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Invitrogen, ABI, Xennex, Tm Bioscience, Acacia, CombiMatrix, Perlegen, Women s Health Initiative


Invitrogen is First Licensee Under ABI's
'Expanded' PCR Licensing Program

Applied Biosystems has granted the first license under its new expanded PCR-licensing program to Invitrogen, ABI said this week.

The expanded program includes patents for real-time PCR and other PCR-related technology not licensed under Applied Biosystems' previous PCR-licensing program, the company said.

Paul Grossman, vice president of strategic planning, business development, and intellectual property at Applied Biosystems, said in a statement that Invitrogen has been ABI's "largest PCR licensee, and that the company intends to negotiate similar licenses with other interested parties.

ABI expanded its PCR licensing agreement with Roche in May, following the settlement of long-standing litigation between the firms, and the expiration of several of Roche's core PCR patents in March. Under the expanded agreement, ABI is the sole licensor of Roche patents covering reagents and methods for practicing PCR and real-time PCR in the life science research and applied fields.

ABI's expanded PCR licensing program includes licenses to its PCR-based TaqMan assay and its Dye-Intercalation Assay method. It also includes patents covering a form of the Taq polymerase enzyme called AmpliTaq Gold that is used to initiate PCR.

Separate from this agreement, Applied Biosystems said it plans to offer licenses to manufacture probes for the TaqMan method and service licenses for these new technologies.

ABI, Xennex Agree to Make TaqMan
Assays Available via GeneCards Database

Applied Biosystems said this week that it will make its TaqMan genomic assays available through the GeneCards database of human genes, which is commercially available through Xennex.

Under the terms of agreement, ABI will provide customers of GeneCards, which was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science, access to its collection of nearly three million TaqMan genomic assays.

The information in GeneCards is expected to be useful for researchers studying genes of interest in the context of functional genomics and genetic variation, including gene expression studies, SNP screening, association, candidate region, candidate gene, and fine-mapping studies.

Tm Bioscience to Supply InterGenetics
$7.5M of Reagents for Breast-Cancer Test

Tm Bioscience has signed a five-year, $7.5 million agreement to supply InterGenetics with custom Tag-It reagents for its OncoVue breast cancer-risk test, the companies said last week.

"With a potential market of over 30 million tests, growing at 2 million tests per year in the US alone, we needed to select a production technology which was scalable for very high throughput," Craig Shimasaki, president and CEO of Oklahoma City, Okla.-based InterGenetics, said in the statement. "Our OncoVue breast cancer risk test was actually designed and developed using the Tag-It universal array platform."

Tm said it plans to begin supplying products to InterGenetics in the second half of 2005. As InterGenetics completes clinical validation of additional genetic markers for ovarian and other cancers, "we anticipate expanding our agreement to include these new cancer risk assessment products," Greg Hines, president and CEO of Tm Bioscience, said in the statement.

The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 211,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, the statement added. Screening by mammography is recommended annually for women over 40 with an estimated 30 million mammograms performed each year on women between the ages of 40 and 64.

Acacia Will Use $2.9M from Stock Sale to
Fund Dx, Product Development at CombiMatrix

CombiMatrix parent Acacia Research plans to raise $2.9 million in a private placement of its Acacia Research-CombiMatrix common stock, the company said last week.

The cash will go to Acacia's balance sheet, it will help fund CombiMatrix's entry into the molecular diagnostics market, and it will support the company's "long-term strategy" of developing new products for its CustomArray line, the company said in a statement.

Terms of the deal call for Acacia to sell 1,300,444 shares of it's the common stock at $2.25 per share to an undisclosed "select" group of institutional investors. The closing of the offering is expected to take place on July 5, subject to certain customary closing conditions.

Perlegen, Women's Health Initiative to
Study SNPs Linked to Hormone Tx, Disease

Perlegen Sciences will help the Women's Health Initiative identify SNPs related to a trio of diseases linked to the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy, the company said last week.

With funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, WHI will work with Perlegen to conduct a comparative whole-genome study of SNPs in patients with coronary heart disease, stroke, or breast cancer versus controls.

Perlegen will genotype the SNPs initially in selected cases and controls from the Observational Study arm of the WHI study. These results will be preliminarily validated in a separate set of cases and controls from that OS cohort, while a "final" validation and replication will focus on the interactions of the disease-associated SNPs with the combined estrogen plus progestin therapy in samples from the randomized controlled clinical trial cohort, Perlegen said.

Filed under

The Scan

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Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

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Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.