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Galapagos, BioFocus DPI, Eli Lilly, IonGate BioSciences, Sigma-Aldrich, Nanoco, Genetix Group

BioFocus DPI, Lilly Expand Hormone Receptor Discovery Agreement 
Galapagos announced this week that its service division BioFocus DPI has extended its drug discovery agreement with Eli Lilly until the end of 2008.
Under the terms of the agreement, BioFocus DPI will screen certain compounds as provided by Lilly against certain selected assays in quarterly screening campaigns to identify active compounds and provide selectivity information for Lilly’s nuclear hormone receptor research program.
The total contract extension value for Galapagos is expected to exceed $1.2 million.
The agreement extension announced this week builds on the successful collaboration between BioFocus DPI and Lilly begun in March 2005.

IonGate BioSciences Raises $6.8M in Third Funding Round
IonGate BioSciences this week announced that it has raised €4.6 million ($6.8 million) in a third round of private financing.
The Frankfurt, Germany-based firm said it would use the funds to expand its international business activities, to commercialize worldwide its SURFE2R technology, and to further develop its SURFE2R workstation. The SURFE2R technology analyzes electromagnetic membrane proteins, while the workstation is being developed to provide researchers with a direct functional characterization of transport proteins.
Last month, IonGate formed a subsidiary in New York that will assist in international marketing of the firm’s technology. Part of the proceeds from this round of financing will be used to establish distribution channels in the US, the firm said.
Investors in this round included Heidelberg Innovation and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau.

Sigma-Aldrich, Nanoco Ink QD Distribution Deal
Sigma-Aldrich has signed an agreement with Nanoco to globally distribute Nanoco’s luminescent quantum dot nanocrystals, the company announced this week.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will distribute research quantities (less than 1 g) of seven core-shell semiconductor quantum dots through the Aldrich Materials Science initiative of its Research Specialties business.
The nanocrystals will be marketed and distributed under the brand name Lumidots.

Genetix Group Provides Financial Update
Genetix Group this week provided its preliminary results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007. The final results are expected to be announced at the beginning of March 2008.
Sales for the year ended Dec. 31 (which includes a full twelve months of results for Applied Imaging) are expected to be £22.9 million ($45.1 million), an increase of 48 percent over the previous year. According to the company, the key growth driver during the year was its cell biology product family which showed a sales growth of 44 percent to £6.5 million. On a constant currency basis, sales for the year would have been approximately £23.8 million, an increase of 54 percent.
Genetix acquired Applied Imaging in Nov. 2006. During Genetix’ first full year of ownership, Applied Imaging achieved revenues of £9.9 million and an operating profit of £1.5 million, and the integration of this business is now complete.
Genetix announced that it will launch two new products in Q1 2008: the Cell Reporter and the Chromoscan 120 Slide Loader.

The Scan

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.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.