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Inter Medico, EraGen Biosciences, Affymetrix, Wisconsin Genomics Initiative, Marshfield Clinic, Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Inter Medico to Distribute EraGen MDx Products
EraGen Biosciences said this week that Inter Medico will act as exclusive distributor for the firm’s molecular diagnostic products in Canada.
Inter Medico is a distributor of tests and other products to clinical labs and hospitals throughout Canada. The firm will distribute several EraGen molecular tests that recently received approval for marketing from Health Canada.
Madison, Wis.-based EraGen recently received Canadian approval to sell molecular diagnostic tests for Bordetella pertussis and parapertussis, enterovirus, influenza types A and B, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, and cytomegalovirus. The tests run on the firm’s MutliCode RTx real-time PCR system.
EraGen’s entry into the Canadian market "commences our planned expansion into lucrative, rapidly-growing molecular diagnostics markets outside of the United States,” EraGen President and CEO Irene Hrusovsky said in a statement.

Affy Warns of $20M Shortfall in Q3 Revenue
Affymetrix this week said that it expects a 21 percent drop in third-quarter revenues due to “increased competition for academic research funding and continued softness in industrial spending.”
The company said that total third-quarter 2008 revenue will be approximately $75 million. The company posted $95 million in revenue in the year-ago period and $84.7 million in the third quarter of 2006.
Kevin King, president of Affymetrix, said in a statement that the firm is "disappointed" with its results for the quarter and that it plans to complete an analysis of the shortfall to identify “specific actions that we intend to take to improve our operating results.”
Stephen Fodor, chairman and CEO of Affymetrix, said that the company expects that research budgets will remain “tight” in the near term, but added that the company believes that “the long term growth opportunity in the genetic analysis markets remains attractive.”
Fodor added that the company is “reengineering” its platform to offer products that are “more flexible and cost effective” in 2009.
Affymetrix will release its third-quarter financial results on Oct. 23.
On Oct. 13, the day of the announcement, the company’s shares closed at $4.50, down 17 percent from the previous day’s closing price. Affy’s shares were trading at $4.12 as PGx Reporter went to press.

Wisconsin Launches Collaborative Genomics Research Project
Four Wisconsin-based research institutions have banded together to form the Wisconsin Genomics Initiative with a focus on personalized healthcare research.
The collaborators include the Marshfield Clinic, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The institutions will combine resources to conduct research on predicting individual susceptibility to disease, targeting personalized treatments, determining how patients respond to specific treatments, and disease prevention.
“By aligning the intellectual capital of four major research institutions, we will meet an important scientific and public health need that could otherwise not be met, and which cannot be accomplished anywhere else but Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle said in a statement.

One of the participants, Marshfield Clinic, is home to the Personalized Medicine Research Project, a population-based genetic research project that has collected DNA and medical records from around 20,000 people thus far.

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The Scan

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Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

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