteomics research agreement in October 2006.
 

 
Danish University Wins $109M Novo Nordisk Grant to Build Proteomics Center
 
The University of Copenhagen in Denmark plans to use a KRO 600 million ($109.1 million) grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation to build a center dedicated to protein research, the university said last week.
 
Working with what it said is the largest donation ever for Danish basic research, the University next year plans to open the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research. The school said the center will “house leading Danish and international protein researchers” and an advanced laboratory for the study of proteins and disease.
 
The grant will allow the university to “boost research into what proteins look like and how they behave and interact in cells and tissues in healthy and sick people,” said Ulla Wewer, dean of the school’s faculty of health sciences.
 

 
World Microarray Congress to be Held in Vancouver in June
 
The third annual World Microarray Congress will be held on June 29 and 30 in Vancouver, Canada, organizers said this week
 
The conference will focus on issues affecting the pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic sectors, including biomarker discovery, target screening and validation, pharmacogenetics, and microarray technology in medicine.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.