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Lynx Therapeutics and Solexa, Temozolomide, and Celera Genomics and Genentech


Lynx and Solexa Sign acquisition Agreement; Solexa Raises $14.4M in Series B Round

Lynx Therapeutics and Solexa have signed a definitive acquisition agreement, the companies said this week. In addition, Solexa said this week that it has raised $14.4 million in a Series B financing.

The companies first said in August that they intended to combine. As part of the acquisition, which is expected to be completed later this year, Lynx will issue up to 29.5 million shares in exchange for all of the outstanding shares and share options of Solexa. The combined company will continue to operate both in the US and in the UK and will trade on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market under the ticker symbol LYNX.

Under a separate agreement, Lynx has received $1.25 million in loan advances from Solexa. It will receive another $500,000 following the merger agreement and $750,000 in October.

The combined company plans to develop novel DNA sequencing technology based on molecular arrays, and to release its first commercial instrument for whole-genome resequencing and for gene expression analysis by sequencing next year.

Solexa’s $14.4 million financing round was led by Amadeus Capital Partners. Existing investors Abingworth Management, Schroder Venture Life Sciences, and Oxford Bioscience Partners also participated. Including the Series B round, Solexa has raised $40 million in total.

Genetic Test Distinguishes Patients Likely to Respond Well to Temozolomide

A genetic predictive test developed by an international group of researchers can identify which patients with glioblastomas, a particular type of brain tumor, are likely to live longer if treated with the drug temozolomide, and which are likely to only derive marginal benefit, said a statement from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer.

Performed on biopsies, the test reveals the methylation status of the DNA repair gene O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase gene, called MGMT. If the gene’s promoter is methylated, the MGMT gene is silenced, the gene is not engaged in DNA repair, and the patient’s response to temozolomide is low.

Patients predicted to have a low response to the drug could be put on a different drug regimen, said Monika Hegi, project leader at the National Centre of Competence in Research Molecular Oncology in Epalinges, Switzerland, in a statement.

Temozolomide would likely become the standard treatment for those patients shown by the test to have active MGMT repair genes, said Hegi.

Celera Genomics Licenses Cancer Targets from Proteomics Effort to Genentech

Celera Genomics and Genentech have signed a multi-year agreement to develop new cancer drugs based on targets derived from Celera’s proteomics platform, Celera said this week.

Celera will license to Genentech a number of cell-surface targets that it discovered and validated using its proteomics platform. Genentech plans to validate these further and develop drugs against them. These drugs could be antibodies, antibody fragments, proteins, or small molecule drugs.

Celera Genomics will receive progess-dependent milestone payments and royalties on sales of any drugs developed. Celera Diagnostics retains the rights to develop certain diagnostics based on the targets.


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In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.