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Epigenomics, Roche, Stratagene, Third Wave, Ontario Genomics, DNAPrint, NHGRI, RxP, BioTrove, NCBI

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Epigenomics Regains Rights for Tamoxifen
Treatment Response Test from Roche

Epigenomics has regained full rights to a tamoxifen treatment response test from Roche Diagnostics, the company said this week.

Epigenomics, which is focused on developing tests based on DNA methylation, said that it will now handle the full development of the test itself.

The tissue-based test is designed to predict the probability of disease recurrence in breast cancer patients, and was part of a multi-product collaboration with Roche Diagnostics, Epigenomics said.

The companies are still collaborating on the development of three screening products for colon, prostate, and breast cancers.


Stratagene Posts $21M Bond to Secure Third Wave Damages

Stratagene has posted a $21-million bond to secure damages awarded to Third Wave as part of its patent-infringement suit against Stratagene, the companies disclosed last week.

The bond was posted with the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

In September 2005, a federal jury found that Stratagene infringed two key Third Wave patents. It awarded Third Wave $5.3 million in damages, and prohibited Stratagene from making, selling, or offering to sell its FullVelocity QPCR and QRT-PCR products.

Three months later, a federal judge overseeing the suit tripled the damages awarded to Third Wave to $15.9 million, and ruled that Stratagene must pay Third Wave attorney fees.

Stratagene said it plans to appeal the District Court's decision in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, once a final judgment has been entered by the District Court. In addition, Stratagene said it will seek to have the damages amount reduced or eliminated.

Stratagene said the bond, which is in the form of cash, "shall remain in place until the patent infringement matter is concluded and Stratagene and the surety holder are released from liability by the court or the amount of the final judgment, if any, is paid."

Stratagene said it currently has approximately $9.5 million in other cash and cash equivalents that are not impacted by the bond, and its operations remain cash flow positive. The company's total amount of outstanding long-term debt is approximately $4 million and final payments on such long-term debt are not due until 2022. Stratagene also said it has a $9-million revolving line of credit in place that has a zero balance currently outstanding.

When it appeals the verdict, Stratagene said it intends to raise the question of why the District Court "prevent[ed] the jury from hearing evidence of Stratagene's patents on its FullVelocity technology and the determination by the US Patent and Trademark Office that Stratagene's patented technology was novel over the prior art (including technology described by Third Wave's patents)."

The company also plans to bring up the District Court's "rejection of Stratagene's position that Third Wave's patents are invalid if they are interpreted as broadly as the District Court interpreted them."

Stratagene also said it believes that "other embodiments" of its FullVelocity technology "do not meet the limitations of the patent claims asserted by Third Wave, and it believes that these embodiments can be applied effectively in both the research and molecular diagnostics marketplaces."

Stratagene said it will record a non-cash, pre-tax litigation expense charge against earnings in the fourth quarter of 2005 in the amount of $21 million. As announced in October 2005, Stratagene received a one-time royalty payment and recognized approximately $23.3 million pre-tax income in the fourth quarter of 2005, which will offset the $21 million litigation charge.


Ontario Genomics Institute to Invest $87K
In Amorfix to Help Develop Alzheimer's Dx

The Ontario Genomics Institute will invest Can$100,000 (US$87,465) in Amorfix Life Sciences to support development of a blood test for Alzheimer's disease, the organizations said this week.

OGI has agreed to invest Can$50,000 in the company, for which it will receive 100,000 common shares and 50,000 warrants to purchase shares for $.90 for a term of two years.

Upon the achievement of a "defined research milestone," OGI will invest another Can$50,000 at market price and receive a one-half warrant for each share purchased to purchase a share at the then market price within two years.

Amorfix is developing an Alzheimer's diagnostic called EP-AD that is based on its Epitope Protection technology. The company said that its technology can detect aggregated misfolded proteins in blood that are associated with Alzheimer's disease but difficult to identify with traditional methods.


DNAPrint Expands Capacity for Genotyping Services Offering

DNAPrint Genomics has expanded the capacity for its genotyping services offering from 1.3 million genotypes per day to more than 3.9 million genotypes per day, the company said this week.

The company has genotyping facilities at headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., as well as at facilities in Richmond, Calif., and Toronto, Canada. The US laboratories use Beckman Coulter's GenomeLab SNPstream genotyping platform, while the Toronto lab uses Illumina's BeadStation.

DNAPrint did not provide details on the additional capacity that it has added for these platforms. Company officials could not be reached for comment.

The company said that the increase in processing capacity will enable it "to process clinical trials samples to ensure that patient population groups are accurately categorized, and perform large-scale genotyping work for the various industries interested."


NHGRI Licenses VizX Genesifter

The National Human Genome Research Institute has purchased VizX Lab's Genesifter software, VizX announced this week.

NHGRI bought a 15-seat license of the online microarray data-analysis tool, the company said.

Financial details were not disclosed.


RxP and BioTrove Ink SNP, Gene-Expression Deal

BioTrove and RxGen PrimaTox are working jointly to provide gene expression and SNP assays for primates and humans, BioTrove said this week.

Under the deal, RxP will provide its tox-optimum assays exclusively to BioTrove, either as standalone products or as a service. BioTrove will manufacture the assays to RxP's specifications, using its OpenArray platform.

Financial details were not disclosed.

RxGen PrimaTox is a wholly owned subsidiary of RxGen focused on drug-safety products and services. It is also building a primate-based molecular toxicology database to be available on a subscription basis.


NCBI Now Accepts 454 Sequencer 20 Data

Researchers generating sequence data with 454 Life Sciences' technology can now submit their data to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 454 said last week.

454's new standard flowgram format is the first new sequence trace format adopted by the NCBI since the Sanger method, said the company.

Penn State's Stephan Schuster, who recently sequenced the wooly mammoth, was the first to submit his data in the SFF format, according to a 454 statement. "The submission of our sequencing data allowed for the results to be publicly available prior to the publication of our article," said Schuster.

Filed under

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.