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In Brief This Week: Gen-Probe, Prodesse; Bio-Rad, Biotest; KeyGene; Arrayit; NanoString; ARUP Laboratories, Progenika; IDBS; Roche, Kinaxo; Decode Genetics; Genomatix

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Gen-Probe has completed its acquisition of Prodesse for around $60 million in cash. The total price could rise to $85 million if Prodesse achieves certain financial and regulatory milestones in 2010 and 2011. The deal was initially announced earlier this month.

Bio-Rad Laboratories today announced that it will acquire certain diagnostic businesses of Germany-based Biotest, which sells immunohematology diagnostics, for €45 million ($67.6 million). Bio-Rad expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2010.

KeyGene today announced that it has completed and delivered to the International SOL Consortium a sequence-based physical map of the 950 Mb tomato genome. The firm worked with researchers at the Dutch Centre for BioSystems Genomics and constructed the genome using its own whole genome profiling technology. CBSG had worked with partners involved in the International SOL Consortium in producing a shotgun sequence of the tomato genome using Roche 454's GS FLX Titanium and Life Technologies' SOLiD platforms. KeyGene expects its efforts to help yield a superior draft sequence by the end of 2009.

Arrayit this week said that the US Department of Agriculture is using its SpotLight microarray scanning technology to identify biomarkers in the honeybee genome that confer resistance to varroa and tracheal mites.

The National Cancer Institute is using NanoString Technologies' nCounter Analysis System at two of its core labs for cancer research. The gene expression system will be available to NCI researchers at the Bethesda facility and through the Laboratory of Molecular Technology, Advanced Technology Program of SAIC-Frederick at NCI-Frederick.

ARUP Laboratories will begin offering blood group genotyping using Progenika's microarray next month. Progenika's array simultaneously detects more than 100 genetic variants in the nine blood group systems that are most relevant to transfusion safety, the firm said in announcing the agreement this week.

IDBS this week said that the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has implemented its Inforsense-based Translational Research Solution in its genetic research efforts. IDBS said that CHOP researchers can use the software tool to build a custom phenotype based on multiple dimensions of patient data from nearly 90,000 patient records and get immediate results.

Roche will use Kinaxo's PhotoScout proteomics service to support identification of biomarkers related to new treatment approaches based on antibodies under development at Roche, Kinaxo said this week.

Decode Genetics disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week that it has increased the principal amount of a promissory note recently executed with Saga Investments to $3,520,000. The promissory note matures today.

The Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences has installed a Genomatix Genome Analyzer for downstream analysis of next-generation sequencing data, Genomatix said this week.

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.