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UNC, Dana-Farber, Sloan-Kettering, Agilent, M-Medical, Ocimum Biosolutions, Enzo Biochem, Applied Biosystems, and GE Healthcare

UNC, Dana-Farber, and Sloan-Kettering to Use Agilent Chips in Cancer Genome Atlas Project
Three institutions using microarray platforms from Agilent Technologies have received grants from the National Cancer Institute under its Cancer Genome Atlas pilot project, Agilent said this week.
The University of North Carolina, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center were among seven institutes that were awarded a combined $35 million over three years in NCI grants as Cancer Genome
Characterization Centers.
All three institutions will use Agilent microarrays, reagents, hardware, and data analysis tools and each CGCC is expected to process a minimum of 1,000 clinical samples per year, Agilent said.

M-Medical to Handle Italian Distribution for Ocimum

Ocimum Biosolutions said last week that M-Medical has become an authorized distributor of its microarray services and products in Italy.

According to Ocimum, Milan, Italy-based M-Medical will distribute and provide its catalog and custom OciChip arrays, starter kits, Oligo sets, hybridization services, and other accessories.
Further details were not discussed.

Enzo Claims Victory in Markman Ruling in ABI Suit;
Licenses Six More RNA-Amplification Patents
Enzo Biochem said last week that a US District Court has ruled in its favor in the claims-construction phase of an ongoing patent-infringement suit against Applera's Applied Biosystems group and its Tropix subsidiary.
Separately today, the company said that it has acquired a license from LBS Technologies to six patents protecting an RNA amplification technology for gene expression analysis. 
In the patent-infringement case, currently pending in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut, New Haven Division, a Markman ruling to define the interpretations of the disputed patents "adopted substantially all of Enzo's constructions of key patent claim terms," the company said.
The patents in the case are US Patent Nos. 5,328,824; 5,449,767; 5,476,928; 4,711,955; 5,082,830; and 4,994,373, which relate to methods and materials for detecting nucleic acid sequences.
Enzo claims that a number of ABI's DNA sequencing products and systems — including its TaqMan genotyping and gene expression arrays and Expression Array System — infringe the patents.
In a separate announcement last week, Enzo said that it has acquired a license from LBS Technologies to an RNA amplification technology for gene expression analysis. 
The non-PCR based amplification process "allows researchers to increase amplification from relatively small RNA samples in gene expression studies," the company said in a statement. Enzo's license includes rights to six US Patents: Nos. 5,021,335; 5,168,038; 5,545,522; 5,716,785; 5,891,636; and 6,291,170.
The patent portfolio covers methods for amplifying the level of RNA in cells "to amounts that can produce gene expression patterns in microarrays and other applications," Enzo said.
Enzo said that the linear amplification technology offers benefits over exponential techniques, such as RT-PCR, because it maintains the relative ratios of the starting RNA population, "thereby allowing for more accurate expression profile studies."

Enzo's Q4 Revenues Fall, Losses Widen; Company to
Recognize $2M from Sigma Settlement in Q1 '07
Enzo Biochem last week reported an 8.7-percent decline in revenues atop a widened net loss for its fourth fiscal quarter.
For the quarter ended July 31, Enzo posted revenues of $9.9 million, down from $10.9 million in the year-ago period.
The company’s quarterly net loss more than doubled to $4.5 million from $2 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.
Enzo attributed the swelling net loss to a $900,000 increase in expenses, including a $500,000 increase in R&D expenses. The balance of the spending increase went toward litigation expenses and selling, general, and administrative expenses, the company said.
In its 10-K report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that it would recognize $2 million from a recent settlement with Sigma-Aldrich in its first fiscal quarter for 2007, ending Oct. 31 (see BAN 9/19/2006).
Enzo did not disclose its R&D spending for the quarter.  
As of July 31, Enzo had cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $69.9 million.

GE Healthcare's Q3 Revenues Rise 9 Percent as Earnings Jump 19 Percent
GE Healthcare last week said that third-quarter revenues climbed 9 percent as earnings increased 19 percent.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, GE Healthcare generated $3.9 billion in revenues, up from $3.6 billion during the same quarter in 2005.
GE Healthcare's earnings for the quarter increased to $700 million from $589 million in the third quarter of 2005.
GE's total revenues for the quarter were $40.9 billion, up from $36.4 billion during the same period last year.
GE did not break out its research and development expenses for the Healthcare segment.
As of Sept. 30, GE reported $59.4 billion in cash and marketable securities.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.