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Daiichi, Toshiba, Toshiba Hokuto, ABI, Agencourt, Global Genographic Project, TGen, GE Healthcare, Predicant Biosciences, Pathwork Informatics

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Daiichi, Toshiba, and Toshiba Hokuto to Develop Array-Based IVD

Daiichi Pure Chemicals, Toshiba, and Toshiba Hokuto Electronics plan to co-develop microarray-based in vitro diagnostic systems and chips, the companies said this week.

Under the agreement, the companies will first develop an IVD for human papilloma virus.

Daiichi Pure Chemicals and Toshiba have collaborated on the system since January 2004.

Toshiba Hokuto Electronics has supported development and prototype production and will take responsibility for manufacturing the commercialized chip and detection system.


ABI Completes $120M Acquisition of Agencourt Personal Genomics

Applied Biosystems said this week that it had completed its previously announced acquisition of Agencourt Personal Genomics for approximately $120 million in cash.

Applied Biosystems announced its plans to acquire Agencourt in May. As part of the deal, Beckman Coulter has sold its minority interest in APG to ABI for approximately $50 million in cash. Beckman acquired a 49-percent stake in APG as part of its May 2005 acquisition of Agencourt Biosciences.

ABI said that the APG R&D team will continue to be based in Beverly, Mass., and will join ABI's Molecular and Cell Biology division, based in Foster City, Calif.


ABI to Supply DNA Analysis Tech, Service to Global Genographic Project

Applied Biosystems said this week that it has signed a multi-year agreement to supply laboratory research equipment and services to the Genographic Project, a research partnership between the National Geographic Society and IBM to map the history of human migration.

ABI said in a statement that its technology will be used to "aid in the generation of one of the world's largest databases of information about the sources of humankind's diversity."

Specifically, ABI said that it will supply DNA analysis technology and related services to each of the ten participating global research centers involved in the Genographic Project. The DNA analysis technology will include the 3100 and 3130xl Genetic Analyzers; GeneAmp PCR System 9700; 7300 Real-Time PCR System; 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System; 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System; and GeneMapper ID Software, ABI said.

Researchers at the centers will use Applied Biosystems technology to analyze DNA samples from more than 100,000 people from indigenous and traditional populations around the globe to identify and analyze key genetic markers that have remained relatively unaltered over hundreds of generations.

Member laboratories of the Genographic Project are located at the University of Pennsylvania in the US; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil; Institut Pasteur in France; Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain; American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon; Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; La Trobe University and the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, both in Australia; Fudan University in China; Madurai Kamaraj University in India; National Health Laboratory Service in South Africa.

The North American Regional Center for the Genographic Project at UPenn will be the first to receive dedicated ABI equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Members of the general public can take part in the project by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and submitting their own cheek swab sample, enabling them to track the overall progress of the project as well as learn their own migratory history. Data from the Genographic Project eventually will be made public in a form that does not reveal the identity of participants, ABI said.

Global field science for the project is supported by the Waitt Family Foundation.


TGen to Use GE Healthcare's IN Cell Analyzer for Cancer, Drug Response Research

GE Healthcare said this week that it has entered into a strategic alliance with the Translational Genomics Research Institute in which TGen will apply its IN Cell Analyzer 1000 and 3000 to cancer research.

"This collaboration could result in a better understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in oncology, many of which are not currently well understood by the medical community," said Spyro Mousses, director of pharmaceutical genomics and cancer drug development at TGen, in a statement.

TGen expects to use GE's cellular imaging systems to observe cellular morphology and perform cytometry. "Most importantly, we can more accurately collect multi-parametric information about how cells are responding to specific genetic perturbations and to specific drug exposures," Mousses said.


Predicant Biosciences Acquires Pathwork Informatics with VC Cash, Renames Firm

Predicant Biosciences acquired San Jose, Calif.-based Pathwork Informatics with venture capital funding and renamed the company Pathwork Diagnostics, the new corporation said this week.

The new company is backed with $11 million from Prospect Venture Partners, Advent Venture Partners, Novus Ventures, Venrock Associates, and Versant Ventures.

Predicant CEO Deborah Neff will be Pathwork Diagnostics' president and CEO. Glenda Anderson, founder and CEO of Pathwork Informatics, will be the new firm's chief technology officer.

The combined company's first product will be a test to help diagnose the origin of secondary and unspecified malignant cancers.

Financial details were not disclosed.

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