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In Brief This Week: Helicos BioSciences; Roche; Inform Genomics; H3 Biomedicine; Metabolon

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it has received a $700,000 cash advance against its existing convertible promissory note facility. In connection with the advance, Helicos entered into an amendment to the subordinated secured note purchase agreement with funds affiliated with Atlas Ventures and Flagship Ventures.

Roche said this week that its cobas EGFR Mutation Test has been CE marked. The test detects 41 mutations across four different exons of the EGFR gene. It is intended for use as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with non-small cell lung cancer who harbor mutations in the EGFR gene and who may benefit from treatment with anti-EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as Roche's Tarceva (erlotinib).

Inform Genomics, a Boston-based molecular diagnostics firm, said this week that it has received funding from a network of angel investors, which includes founders and directors of the firm. It didn't disclose the amount of funding it received, but said that proceeds would be used to further develop its Onpart molecular diagnostic product to predict a patient's risk of common side effects associated with chemotherapy regimens.

H3 Biomedicine, a genomic-based drug discovery startup created by drug firm Eisai, has opened its new headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. The firm also said that it has 24,000 square feet of new lab space, and over the next year it plans to increase its staff to 70 people and expand its lab space.

Metabolon has received laboratory accreditation from the College of American Pathologists, the firm said this week. Metabolon uses a metabolomics approach to discovering biomarkers. It said that the first test to be offered by the lab is its Quantose IR for evaluating insulin resistance.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.