Perlegen to Mine 4 Million Patient Records for Predictive Markers
Perlegen Sciences said today it will work with an undisclosed electronic medical records company to search through data from four million patients for genetic markers that could help predict patient response to certain medical treatments.
Perlegen said it has reached an agreement under which it will have exclusive access to a database of US medical records, from which it will target patients who will be sought for DNA samples.
The EMR company will be paid subscription and program fees and milestone payments connected to the launch of any new diagnostic tests that result from the collaboration. Perlegen also said it will receive partial ownership in the EMR provider, the volume of which will be dependent on achieving certain revenue levels.
Perlegen, which is a spinout of Affymetrix, said it will work with the patients’ doctors to obtain the DNA samples in a way that is compliant with US privacy laws. That means that Perlegen “will never have access to specific patient identities, but instead will only receive de-identified patient records, which can then be re-identified only by participating healthcare institutions” in a manner that is consistent with US health insurance law.
Roche NimbleGen, Affymetrix Expand Microarray IP Agreement
Roche NimbleGen said last week it has expanded a patent license agreement with Affymetrix to include diagnostic rights to array-based DNA analysis and array-based re-sequencing.
NimbleGen and Affymetrix originally agreed to the patent license, which gave NimbleGen the rights to patents related to the manufacture, use, and sale of nucleic acid microarrays, in October 2006 (see BAN 10/10/2006).
When Roche purchased NimbleGen last June for $272 million, the licensing rights were transferred to Roche NimbleGen (see BAN 6/19/2007).
Roche NimbleGen makes high-density arrays of long oligo probes used in studying genomic and epigenomics variation.
Financial terms of the latest agreement were not released. Both firms declined to comment on the agreement.
Motif Collaborating with Imperial College London on Diabetes, Obesity Genetics Research
The specialized genetics company Motif BioSciences is forming a new partnership with the Imperial College London aimed at deciphering the genetics of diabetes, obesity, and other related metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, the company announced last week.
Motif, which is an Amphion Innovations partner company, plans to team up with Imperial College’s head of genomic medicine Philippe Froguel, who has extensive experience studying metabolic diseases. Once they receive appropriate permission, Motif plans to access genetic samples and clinical data that Froguel and his collaborators have collected in Morocco.
Using their genomic analysis tools and high density microarray technology, Motif hopes to identify genomic variants that predispose some individuals to diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. This, in turn, may reveal new druggable targets and molecular biomarkers, they said.
“This is Motif’s first major project in this field and we are excited to be working with such a highly respected, ground-breaking team,” Motif CEO Zaki Hosny said in a statement.
Allen Institute to Develop Three New Brain and Spinal Cord Gene Expression Atlases
The Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science is launching three major research projects on the brain and spinal cord, the center announced last week.
The non-profit medical research center plans to develop three web-based atlases providing gene expression data for the human brain, developing mouse brain, and mouse spinal cord. The so-called “Allen Brain Atlases” are intended to inform studies of brain development, spinal cord injuries, and various injuries and disorders, and will contain information about anatomical gene expression. The atlases will be publicly available for free online once completed, the Institute said.
The institute plans to complete ABA-Spinal Cord within one year, while the developing mouse brain and human brain atlases are expected to be completed in two years and four years, respectively. The project is reportedly funded by several diverse sources.
The Allen Institute launched the first Allen Brain Atlas, the ABA-Mouse Brain, in 2006. Also an open access, web-based resource, that atlas contains a genome-wide map of gene expression in the mouse brain as well as information about gene expression in a three-dimensional anatomical map.
“We believe that free access to our unique resources is the best way to encourage widespread use and collaboration, which ultimately could expedite progress toward life-changing medical breakthroughs,” Allen Institute Chief Operating Officer Elaine Jones said in a statement.