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Roche NimbleGen, BioDiscovery, Research Triangle Institute, National Human Genome Research Institute, Signature Genomic Laboratories, Gentel Biosciences, Eppendorf Array Technologies

Roche NimbleGen, BioDiscovery Forge Strategic Alliance
Roche NimbleGen this week announced an alliance with BioDiscovery to offer NimbleGen’s arrays with BioDiscovery’s data analysis tools to comparative genomic hybridization microarray customers.
Specifically, NimbleGen and BioDiscovery will co-market and promote NimbleGen’s high-density 2.1 million probe HD2 arrays with BioDiscovery’s Nexus Copy Number analysis software. The companies also plan to present data generated from NimbleGen CGH arrays using the Nexus software to the research community through a series of seminars.
Financial details were not discussed.

RTI Wants Researchers Involved in Developing GWAS Measures
The Research Triangle Institute plans at the end of June to release a survey for genomics researchers, healthcare specialists, and a range of other experts, which it will draw on as part of a collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop consensus measures that can be used in genome-wide association studies.
RTI said Friday it is working with the NHGRI, through $6.8 million in grant funding over three years, to identify up to 20 research disciplines that are significant for research and public health and will develop 15 standard measures for each of these disciplines. The goal is to obtain information about phenotypes and relationships about genetics, environment, health, and disease for use in GWA studies and other large-scale genomics research programs.
The collaboration aims to improve the ability of research groups to combine data and to increase the size of their population samples and enhance the ability to detect genes that are associated with common, complex disease.
The first of these PhenX (Phenotypes and eXposures) surveys will present proposed measures for a domain focused on demographic characteristics of interest such as age, sex ethnicity, ancestry, education, income, and employment status. But the surveys will not be the only way the PhenX program develops specifications for the measures; these decisions also will be made through working groups and a steering committee.
"The participation and collaboration of experts from diverse scientific and health disciplines are essential to making this project a success," Carol Hamilton, who is director of bioinformatics at the North Carolina-based RTI and principal investigator on the project, said in a statement.
"The ability to combine the results of these studies is critical to furthering our knowledge of the many complex relationships between genetics, environmental factors, health and disease," said Jonathan Haines, who chairs the PhenX steering committee.

Signature Genomic Laboratories Relocates HQ, Lab Within Spokane, Wash.
Signature Genomic Laboratories has relocated its headquarters and laboratory within Spokane, Wash., to a new building on the city’s north side. Signature moved June 2 into the new headquarters at 2820 N. Astor St., an 18,500-square-foot former Sears Roebuck and Company distribution center.
Designed by Matthew Collins at Spokane architectural firm Nystrom Olson Collins, the new headquarters features 9,000 square feet of wet lab space, compared to 5,000 square feet of wet lab space at its current location. Spokane-based Doric carried out remodeling work to remodel the building.
Lisa Shaffer, president and CEO of Signature, said in a press release that Signature needed more space since the company had doubled in size in the 18 months since it moved into its current home base, the Sirti Technology Center at 120 N. Pine St. in downtown Spokane. The center is operated by Sirti, a state-funded economic development organization founded as the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute.
“With the increasing diagnostic use of our oligonucleotide microarray and our expanding Genoglyphix service, we anticipate even more growth in the next few years," Shaffer added.

Gentel, Eppendorf Sign Licensing Agreement
Gentel Biosciences last week said it has signed a global license-and-supply agreement with Namur, Belgium-based Eppendorf Array Technologies.
Under the agreement, Gentel's will be able to use Eppendorf's Silverquant colorimetric detection technology in its protein array assays. Silverquant is a patented method in which gold particle-enhanced silver crystal deposition is used for detection and quantification on microarrays.
Alex Vodenlich, president and CEO of Gentel, said the agreement “extends Gentel's technology footprint beyond fluorescence-based microarray analysis.”
Financial details were not discussed.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.