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In Brief This Week: Labcyte Granted Japanese Patent; JGI's IMG 2.9; MultiCell Awarded US Patent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Labcyte said that the Japanese patent office has granted patent 4,309,131 which covers the design of a system that can sort cells based upon acoustic or other properties and then eject them specifically from a mixed population. It is the company's second Japanese patent. The firm said that it now has a total of 48 patents in Japan, Europe, and the US.

The US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute has released an upgrade of its Integrated Microbial Genomes resource. IMG 2.9, available here, includes more than a million new genes, user interface improvements, and protein expression data from a recent Arthrobacter chlorophenolicus study.

MultiCell Technologies said that it has been granted US Patent 7,566,567, which covers its Fa2N-4 and Ea1C-35 immortalized human hepatocyte cell lines. The cell lines were derived from normal human liver cells, and are nontumorigenic, stable in culture, and produce therapeutic plasma proteins in cell culture.

MultiCell said that it has licensed several pharmaceutical companies rights to use the Fa2N-4 cell line for drug toxicity applications, including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Eisai Pharmaceuticals. In addition, MultiCell has granted Corning the rights to sell the Fa2N-4 cell line and media within the drug discovery and life science research markets for drug toxicity applications and for drug adsorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion studies.

MultiCell retains worldwide exclusive ownership of the Fa2N-4 and Ea1C-35 cell lines for all applications other than ADME/tox, including drug target identification and use of the cell lines for the production of therapeutic plasma proteins.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.