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CombiMatrix, STMicroelectronics, Bayer HealthCare, Wyeth, Caprion, Kreatech, Ambion, Venter Center, UW, Hopkins, PerkinElmer, Icoria, ABI, Qiagen, Abbott


CombiMatrix, STMicroelectronics to Combine Techs for Dx Apps

CombiMatrix will combine its ElectroChemical Detection Technology with STMicroelectronics' In-Check Lab-on-Chip platform to investigate their applications in the research and point-of-care diagnostics markets, the companies said this week.

Terms of the deal call for ST to provide undisclosed financial support to CombiMatrix in this work.

ST's In-Check DNA amplification and analysis platform, when combined with CombiMatrix microarrays, may enable it to be "as sensitive, or more sensitive," than current fluorescent/optical detection techniques and provide a number of advantages over optical detection, the firms said.

Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

Bayer Licenses Molecular Dx Technology from DxS and BTG

Bayer HealthCare's diagnostics has licensed Amplification Refractory Mutation System DNA diagnostic technology from DxS and BTG, the companies said this week.

Bayer said that it licensed the ARMS technology to develop diagnostic assays, including pharmacogenomic assays.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wyeth and Caprion Expand Protein Biomarker Agreement

Wyeth has expanded its protein biomarker collaboration with Caprion Pharmaceuticals to identify disease-state biomarkers in the areas of asthma and renal cell carcinoma, Caprion said this week.

Under the terms of the agreement, Caprion will conduct proteomic analyses of human blood plasma samples from patients in two separate Phase II clinical trials in asthma and renal cell carcinoma.

Wyeth and Caprion had previously collaborated on preclinical biomarker research in inflammatory disease using Caprion's CellCarta protein expression profiling technology, Caprion said. The companies initiated the collaboration in July 2003.

Kreatech, Ambion Combine Platforms
in New Gene-Expression Kit

Kreatech Biotechnology will combine Ambion's MessageAmpTM II aRNA-amplification system with its own Universal Linkage labeling technology as part of a kit for gene-expression analysis, the company said this week.

The kit will include a variety of fluorescent dyes, including GE Healthcare's CyDyes, Perkin Elmer's Cyanine Dyes, and Dyomics' DY Dyes. Kreatech will also enclose a biotin labeling system that is suited for Affymetrix's GeneChips.

Costs or financial terms were not disclosed.

Venter Center, UW, Hopkins to Support
New NHLBI Sequencing, Genotyping Service

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is sponsoring a free DNA resequencing and genotyping service for certain investigators, the institute said this week.

The University of Washington and the J. Craig Venter Institute will perform the DNA resequencing while Johns Hopkins Universitywill provide the genotyping services. The Constella Group will be providing "logistical efforts."

The NHLBI bills the service, called the RS&G Service, as a successor to programs such as its Mammalian Genotyping Service, which is "now in its final round." "With the new RS&G Service, investigators can now move from their genomic regions of interest to the specific genes involved in a disease," NHLBI said in a statement.

To be eligible for the new service, researchers must be conducting "ongoing studies associated with genetic components involved in the cause, variable outcome, and progression of diseases associated with the heart, lungs, blood vessels and blood; as well as sleep disorders," the institute said in the statement.

Additional information about the new service can be found here. The submission deadline for 2005 is Nov. 1.

PerkinElmer to Exclusively Distribute Three
Waters Platforms for Neonatal Screening

PerkinElmer will become the exclusive distributor of three Waters platforms for neonatal screening applications, the companies said last week.

The agreement includes Waters' Quattro micro MS/MS, Quattro Premier MS/MS, and Alliance HPLC system.

The Waters platforms will help PerkinElmer "speed the development and release of products," said Michael Yelle, Waters senior director of clinical business operations.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Icoria to Lose Its Nasdaq Small Cap Listing June 30

The Listing Qualifications department of the Nasdaq market sent Icoria a staff determination notice informing the company that it would no longer be listed on the Small Cap exchange after the opening of business on June 30, the company said last week in an SEC filing.

The exchange found the company had been delinquent in its obligation to maintain a stock price above $1, as per Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(4), the document said.

The determination allows the company to appeal the staff's decision, but Icoria will not seek a relisting due to the distraction it would cause during the company's expansion efforts, and due to the long delinquency period, the company said. Icoria's stock has been trading below $1 since May 2004.

As Pharmacogenomics Reporter's sister publication, GenomeWeb News, reported last month, Icoria CEO Heinrich Gugger resigned, a move announced less than two months after the company sold its agricultural genomics assets for $6.8 million to Monsanto to focus its energy on biomarker discovery.

Icoria changed its name from Paradigm Genetics in August 2004.

ABI to Lay Off 250 Staffers in R&D,
Marketing, Operations; Plans to Hire Elsewhere

Applied Biosystems plans to lay off around 250 employees and close undisclosed facilities — "primarily" R&D, marketing, and operations.

The move, part of ABI's ongoing reorganization, will cost the company between $20 million to $22 million in a pre-tax charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 to cover costs of employee severance and "facilities closure," ABI said in a statement last week.

It was not immediately clear when the lay-offs would take place. ABI's fourth quarter ends June 30.

ABI said the move will help the company "rebalance" its workforce. As such, ABI said it will hire additional staffers "in other functional areas including field sales and support, manufacturing quality, and advanced research" during fiscal 2006.

"These adjustments are in keeping with our program to enhance Applied Biosystems' performance and should better align our resources with the needs of our customers," said ABI president Catherine Burzik. "We expect these actions, which include augmenting and upgrading of skills in critical functions, will support higher levels of sales over time."

Qiagen, Abbott Expand Alliance to
Include Artus' Infectious Disease Assays

Qiagen and Abbott have extended an existing distribution agreement, the companies said last week.

Terms of the original agreement gave Abbott distribution rights to an undisclosed number of real-time PCR diagnostic tests for use on Applied Biosystems detection instruments. The PCR assays were developed by Artus, a company Qiagen recently acquired.

Under the extended agreement, Abbott will have non-exclusive distribution rights to certain other Qiagen products, including infectious disease tests for hepatitis B, Epstein-Barr virus, Varicella-Zoster virus, Parvo B19 virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and enterovirus. These products "complement" tests developed and manufactured by Abbott and Celera Diagnostics, Qiagen said in a statement.

Filed under

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.