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Applera, Roche, Affymetrix, NHGRI, Regulome, NimbleGen, Epoch Biosciences

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Applera Files Complaint Against Roche Over PCR Technology

Applera has filed a complaint in California Superior Court, county of San Mateo, relating to disputes with Roche and some of its subsidiaries over PCR technology. Applera also said that that, in a separate action involving Roche, it has filed a notice of arbitration with the American Arbitration Association.

“Rights to PCR are part of the intellectual property estate of Applera,” Applied Biosystems president Michael Hunkapiller said in a statement this week. “With these actions, Applera is seeking to protect its rights to PCR and obtain fair value from these rights.”

Applera has licenses from Roche to certain PCR intellectual property, and markets TaqMan products that use Roche-designed PCR technology. An Applera spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter. Officials from Roche were unavailable.


Affymetrix Releases Data on 120,000 SNPs

Affymetrix has released to the public genotype data from 120,000 SNPs selected from the SNP database compiled by Perlegen Sciences, as well as from public databases.

The company generated this data using its GeneChip technology. An initial set of approximately 535,000 SNPs from 54 people was tested using the arrays over 8 weeks, to generate about 29 million genotypes. The company then chose the SNPs with “the best distribution across the genome and the highest accuracy and call rates,” it said.

About half of the SNPs are from the Perlegen database, Stephen Fodor, Affymetrix’ chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Over time, we will put all of the SNPs from the Perlegen database into the public domain while also developing products that use both these and public SNPs,” Fodor said.


NHGRI Grants $8M ENCODE Grant To Stanford School of Medicine …

Stanford University Medical Center has received an $8 million grant from NHGRI to analyze small areas of the human genome.

The grant, which goes to eight different groups, is part of NHGRI’s Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, also called ENCODE, a university spokeswoman said.

Principal investigators on the project include Richard Myers, a professor of genetics at the School of Medicine; Arend Sidow, an assistant professor of pathology and genetics; and Serafim Batzoglou, assistant professor of computer science.


… While Regulome Nabs $5.3Million …

Regulome, of Seattle, has secured a $5.3 million in funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute. Both grants are part of NHGRI’s Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, also called ENCODE.

Under the project, Regulome will be collaborating with researchers at the University of Washington to apply its technology to the localization and analysis of sequence that regulates gene expression, within a larger region of 30 million base pairs of the genome.


… and NimbleGen collects $2.5Million

NimbleGen Systems has secured two National Human Genome Research Institute grants worth $2.5 million. Both grants are part of NHGRI’s Encyclopaedia of DNA Elements project, also called ENCODE, the company said in a statement.

The first grant, for $1.3 million, is called “Discovery of Binding Sites for Transcription Factors” and will have NimbleGen working with the laboratory of Peggy Farnham at the University of Wisconsin on this grant. The second grant, for $1.2 million, is called “DNA Array-based Exon Detection and Linkage Mapping” and will have the company working with Michael Pirrung at Duke University. Both grants are payable over a three year period.

“The NGS system is uniquely suited to accomplish the goals of the ENCODE project,” Roland Green, CTO of NimbleGen, said in a statement. “The ability to create custom high-density arrays allows us to rapidly prototype and optimize array designs” in order to identify “all transcription factor binding sites in the human genome,” Green explained.


Epoch to Supply MGB Eclipse Probe Systems for Millennium

Epoch Biosciences said this week it will develop, functionally test, and supply multiplexed MGB Eclipse assays to gene targets specified by Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

On Oct. 6, Epoch said it had terminated a distribution agreement for the MGB Eclipse Probe Systems with Amersham Biosciences.

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The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.