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Epigenomics, J&J, AstraZeneca, Clinical Data, CombiMatrix, Expression Analysis, GlaxoSmithKline, Illumina, Gene Logic

Epigenomics to Identify, Analyze Biomarkers for J&J Cancer Program
Epigenomics will use its differential methylation hybridization chip to help Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development identify and analyze biomarkers for potential cancer drugs.
Terms of the agreement call for Epigenomics to receive an undisclosed upfront payment under the agreement.
Additional financial details were not disclosed.

AstraZeneca Sponsors Fellow to Develop Cancer Assays at UK's DxS
AstraZeneca and the University of Manchester are placing a Clinical Research Fellow at DxS to work on a project to identify circulating DNA tumor markers in blood.
The focus of the three-year project will initially be to develop assays for genes that show prevalent mutations in cancer. It is supported by AstraZeneca and Cancer Research UK.
DxS will help the fellow, unnamed in a press release, to develop the assays using the company's Scorpions and ARMS technologies.

FDA Asks Clinical Data to Discuss Regulatory Status of Its Tests
The US Food and Drug Administration has asked Clinical Data to “discuss the nature and appropriate regulatory status” of the company’s diagnostic tests, Clinical Data said this week.
Specifically, the firm and the FDA will discuss whether “any regulatory requirements apply, [and] the least burdensome ways that the company may fulfill them,” Clinical Data said.
The company said it plans to meet with the FDA “in the near future.”
“The company looks forward to meeting with the FDA and reviewing the regulatory status for all tests conducted on behalf of end-users including FAMILION, its CLIA-certified test for cardiac channelopathies that requires a prescription by healthcare providers,” Clinical Data said in a statement.
“Clinical Data notes that while it conducts DNA assays for one nutrigenomic test on behalf of a third party customer, the test is not marketed by Clinical Data and revenue from this test is immaterial” to its business, the company said.
“The company believes it is in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations and will continue to work with the appropriate regulatory agencies to remain so,” Clinical Data said.

CombiMatrix Adds Aussie Genomic Services Firm to CombiCore Program
CombiMatrix has added the Australian Genome Research Facility to its CombiCore program.
As part of the agreement, Combi will sell its CustomArrays, CatalogArrays, and array-processing services on a non-exclusive basis to the center, parent Acacia Research said this week.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Glaxo Will Use Expression Analysis' Genotyping Services for PGx Research
Expression Analysis last week said it will provide GlaxoSmithKline with microarray-based genotyping services.
Under the agreement, Expression Analysis will support GSK’s pharmacogenomic studies in clinical trials.
Financial details were not disclosed.

Illumina Expands Genotyping Deal With GlaxoSmithKline
Illumina has expanded the scope of its multi-year genotyping services agreement with GlaxoSmithKline, Illumina said last week.
Under the new agreement, Illumina will use its Sentrix HumanHap550 BeadChips for a series of whole-genome association studies.
As the first study, Illumina will genotype a collection of 2,000 case and control DNA samples provided by GSK for an undisclosed disease.
Financial details were not disclosed.

Gene Logic's Q2 Revenue Falls 44 Percent on Weak Genomics Results
Gene Logic last week reported that total revenues for the second quarter declined nearly 44 percent due to weak performance in its genomics segment.
Receipts for the three months ended June 30 declined to $11 million from $20 million year over year.
The genomics division reported revenues of $4.7 million, a 67-percent decline over the prior year period. Declining subscription revenue, database license sales that failed to materialize, and slower-than-expected sales growth for microarray data-generation and -analysis services were blamed for the slide.
Gene Logic hired a strategy-consulting firm to review its business strategy, the company said. The review results will be released by Sept. 22.
As GenomeWeb News reported earlier this week, the company began restructuring its genomics division by announcing plans to lay off approximately 80 employees. The lay-offs are effective as of Oct. 5 and will cost $1.8 million in severance.
Gene Logic said it expects the lay-offs to reduce annual salary and fringe benefits costs by approximately $8 million.
R&D costs in the secnd quarter soared 84 percent to $2.5 million from $1.4 million from the comparable quarter a year ago.
Gene Logic said net loss quadrupled to $11.3 million from $2.6 million during the comparable period last year.
The company withdrew its financial guidance for 2006 and 2007 in June.
Gene Logic said it had around $24.8 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30.

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The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.