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Genedata, Axxam, Lonza, Amaxa, Cenix, CellCentric, Galapagos, BioFocus DPI, Sepracor, Fluxion Biosciences, Bucher Biotec, Millipore

Axxam Licenses Genedata's Screener Software
Axxam has licensed Genedata’s data analysis and management software for use in its high-throughput screening programs, Genedata said last week.
The multi-year agreement allows Axxam to implement the Genedata Screener software.
Axxam CEO Stefan Lohmer said the company’s focus extends beyond the actual license agreement to “a comprehensive, long-term partnership in high-throughput screening.”
Genedata said Screener’s architecture integrates with Axxam’s existing infrastructures and can be tailored for specific discovery processes.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Lonza Group Closes Acquisition of Cell Research Company Amaxa
Swiss biopharmaceutical research supply company Lonza Group announced last week that it has closed its acquisition of Amaxa, a provider of cell research and transfection technologies, for an undisclosed sum.
Lonza sells products for cell-based research, cell therapy manufacturing, and other ingredients for the chemical and biotech markets. The firm, which first agreed to the deal in late May, said it plans to begin integrating Amaxa, including its 160 employees, into its operations immediately.
Amaxa offers technologies for use in gene transfer, gene silencing, and gene-based medicine, and a method for transferring DNA or siRNA directly into the nucleus of primary cells and cell lines.
Lonza said in May that the purchase will enhance profit margins and growth for the Lonza Bioscience division.

Cenix Extends RNAi-based Target Validation Project with CellCentric
RNAi services firm Cenix BioScience said last week that it has extended an existing collaboration with CellCentric to validate epigenetic oncology drug candidates.
The new project follows a pilot study that the companies began in March under which Cenix used its RNAi-based phenotypic characterization platform to study several of CellCentric’s drug target candidates in a diverse panel of human cell lines (see CBA News, 3/21/08).
Under the expanded agreement, Cenix said it will use the same RNAi platform, along with proprietary high-content assays and Definiens’ Cellenger image analysis software, to analyze loss-of-function phenotypes for “several more” oncology target candidates across a new collection of human cell lines.
Further details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

BioFocus Inks Deal to Manage Compounds for Sepracor
Galapagos announced last week that its BioFocus DPI service division will provide compound management and related services to Sepracor. The total contract value for Galapagos is €1 million ($1.5 million).
Under the terms of the agreement, BioFocus DPI will receive, register, and store selected compounds from Sepracor’s proprietary compound library, and plate and replicate these compounds for a period of three years.
Services will be provided by BioFocus DPI’s compound management facility in South San Francisco, Calif.

Bucher Biotec to Be Fluxion’s Swiss Distributor
Fluxion Biosciences has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Basel, Switzerland-based Bucher Biotec, Fluxion announced last week. Bucher will handle sales and service in Switzerland of Fluxion's BioFlux research tools for live cell image analysis in drug discovery.
Bucher Biotec is a privately held distributor company representing US, European, and Japanese manufacturers of scientific instruments and associated consumables for life science research.

Millipore spends $3.4M on Mizzou Facility Expansion
Millipore said last week that it will spend $3.4 million to expand its drug discovery business unit’s operations in St. Charles, Mo.
The Billerica, Mass.-based firm also said that it plans to hire an additional 60 employees at the St. Charles site. Millipore gained the site through its $1.4 billion acquisition of Serologicals in 2006.
The firm said that it is seeking LEED certification of the expanded and renovated 17,000-square-foot space. Millipore noted that the expanded facility is one of three buildings on the firm’s 43-acre Missouri Research Park campus.

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.