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Caliper, AZN, Vertex, Novartis, Dharmacon, Sigma-Aldrich, Rosetta Inpharmatics

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Caliper Places Additional LabChip Platforms at AZN, Vertex, Novartis, Others

Caliper Life Sciences this week said that it has placed LabChip 3000 drug-discovery systems at "top-tier" existing pharmaceutical customers, including AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

According to a company spokesperson, Vertex previously used a LabChip 90 platform, and has purchased its first next-generation 3000 platform. AstraZeneca has purchased two LabChip 3000 platforms — also its first purchases — the spokesperson said. Novartis is a repeat customer, and already owns “several” LabChip platforms, which it uses in its lead discovery program, Caliper said.

Caliper said that 12 of the 15 top pharmaceutical companies currently use a LabChip platform. Financial details were not disclosed.


Dharmacon Prepares Proposal to Standardize RNAi Screening Studies as Global Initiative Advances

Dharmacon this week announced that it has recently made progress toward its goal of developing internationally accepted standards for conducting research using the first complete siRNA library covering the entire human genome — a goal it identified when it established the Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative late last year.

As reported in the May 25 issue of RNAi News, a CBA News sister publication, members of the initiative discussed recent research results at the group's second meeting, held last month in Washington, DC.

"Twelve members of the RNAi Global Initiative conducted the same experiments using the same protocols in the most extensive multi-site comparative RNAi screen conducted to date," Bill Marshall, vice president of technology and business development for Dharmacon parent Fisher Biosciences, said in a statement this week. "By comparing this large data set, we were able to identify several critical areas of potential variation and the key information required for inter-laboratory experimental comparison."

Marshall told RNAi News that the company is planning on publishing the findings in an undisclosed peer-reviewed journal, and hopes to have a standards proposal — termed MIARE, or Minimal Information About RNAi Experiments — available before the next meeting of the initiative, which will take place in Europe this fall.


Sigma-Aldrich Licenses Rosetta Inpharmatics' siRNA Informatics Technology

Sigma-Aldrich has gained an exclusive license to Rosetta Inpharmatics' bioinformatics design tools for siRNA research and development purposes, Rosetta said this week.

Sigma-Aldrich said it plans to use Rosetta' design technology to create human and model organism siRNA whole-genome libraries, to deliver siRNA panels targeted to specific gene families, and to provide access to single-target pre-designed siRNAs through an enhanced Web interface on its website.

Rosetta is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck.Financial details were not discussed.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.