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Genaissance, Eurogentec, Exiqon, GenVault, Lexicon Genetics, Nasdaq

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Genaissance Helps Wayne State With Pharmacogenetics Project

Genaissance Pharmaceuticals has signed an agreement with Wayne State University to support the school’s research with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s perinatology research branch.

Under the agreement, WSU will get access to specific HAP markers and obtain a limited license to use Genaissance’s DecoGen informatics system. In turn, the company will develop assays for those HAP markers and provide high-throughput genotyping on clinical samples provided by WSU and the PRB. Genaissance will receive a license fee and other payments from WSU.


Eurogentec and Exiqon Pen Licensing Agreement

Eurogentec, of Sart-Tilman, Belgium, has penned a non-exclusive licensing agreement to manufacture and sell modified oligonucleotides made with Exiqon’s locked nucleic-acid technology.

LNA is a proprietary nucleic-acid analog, which is incorporated in synthetic DNA oligos to enhance sensitivity in genomics products. Eurogentec last week said in a statement that it plans to use the technology to develop new applications for expression profiling and real-time PCR. The products will be synthesized in Oswell, UK.


GenVault Secures $10M in Series A Financing

DNA archiving startup GenVault has received $10 million in a Series A round of financing.

GenVault is developing a room-temperature DNA archive system that pairs DNA samples with clinically relevant information. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company said it is targeting the system toward the pharmacogenomics, diagnostics, forensics, and agricultural testing markets. Domain Associates led the round.

GenVault said it intends to use the new funding to advance its technology from beta testing to full commercialization by the summer.


Lexicon Genetics Extends Boehringer Ingelheim License

Lexicon Genetics has extended its OmniBank universal agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Lexicon said this week. Terms of the agreement call for Boehringer to continue its access to Lexicon’s OmniBank library through February 2004.

The pharma company will also continue to have access to gene knockouts generated under Lexicon’s gene-targeting technologies with SNPs directed at specific drug targets, as well as access to drug target-validation data generated by Lexicon for certain undisclosed targets.


Nasdaq OKs Orchid’s Bid to Secure $16M in Stock Sale

Orchid BioSciences has received a waiver from the Nasdaq exchange allowing it to bypass shareholder approval to forge ahead with a private-financing plan it hopes will generate $16 million.

Nasdaq granted the exception on the grounds that securing shareholder approval might seriously jeopardize the financial viability of the company, Orchid said.

The plan calls for Orchid to sell up to 1,600 shares of newly issued convertible preferred stock to certain institutional investors. Each share is convertible into approximately 22,222 shares of common stock. Each preferred share in the proposed offering, in turn, will have a purchase price of $10,000, and will include a warrant to purchase approximately 6,667 shares of Orchid’s common stock.

The shares in the proposed offering would be convertible into common stock at a conversion price of $0.45, and the warrants would be exercisable at $0.45 per share, according to the company.

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The Scan

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.

Machine Learning Improves Diagnostic Accuracy of Breast Cancer MRI, Study Shows

Combining machine learning with radiologists' interpretations further increased the diagnostic accuracy of MRIs for breast cancer, a Science Translational Medicine paper finds.

Genome Damage in Neurons Triggers Alzheimer's-Linked Inflammation

Neurons harboring increased DNA double-strand breaks activate microglia to lead to neuroinflammation like that seen in Alzheimer's disease, a new Science Advances study finds.

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.