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Canadian Medical Research Center, TGen, Chicago Pediatric Center, Paradigm Genetics, German Resource Center, SurroMed, Biogen, St. Jude, CombiMatrix, High-Throughput Genomics, Spectral Genomics

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Canadian Medical Research Center Wins $30M Genomic Research Grant

Parts of a CA$40 million ($30 million) Canadian government grant awarded to the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal this week will go to helping the center study the interaction between genes and the environment, the Centre said last week.

As part of the 5-year award, Pavel Hamet, director of research at the Centre, will lead a team that will “promote multidisciplinary research at the functional genomics level into cardiovascular and metabolic problems, cancer, osteoporosis and aging, with particular emphasis on environmental interactions,” the Centre said in a statement.

The research will include genomics and gene identification facilities, genetic modification, phenotypic proteomics, transcriptomics, and bioinformatics studies. In particular, the project will also help to create an international consortium between Canadian, US, Czech, and German researchers.


TGen, Chicago Pediatric Center Pen Disease-Association Collaboration

The Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Children’s Memorial Institute for Education and Research in Chicago will try to use certain genomics technologies to identify links between pediatric illnesses and adult diseases, the groups said last week.

Terms of the collaboration call for the institutes to hunt genetic markers associated with brain disorders such as schizophrenia, behavioral disorders, autism, multiple sclerosis, certain cancers, developmental defects, and autoimmune diseases, Mary Hendrix, president and scientific director for the Chicago-based CMIER, said in a statement.

TGen, of Phoenix, will provide CMIER with access to “a range” of genomic, genetic, and proteomic technologies, as well as bioinformatics, high-throughput sequencing, and gene expression-profiling capabilities, the groups said.

One goal of the partnership is to recognize how “genetic components” of certain pediatric diseases could be translated to the early detection and management of related adult diseases, said Hendrix, who is also professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Hendrix told GenomeWeb News, SNPtech Pharmacogenomics Reporter’s sister publication, that CMIER plans to pay for the research by grants from the US National Institutes of Health, as well as philanthropists.

However, CMIER scientists are currently performing with TGen staffers on cell culture research and microarray studies, she said, adding that the NIH has been funding this.


Paradigm Genetics Completes Acquisition of TissueInformatics

Paradigm Genetics has closed its acquisition of TissueInformatics for around $4.5 million, the company said last week.

Paradigm Genetics will issue approximately 3.4 million shares of its common stock to TissueInformatics shareholders immediately. The transaction was valued at about $4.5 million based on the closing price of Paradigm shares on March 11.

Depending on whether TissueInformatics reaches certain revenue targets and obtains new research contracts before the end of the year, Paradigm Genetics will offer shareholders another 2.7 million shares.

Paradigm Genetics, based in Research Triangle Park, NC, said it will maintain TissueInformatics’ facility in Pittsburgh, Pa.


German Genome Center, Company to Combine Gene-Expression Services

The RZPD German Resource Center for Genome Research plans to combine its Affymetrix GeneChip services with the cell-type expression-profiling technology made by German neighbor Axaron Bioscience, the groups said last week.

Axaron, based in Heidelberg, and Berlin-based RZPD intend to co-market their services in the future, they said in a statement.

RZPD, an authorized Affymetrix partner, provides Affy services throughout Europe. Axaron sells its Axaminer service for gene-expression profiling. The technology comprises specific cell labeling, automated cell isolation using laser microdissection, isolation, and RNA amplification.


SurroMed and Biogen Extend Biomarker Collaboration

SurroMed and Biogen have extended their collaborative biomarker study, SurroMed said last week.

SurroMed, based in Mountain View, Calif., will continue to analyze samples from multiple sclerosis patients treated with a drug from Biogen, using proteomics, metabolomics, and cytometry, to identify biomarkers.

Both companies started their collaboration in 2002 to characterize responses to Biogen’s drug in patients.


St. Jude Uses CombiMatrix Microarrays in Bird Flu Study

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and CombiMatrix will study genetic variation in the bird flu virus, Acacia said this week.

Reseachers at St. Jude, led by Richard Webby, will monitor variations in the genome of the H9 variant of influenza A virus using custom microarrays from CombiMatrix.


High-Throughput Genomics Wins $500K NCI Grant for Tox-testing, Array Development

High-Throughput Genomics has won a two-year, $500,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to identify and validate sets of genes for toxicity studies, the firm said this week.

The company will also use part of the award to develop a new array product.


Spectral Genomics Buys Bacterial Barcodes, Raises $9.3 Million

Spectral Genomics has acquired privately held Bacterial Barcodes, the companies said last week.

Bacterial Barcodes developed a molecular-identification and DNA-fingerprinting technology called repetitive sequence-based PCR, and co-developed with Caliper Technologies a system called DiversiLab that combines rep-PCR, analytics software, fingerprint libraries, and automation through microfluidics.

Spectral Genomics has also raised an additional $9.3 million as part of its Series B financing, the company said in a statement.

Filed under

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.