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GE Healthcare, Ibidi and Saifan, Ambion, and Serologicals Upstate Group


GE Healthcare to Relocate Imaging Research Business to NJ from Canada …

GE Healthcare will relocate Imaging Research, the Ontario-based bioinformatics and screening company it acquired with Amersham, to Piscataway, NJ, later this month, GenomeWeb News, Inside Bioassays’ sister publication, reported last week.

The company, which employed 45 staffers as of December 2003, will formally shut down its St. Catharines, Ontario, facility before the end of the month, according to people familiar with the event. Amersham acquired Imaging Research in 2003, and GE Healthcare bought Amersham one year later.

A telephone call placed to Imaging Research was routed to a general company mailbox. The mailbox still identifies the company as Amersham Biosciences Niagara.

According to Imaging Research’s website, the company’s products and services include laboratory-imaging systems and gene expression-analysis software, such as the ArrayVision software for the quantifying gene-expression arrays, and ArrayStat, which analyzes expression array data.

The company also sells ultra-high throughput screening platforms, such as LEADSeeker, and the IN Cell Analyzer 1000 automated cell-screening system. Imaging Research said “both of these enabling technologies are licensed exclusively to Amersham Biosciences,” which was acquired by GE in April 2004.

On Imaging Research’s website, GE is listed as a US and Canadian distributor for its products. Other countries in which the company’s products are sold include France, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and Taiwan.

... and Lays Off 120 Staffers from Sunnyvale Facility

GE Healthcare will lay off as many as 120 workers this week from its Sunnyvale, Calif., facility, according to the California Employment Development Department.

According to a listing of Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act notices provided by CEDD, GE Healthcare is to lay off 120 of its Sunnyvale employees as of March 14.

The Sunnyvale facility served as the birthplace of Amersham Bioscience’s MegaBace DNA-sequencing technology and other genomics technologies.

A US-based spokesperson for GE Healthcare was not immediately able to confirm or comment regarding the potential lay-offs. It is unclear how many total GE Healthcare employees are based at the Sunnyvale facility.

The Sunnyvale facility was originally the home of Molecular Dynamics, which Amersham acquired in 1998. It most recently housed marketing and management operations for Amersham.

Ibidi and Saifan Ink Distribution Deal in Israel

Munich, Germany-based Ibidi said last week that it has signed a distribution deal with Israeli firm Saifan.

Ibidi said that it develops and markets plastic cell culture carriers, called u-Slides, for the analysis of cells and biomolecules, and has a distribution partnership for North America with US-based Applied Biophysics and Canadian firm Carsen Group. The company also said it is ongoing negotiations to extend its distribution network to Switzerland and Sweden.

Ambion Opens Japanese Subsidiary

Ambion said last week that it has formally opened its Japanese subsidiary, Ambion KK, in Tokyo.

Yosuke Sawada has been appointed president of Ambion KK. The Japan office has been established to focus on providing quality technical and customer service and fast direct shipment to dealers and customers, Ambion said.

Serologicals’ Upstate Group to Offer ‘Young Cell Signaller’ Award

Serologicals announced last week that Upstate Group, its wholly owned subsidiary, is sponsoring the Upstate Young Cell Signaller Award for 2005.

The deadline for submissions is March 31.

Submissions should include a 500-word description detailing original, significant scientific work, and a cover letter describing research achievements and career aspirations, Upstate said.

The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the Second Annual Cell Signalling Symposium, to be held June 12-15 in Dundee, UK. The winner will receive $17,000 worth of support funding for reagents for their laboratory, and a personal cash prize of $8,500, Upstate said. The symposium is sponsored by Upstate Group and the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit of the Unversity of Dundee.

Last year’s winner was Sara Sigismund from the FIRC Institute for Molecular Oncology in Milan, Italy, for her presentation entitled “Monoubiquitination and signaling.”

The Scan

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.

Estonian Biobank Team Digs into Results Return Strategies, Experiences

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics outline a procedure developed for individual return of results for the population biobank, along with participant experiences conveyed in survey data.

Rare Recessive Disease Insights Found in Individual Genomes

Researchers predict in Genome Medicine cross-population deletions and autosomal recessive disease impacts by analyzing recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination-related deletions.

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.