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In Brief This Week: Exiqon; Compugen; Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Executive Committee; Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Exiqon introduced its GLP-compliant services for miRNA biomarker screening and diagnostic assay development for clinical trials this week. The firm now offers a full suite of services supporting miRNA biomarker diagnostic programs in both clinical formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue and biofluids. In a statement, Exiqon said it is collaborating with a number of global drug manufacturers to identify biomarkers to support their clinical programs on future and current drugs, as well as to rescue failed drugs.

Compugen announced a $5 million R&D investment from Israel-based Baize Investments to support Compugen's Pipeline Program. As part of the deal, Baize has obtained a financial interest in five molecules discovered by Compugen, giving Baize rights to up to 10 percent of certain future payments received by Compugen from third parties if the five molecules are licensed out for development and/or commercialization. Compugen has issued a warrant to Baize to purchase 500,000 Compugen shares at an exercise price of $6 per share. The warrant expires on June 30, 2013.

Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Executive Committee announced that the country's government will be investing S$3.7 billion ($2.9 billion) in biomedical science research for the 2011 to 2015 period, a 12 percent increase over investments by the government for the 2006 to 2010 period. The investment is part of the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2015 fund of S$16.1 billion directed toward R&D for the next five years, and will support better integration of research, increased emphasis on translational and clinical research, and a stronger focus on economic outcomes.

The executive committee also created the Biomedical Science Industry Partnership Office to facilitate collaborations between companies in the space and Singapore government agencies.

The Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad said that it has signed two agreements with the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) for two projects — the MyGenome Project: A Malaysian Human Genome Diversity Project, and the Proboscis Genome Project. MOSTI has allocated MYR14 million ($4.5 million) to the projects, which are anticipated to be finished by April 2012.

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