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Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, North Carolina Biotech Center, Rosetta Biosoftware

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Pittsburgh Biotechnology Development To Merge With Life Sciences Greenhouse

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a biotechnology development agency, will absorb the Pittsburgh Biotechnology Development Corp., according to news reports last week. The development corporation, founded in 1988, had exhausted the $2.5 million it raised in 1999, but will bring about $500,000 with it that will be available for early-stage investments. The Greenhouse is a public/private partnership, founded by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Health System and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It operates on funds from Pennsylvania’s share of tobacco industry settlement monies and serves as an incubator.


NC Biotech Center Expands Reach

The North Carolina Biotech Center of Research Triangle Park, NC, opened a satellite office last week in Winston-Salem, the first in a plan to open offices across the state. The branch office is funded by Wake Forest University and RJ Reynolds Tobacco.


Rosetta Licenses Affymetrix APIs

Rosetta Biosoftware last week announced that it has licensed the application programming interfaces for Affymetrix’s software systems and data files.

Rosetta said it sought the APIs and the data that Affymetrix uses to annotate its arrays in order to ensure compatibility with the Affymetrix format. Affy customers will be able to automatically retrieve and store annotations related to the company's microarrays with Rosetta's software. Rosetta will also redistribute GeneChip microarray pattern files with its Resolver and Luminator systems, which the company said will allow mutual customers to more conveniently load and analyze GeneChip array experimental data.


Nanomaterials Discovery Teams With CombiMatrix

Nanomaterials Discovery Corp. of Laramie, Wyo., last week announced a licensing agreement with CombiMatrix for microarray development.

The company will have access to CombiMatrix’ platform and the two firms will share any revenues to arise out of the commercialization of new materials discovered under the terms of the agreement. CombiMatrix will also receive a license to intellectual property owned by NDC, the company said.

Nanomaterials Discovery is seeking to develop nanostructure materials using high-throughput combinatorial electrochemical methods, focused on the discovery and refinement of fuel cell catalysts, rechargeable battery electrodes, flat-panel display-phosphors, and other inorganic and organic nanostructured materials.


Toshiba to Use its DNA Chip in HIV Pharmacogenomics Study

Toshiba and the Institute of Human Virology will study ways in which a pharmacogenomics technology developed by the Japanese electronics giant can be used to improve the efficacy of HIV drugs, the partners said today.

The project, funded by the state of Maryland and the Tokyo-based Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute, will rely on Toshiba's electrochemical DNA chip system, which the company introduced simultaneously (see page 2).

Around two years ago Toshiba participated in a study that applied the chip to hepatitis C. The HCV chip, developed with the GeneCare Research Institute, was designed to analyze SNPs rather than pinpoint gene exression, and was meant to help predict the effectiveness of interferon in individual patients. The company also intended it to help identify better treatment regimes. Toshiba and the IHV now hope to apply it HIV therapies.


Aclara and Stanford Extend eTag Contract

Aclara BioSciences announced last week the extension of a services and supply agreement with Stanford University for use in a new proteomics center.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company will supply the Stanford University Medical Center with access to its eTag assay system technology, custom services, reagents, software, and support. The university will use the system for proteomics studies in the area of autoimmune disease. Financial details were not disclosed.

Aclara's eTag technology is used in the analysis of gene and protein expression.


Incyte and Point Technologies Sign License Agreement For Array Spotting Pins

Point Technologies of Boulder, Colo., has licensed two microarray patents from Incyte and will use the technologies to manufacture split array spotting pins for the contact printing of nucleic acids.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.