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ABI, Illumina, Inpharmatica, Transgenomic, Strand Genomics, HandyLab, Orchid BioSciences


ABI to Launch Genotyping Tool SNPlex at Year’s End

Applied Biosystems will launch its SNPlex genotyping product by the end of the year.

The tool, which is the second pillar of ABI’s genotyping strategy, uses the company’s 3730xl and 3730 sequencers, and is based on ABI’s oligo ligation-reagent and electrophoretic-detection technology. (Read about ABI’s strategy here.)

It will eventually produce 1 million genotypes per day at a cost of $.01 per genotype or less, ABI said. The tool underwent a limited release in January and is expected to meet its first formal customer over the next six months, according to ABI spokeswoman Lori Murray. ABI would not say how much the product costs.

Illumina Posts Strong Q2 Revenue Growth Atop Narrowed Losses

Illumina reported strong second-quarter revenue growth amid slight cutbacks in R&D spending and narrowing net losses.

The genotyping-technology firm said total revenue for the period ended June 29 increased to $4.8 million from $1.9 million one year ago. Receipts from product sales in the quarter jumped to $2.7 million from $1 million for the same period one year ago, while revenue from services swelled to $1.5 million from $99,000 during the same year-over-year period, the company said.

Second-quarter R&D spending dipped to $6.2 million from $7 million during the same period last year. As a result, net loss in the quarter shrank to $8.6 million, or $.27 per share, from $16.4 million, or $.54 per share, year over year.

Illumina said it had roughly $52.5 million in cash and investments as of June 29.

Inpharmatica Licenses Biopendium to Japan’s Riken Genomics Center

Inpharmatica has sold a non-exclusive license to its Biopendium proteome-annotation tool to Japanese structural genomics center Riken.

Inpharmatica’s Tokyo-based partner PharmaDesign will provide Riken with primary training and support over the period of the subscription, which was undisclosed.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Transgenomic Predicts Deflated Q2 Revenues

Transgenomic said second-quarter revenues would fall below receipts earned in the second quarter of 2002.

In a precursor to its Aug. 5 second-quarter earnings release, the company said sales for the period ended June 30 fell to $8.4 million from $9.4 million reported during the same period last year.

Transgenomic also said it expected its operating expenses to be $7.1 million for the quarter — which will include restructuring charges of $475,000 — compared with $8.9 million in the second quarter of 2002.

The company attributed its flagging sales to weakness in its nucleic acid business unit, which manufactures synthetic oligonucleotides and other components of nucleic acids for genetic diagnostics and therapeutic research. However, Transgenomic said second-quarter sales in its Biosystems unit climbed more than 15 percent year over year. That unit sells Transgenomic’s Wave instrument, which detects mutations in nucleic acids.

Strand Genomics Licenses Array Software to Lilly Unit

Indian software company Strand Genomics has licensed its Soochika microarray data-mining and management product to Lilly Systems Biology, the Singapore-based division of Eli Lilly.

Soochika comprises techniques for data cleaning, filtering, transformation, and normalization. The platform has three main analysis pipelines: cluster analysis, predictive model building, and differential analysis, according to the company.

Soochika also includes an annotation module that enables researchers “to pull and organize all relevant information on gene sequences of interest for further analysis,” the company said.

HandyLab Gets $2 Million ATP Grant for DNA-Analysis Device

Diagnostics startup HandyLab won a $2 million ATP grant from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop its portable DNA analysis device.

The system uses microfluidics and electrochemical-detection technologies, and is designed to process raw clinical and environmental samples. The system is being developed to perform PCR, RT-PCR, nucleic acid testing and bioassays for biodefense, and for clinical diagnostics in hospital settings.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company is attempting to develop the system as a low-cost and portable alternative to current options in field and point-of-care DNA, protein, and other clinical diagnostics testing.

Orchid BioSciences Lands DNA Testing Contract with Norway

Orchid BioSciences will provide DNA-testing services for Norway, which will use the firm’s technology to confirm the identities of new immigrants.

The contract is for 18 months with an option to renew for an additional year. Financial details were not provided.

The company already provides similar services to the United Kingdom in a three-year contract signed in 2002. Here, Orchid helped the British government’s visa department “provide DNA relationship testing services” to immigrants, the company said. For example, DNA testing in the country has been used “to verify claimed family relationships in immigration matters for over ten years, and immigration related genetic testing is a rapidly growing global market.”


Filed under

The Scan

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From a Pig

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For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.