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Perlegen, Mayo Clinic, Cellular Genomics, Qiagen, Protedyne, MWG Biotech, Joint Genome Institute, NextGen Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Accelr8 Technology


Perlegen, Mayo Clinic Earn Grant For Parkinson’s Disease Collaboration

Perlegen Life Sciences and the Mayo Clinic said this week that their collaboration on a whole genome association study of Parkinson’s disease has been awarded a grant worth up to $2.8 million by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Under the partnership, the collaborators are combining Perlegen’s high-throughput genotyping technology and genetic variation know-how with the Mayo Clinic’s DNA samples from Parkinson’s disease patients in order to look for single nucleotide polymorphisms believed to be associated with the disorder. The effort is expected to yield 200 million genotypes, which will be validated in a separate population of Mayo Clinic DNA samples so that Parkinson’s disease SNPs can be identified.

Cellular Genomics Raises $34.9M in Series C Financing

Cellular Genomics has raised $34.9 million in a Series C private equity financing round, the Branford, Conn.-based company said this week.

Cellular Genomics plans to use the funding to advance its drug development programs into the clinic. The company applies its chemical genetics platform both for in-house drug discovery and in collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Affymetrix, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer.

New investors CDP Capital, RiverVest Venture Partners, and Toucan Capital in this round joined previous investors Coastview Capital and Connecticut Innovations.

Qiagen and Protedyne Team Up to Develop Automated Nucleic Acid Purification System

Qiagen and Protedyne will collaborate to develop an automated nucleic acid purification system for diagnostic samples, the companies said last week.

Qiagen, based in Venlo, the Netherlands, will create high-throughput nucleic acid purification procedures for Windsor, Conn.-based Protedyne’s BioCube instruments.

Both companies plan to make available technical notes on sample preparation protocols that result from the collaboration .

MWG Signs Co-Marketing Deal with Genedata

MWG Biotech of Ebersberg, Germany, announced last week a co-marketing agreement with Genedata to provide analysis capabilities for MWG’s sequencing, gene array, and siRNA services.

Under the terms of the deal, the companies will offer the integration of MWG’s Genomic Information services with Genedata’s Phylosopher platform. Phylosopher will integrate the data that MWG produces with other types of data and will analyze it using Genedata’s algorithms.

Financial details of the agreement were not provided.

JGI Unlocks Genome of Oak, Soy Pathogens

The US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute announced last week the sequencing of the genome of Phytophthora ramorum, the organism responsible for Sudden Oak Death, as well as its cousin, Phytophthora sojae, which is responsible for a soybean disease.

Sudden Oak Death is of particular concern, as it has spread through 13 California counties, hitting hardest in Marin, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Sonoma counties, JGI said. The pathogen has also been detected at 125 nurseries across the nation. P. sojae causes an estimated $1 billion in soybean crop losses a year, Boore said.

NextGen Sciences Sells Protein Expression System to GSK

NextGen Sciences has sold a protein expression instrument to GlaxoSmithKline in the UK, the company said last week.

GSK will use NextGen’s Expressionfactory instrument, which automates protein expression and purification, in its gene expression and protein biochemistry department.

Huntingdon, UK-based NextGen Sciences said this is the first system it has sold in the UK.

Accelr8’s Revenues Down, Losses Up in Q3; Company to Sell Software Business

Accelr8 Technology this week reported dwindling revenues and increased losses for the third quarter of its fiscal year 2004, which ended April 30.

The company had $132,000 in revenues for the quarter, down from $276,000 during the same quarter last year. R&D costs were $128,000, compared to $122,000 for the year-ago quarter. Accelr8 recorded a net loss of $335,000, up from $214,000 during the third quarter last year. Last month, the company said it will sell its software business by the end of July, to focus on biosciences. Accelr8 values the sale at $700,000, including $200,000 in deferred maintenance revenue.

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.