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Takara Bio, Amphora Discovery, Washington Technology Center, Children s Hospital, Nanosphere, Cambridge Antibody Technology

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Takara Bio Increases Equity Investment in Lynx

Takara Bio of Japan purchased $1 million of shares in Lynx Therapeutics in December, after making the same purchase in September, increasing its minority ownership in the Hayward, Calif., microbead array technology firm.

Takara Bio now owns a 14.4 percent stake in the company, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The equity investments are part of an agreement dating to Oct 1, 2000, and amended in December, where Takara receives an exclusive license to manufacture, distribute, and sell microarrays and provide genetic analysis services in Japan, China, and Korea. The company is required to make two more $1 million investments on Oct. 24, 2003 and Oct. 24, 2004.

The license also grants a non-exclusive right to Takara to manufacture and sell microarrays in other geographic areas worldwide.

 

Amphora Takes $23 Million in Series B Financing

Amphora Discovery of Research Triangle Park has raised $23 million in Series B financing led by existing investors Arch Venture Partners, MPM Capital, Venrock Associates, CW Group and Versant Ventures. The company engages in drug discovery using Caliper Technologies LabChip microfluidic assay technology. Caliper of Mountain View, Calif., spun out Amphora in 2001 and held a 28 percent equity stake in the company before this round of financing. Caliper did not participate in the funding, diluting its stake to below 15 percent. Amphora is to pay Caliper a minimum of $1.8 million in fees this year in a restructuring of a previous agreement that would have provided Caliper $4 million in the second year of a four-year arrangement.

 

$150,000 Grant for Microarray Research in Washington

The Washington Technology Center of Seattle has awarded $150,000 in a two year grant for a project developed by VizX Labs and Daniel Sabath, a hematophathologist at the University of Washington. The project, using VizX’s GeneSifter software and the Nanogen microarray platform, will seek to develop biological and software methodology for gene expression measurements from patient specimens. The Washington Technology Center, based in Seattle, promotes collaborative projects between high-tech industry and university researchers. It also manages a microfabrication research lab.

 

Paddling For Microarray Funds

Five Australians are on a 22-day kayaking marathon on the east coast of the country, from Brisbane to Sydney, seeking to raise AUS $100,000 in donations to “to help advance microarray technology to analyze the prediction of relapse in childhood and other pediatric cancers,” according to the website www.k4kk.com.au/. The funds will be donated to the oncology unit of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The trek is scheduled to finish on Jan. 26.

 

Nanosphere Takes Additional $5 Million Financing

Northbrook, Ill., based Nanosphere said this week that it has added an additional $5 million to bring its third-round financing to $15 million. Investors include Lurie Investments of Chicago, NextGen Partners of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Takara Bio of Kyoto, Japan.

 

Cambridge Still Shopping for Array Business Buyer

Cambridge Antibody Technology is still shopping for a buyer for its antibody microarray business and hoping to find an investor who could finance future developments, the company told BioArray News at the JP Morgan H&Q Conference in San Francisco this week.The company prefers to keep a stake in the business while spinning it off as a separate unit, said Peter Chambre, CEO of the company.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.