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Affymetrix, Perlegen Sciences, GenoMed, Chiron, Sagres Discovery, DeCode Genetics, Medical College of Ohio


Affymetrix and Perlegen to Offer Custom Genotyping Services

Affymetrix and its spinoff Perlegen Sciences on Tuesday announced a partnership to provide custom genotyping services through Perlegen’s high-throughput genotyping facility.

Perlegen has developed some 1.5 million validated SNP assays, as well as those available through public sources, which will be available through this service, the companies said.

Affymetrix will market the service, which is based on the use of its microarray technology. Financial details were not provided.

GenoMed Applies for Amex Listing as Nasdaq OTC Plan Idles

GenoMed plans to move from the Pink Sheets over-the-counter market to a listing on the American Stock Exchange.

The company said this week that it expects to hear from Amex about the status of its application within six to eight weeks. GenoMed’s stock is currently traded on the Pink Sheets under the ticker symbol GMED.

In November, 2002, GenoMed announced plans to trade on the Nasdaq over-the-counter bulletin board. David Moskowitz, CEO and chief medical officer of the company, told Pharmacogenomics Reporter’s sister publication GenomeWeb News that changes in accounting rules and other factors led to a number of delays in the approval process. “We never got an official denial, but we certainly didn’t get an approval either,” he said.

Moskowitz said the company has a good chance of meeting the primary requirement for trading on Amex — a market capitalization of $50 million. The company has around 200 million shares outstanding, and Moskowitz said he is confident the company can hit and maintain a $0.25 share price to reach the $50 million market cap milestone. Genomed’s stock was trading at .17 Wednesday in the midafternoon.

Many brokers avoid Pink Sheet stocks, Moskowitz said, so a move to Amex is expected to increase investor confidence and improve the company’s liquidity.

Chiron Acquires Sagres Discovery

Chiron has acquired oncogenomics firm Sagres Discovery, the companies said Tuesday.

Sagres Discovery, of Davis, Calif., has been using high-throughput genomic technologies to analyze mouse models of cancer. Based on the results, the company has assembled a set of oncology targets it calls the Oncogenome.

“With the wealth of targets from Sagres, we expect to be able to maximize the value of our collaboration with Xoma and our small molecule drug discovery program for the development and commercialization of new drugs for the treatment of cancer,” commented Kenneth Bair, senior vice president and head of research at Chiron BioPharmaceuticals, in a statement.

Sagres had several collaborations, including with the Genome Institute of Singapore and Boehringer Ingelheim, both announced last year.

Neither company disclosed financial terms of the acquisition.

DeCode CEO to Sell Up to 400,000 Shares in Next Year

Kari Stefansson, CEO of DeCode Genetics, will sell up to 400,000 shares of DeCode’s common stock in the next year, or 12 percent of his holdings, under a pre-arranged plan that follows US Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, the company said last week.

At today’s share price, Stefansson would net about $3.4 million from the transactions.

Under the plan, Stefansson has authorized a broker to sell the shares on his behalf. The move is designed to diversify Stefansson’s investments, according to the Reykjavik, Iceland-based company.

The sales are being made pursuant to rule 10b5-1 of the US Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, which allows company insiders to establish pre-arranged stock trading plans not based on inside information.

Report: Ohio Researcher Awarded $1.5M to Study Genetics of Hypertension

A researcher at the Medical College of Ohio has been awarded a $1.5 million NIH grant to study the genetic causes of hypertension, according to a local press report.

The researcher, Bina Joe, is an assistant professor of physiology and cardiovascular genomics. The four-year grant will involve using transgenic rats to study the genes involved in hypertension. Joe is carrying on research conducted for 30 years by John Rapp, who retired from the Medical College of Ohio this year, said the report in the Toledo Blade newspaper earlier this week.

$388,191 of the grant, entitled “Functional Genomic Dissection Of Rat Blood Pressure Qtl,” has been disbursed according to the NIH’s website.


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