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Illumina and CyVera, Department of Trade and Industry s Measurements for Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, NHGRI, and Serologicals Upstate Group

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Illumina Builds out BeadArray Platform with $17.5M Acquisition of CyVera

Illumina has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CyVera, a developer of a microbead-based biological assay platform, for $17.5 million in cash and stock, Illumina said this week.

CyVera, a privately held firm based in Wallingford, Conn., will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Illumina, and its microbead platform will become “an integral part” of Illumina’s BeadArray technology, Illumina said.

Illumina said that the acquisition will provide it with a bead-based assay platform for “low-complexity as well as high-complexity testing.”

CyVera uses holographic imprinting to add a digital address to rod-shaped beads, each of which is a potential site for a biological assay, according to the company. The beads can support both nucleic acid and protein probe content, Illumina said, adding that the technology should provide high-performance assay capability at multiplex levels between ten and 1,000 targets.

Under the terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of March, Illumina will provide approximately 1.5 million shares of its common stock and will pay approximately $2.3 million of CyVera’s liabilities. The exact number of shares will be based on the average price of Illumina’s outstanding shares before closing.

CyVera was spun out of CiDRA, a process-monitoring technology developer, in November 2003.

Illumina said that it expects the first products based on the CyVera technology to be available in the second half of 2006.


DTI-Sponsored array Dataset now Online

A DNA microarray dataset, generated during the first phase of the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry’s Measurements for Biotechnology program, has been made freely available online, the analytical lab service company LGC said last week.

The dataset was produced by an LGC-led consortium, and relates to four commercially available arrays that probe the human genome, with between 4,000 and 30,000 genes probed per array, LGC said. The dataset can be accessed at ArrayExpress [http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/query/entry], a public repository managed by the European Bioinformatics Institute.


Pharma Spent $38.8B on R&D in 2004, a 12-Percent Jump; Breakdown on Genomic Spending Due Soon

Member companies of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America collectively spent $38.8 billion on R&D last year in their drug-discovery and — development efforts, the organization said this week.

The $38.8 billion in R&D represents a 12-percent increase over the $34.5 billion pharma collectively spent on R&D in 2003, and tops a steady increase in R&D over more than two decades, the organization said. 1980, PhRMA spent $2 billion on R&D.

A breakdown of the R&D spending by research categories, such as genomics and proteomics, is expected to be ready in a few weeks, a representative of PhRMA told GenomeWeb News. In terms of R&D spending by location, PhRMA member companies spent $30.6 billion, or 18 percent of domestic sales, on R&D within the United States, and an estimated $8.2 billion on R&D abroad.

PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin said the US drug industry “is the world’s largest source of investment in discovering better treatments [and exceeds] the international pharmaceutical industry and the National Institutes of Health.”


NHGRI Develops SCID Dx for Newborn Panel

The NIH National Human Genome Research Institute has developed a Severe Combined Immunodeficiency genetic diagnostic that may join the genetic panel used to screen infants for several disorders, the organization said this week in a statement.

Before the test is added to the newborn screening panel, it must first be validated, the institute said. The disease affects approximately one birth in every 50,000 to 100,000, said NHGRI.


Serologicals’ Upstate Unit Inks Four Drug-Screening Agreements

Serologicals' Upstate Group last week said it has signed agreements to provide drug-screening services to Array Biopharma and three pharmaceutical companies.

The drug makers will use Upstate's KinaseProfiler service to determine the selectivity and specificity of candidate compounds, the company said.

The names of three drug makers and financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.

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