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Zygogen, University of Minnesota, Caliper Life Sciences, Xenogen, Harvard, Stanford, Dutch University, Dharmacon, Genedata, Bio-Rad, Serologicals, Millipore


Zygogen Licenses Antisense Tech from University of Minnesota

Zygogen said this week that it has taken an exclusive license to morpholino antisense technology from the University of Minnesota for use in its zebrafish-based drug-discovery.

Terms of the agreement include license and royalty payments to the University of Minnesota. In addition, Zygogen has the right to sub-license the technology.

Zygogen uses its zebrafish technology platform to provide in vivo preclinical drug-discovery services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. These services include target validation, automated compound screening, and toxicity testing.

The morpholino antisense technology interrupts gene activity in zebrafish, thus helping identify medically relevant genes whose protein products may be future drug targets, Zygogen said.

Caliper Cuts '06 Outlook as SEC Review Delays Xenogen Acquisition

Caliper Life Sciences lowered its previously announced financial outlook for the year due to an SEC review of the company's plan to buy Xenogen, which delayed the acquisition, the company said this week.

Caliper revised its 2006 revenue forecast from between $120 million and $128 million to between $110 million and $118 million. A Caliper spokeswoman said that the US Securities and Exchange Commission selected the filing for review, which set the acquisition back by three months.

Caliper announced in February that it would buy Xenogen for $80 million in stock and expected the transaction to close in the second quarter.

The delay required the company to adjust its projected revenues, which originally included Xenogen's second-quarter revenues, the spokeswoman said.

The companies said they plan to hold a stockholder meeting on Aug. 9 to approve the acquisition.

Harvard, Stanford, Dutch University Join Dharmacon's Global RNAi Alliance

The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative this week said that Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, and the VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands have joined its ranks.

The Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative, created in October 2004, is designed to use Dharmacon's complete siRNA library to target genes throughout the human genome in functional-genomics research.

The founding members of the initiative are: The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital and Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, both with the University of Toronto; Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at the London Research Institute and the Institute of Cancer Research; the German Cancer Research Center; UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; the Netherlands Cancer Institute; the Scottish Centre for Genomic Technology and Informatics based at the University of Edinburgh Medical School; the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and Yale University.

Germany's HepatoSys Liver Research Network Licenses Genedata Software

Genedata has entered into a collaboration with HepatoSys, a consortium of German research centers studying the physiology and pathophysiology of the human liver using systems biology, the company said this week.

Genedata said that the consortium has licensed its Phylosopher and Expressionist software packages. The company has partnered with the HepatoSys researchers to use the software as the basis for a computational system to analyze molecular processes in mammalian liver cells.

The HepatoSys consortium is investigating signaling pathways, gene regulation mechanisms, cell signaling dynamics, and metabolic activity in hepatocytes. It plans to cellular simulation with experimental data analysis to understand the biochemical functions of the liver.

Genedata is also developing a customized data-management platform based on its software for the HepatoSys network that will represent dynamic pathway models.

Bio-Rad and Integrated DNA Technologies to Co-Develop RNAi Tools

Bio-Rad Laboratories and Integrated DNA Technologies plan to co-develop RNAi tool sets, Bio-Rad said this week.

The companies will deliver IDT's Dicer-Substrate 27-mer siRNA duplexes for RNAi applications. Under the agreement, Bio-Rad will experimentally validate Dicer-Substrate siRNA duplexes in live cells.

Bio-Rad has exclusive rights to sell the Dicer-Substrate siRNAs that it tests and validates.

Bio-Rad and IDT also plan to develop a series of control kits for use with IDT's TriFECTa Dicer-Substrate RNAi kits and Bio-Rad's validated siRNA duplexes.

Serologicals Shareholders Approve Millipore's $1.4B Buyout

Serologicals shareholders have approved Millipore's buyout offer, Serologicals said this week.

Millipore announced its plan to acquire Serologicals for $1.4 billion in April. The shareholders will receive $31.55 per share in cash.

About 82 percent of shares outstanding voted in favor of the deal, the Atlanta-based company said.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.