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SEC, Acacia, CombiMatrix, Korea NIH, Affymetrix, Nanogen, Aushon Biosystems, Oxford Gene Technology, RPCI, BlueGnome

SEC Approval Clears Way for Acacia and CombiMatrix to Split Aug. 15
The Securities and Exchange Commission has declared that Acacia Research and CombiMatrix can split apart on Aug. 15 after completing a share trade.
At that date, every 10 shares of Acacia Research-CombiMatrix common stock will be redeemed for one share of CombiMatrix Corporation common stock.
CombiMatrix in December 2006 filed with the SEC to split off from parent company Acacia, saying at the time that Acacia’s business “is significantly different than our business,” and that Acacia’s business involves added financial risks related to patent litigation that would not otherwise be a part of CombiMatrix’s business (see BAN 1/2/2007).  
"The separation of our two companies will enable each to execute its business independently, and we are excited about the future prospects of our company as we re-invent ourselves with a focus on molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine," CombiMatrix President and CEO Amit Kumar said in a statement.
On Aug. 15 CombiMatrix’ stock will begin trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol CBMXD, and after 20 days will begin trading under the symbol CBMX.
Acacia Research will then trade under the symbol ACTG. Until that time, Acacia Research-CombiMatrix common stock will trade as CBMX.
Separately, last week, Acacia Research Corporation said that Acacia Patent Acquisition Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Acacia Technologies, has acquired rights to patents relating to purifying nucleic acids.
Acacia did not disclose the name of the entity that sold it the IP, but said that the patents “generally relate to methods and equipment used to purify plasmid DNA products.”
The company said the technology could be used to produce “ultrapure pharmaceutical quality nucleic acids for DNA-vaccines and gene therapies” for a variety of diseases.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Korea NIH to Use Affymetrix Technology in Genome-Wide Association Study
The Republic of Korea’s National Institute of Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention will use the Affymetrix’s Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 5.0 for its Korean Association Resource project, a genome-wide association study that is designed to identify the genetic causes of lifestyle-related complex diseases that are prevalent in Korea, Affy said this week.
KARE project researchers will use Affy chips to generate individual genotypes from more than 10,000 human DNA samples. The project will use samples from the prospective epidemiological Ansan and Ansung cohorts in Korea. Affy’s arrays will be run by DNA Link, an Affymetrix-certified service provider in Korea, while SeouLin Bioscience will supply the Korean NIH with Affymetrix technical support and guidance, Affy said.
Financial details were not discussed.

Nanogen to Help Canadian Gov't Develop Dxs for Livestock Pathogens, Agroterror
Nanogen said this week it has received an undisclosed amount of funding from several Canadian government agencies to help develop diagnostics that would detect natural or bioterror threats to livestock.
Under the agreement, Nanogen will use its NanoChip multiplexing microarray platform to develop diagnostics for diseases such as avian flu, foot-and-mouth disease, and other pathogens.
One of the funding agencies is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, whose laboratory in Lethbridge, Alberta, will participate in the collaborative project. Also participating will be the National Center for Foreign Animal Diseases, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Nanogen said the project, called “Adaptation of Recently Developed DNA Microarrays to NanoChip Microarray Technology for Detection of Agroterrorism Agents,” was approved by Defense Research and Development Canada under the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Research and Technology Initiative.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Aushon Biosystems Licenses OGT Patents
Aushon BioSystems has licensed Oxford Gene Technology’s patents covering the manufacture and marketing of oligonucleotide microarrays.
The granted license will enable Aushon BioSystems to manufacture and sell oligonucleotide microarrays worldwide, and to perform services based on oligonucleotide arrays, the companies said.  

Sue Sutton, vice president of North American licensing at OGT, said that the licenses will enable Aushon to “extend their current offering to provide a range of microarray products to the market.”
Waltham, Mass.-based Aushon sells an arrayer instrument called the 2470. President John Austin told BioArray News in a e-mail this week that “one of the features of our arrayer is its ability to create high quality arrays from a wide range of materials — DNA, antibodies, proteins, carbohydrates through lysates and serum. We have been working with the full spectrum all along,” he wrote.
The license will remain valid for the patents’ lifetime. Financial details were not disclosed.  

RPCI Royalties up on Increased Use of BlueGnome’s CytoChip
The Roswell Park Cancer Institute reported this week that quarterly royalty payments for its RPCI-BAC-11 library have doubled for the fourth consecutive quarter under a licensing agreement with BlueGnome. RPCI did not discuss the actual amounts of the revenues.
The RPCI-BAC-11 library is licensed to BlueGnome for production of its CytoChip, a diagnostic microarray that is used to investigate the genetic basis of diseases ranging from leukemia’s to mental retardation. Richard Matner, director of technology transfer at RPCI, said in a statement that the increase in royalty payments “reflects the widespread adoption of the CytoChip as a clinical tool in over 13 countries.”

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.