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Max Planck, Illumina, Thermo, DNAVision, RNTech, Transgenomic, Nasdaq, NCI, CombiMatrix


Max Planck Institute to Use Illumina's Genotyping Platform to Study Depression, Anxiety

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich will use Illumina's whole-genome arrays to study the genetic basis of depression and anxiety, Illumina said this week.

In the first part of the project, the scientists will genotype a large number of samples using Illumina's Sentrix Human-1 BeadChip. In the second phase, they plan to use the company's new Sentrix BeadChip to analyze over 250,000 TagSNPs derived from data of the International HapMap project.

The aim of the study is to identify genetic variations associated with depression and anxiety and to determine their impact on disease pathogenesis and response to psychotropic drugs.

Thermo Sells Biostar Dx Business to Inverness for $52.5M

Thermo Electron said this week that it has agreed to sell its Thermo Biostar point-of-care and rapid diagnostics business to Inverness Medical Innovations for $52.5 million in cash.

The sale is expected to close by Sept. 30, subject to the consent of Inverness management and other customary closing conditions.

Biostar had 2004 revenues of around $29.7 million and first-half 2005 revenues of approximately $18.5 million.

"Although the point of care and rapid diagnostics business has performed well, we do not believe it to be a strategic fit with Thermo's long term strategy for growth," said Marijn Dekkers, president and CEO of Thermo Electron, in a statement.

Dekkers added that Thermo's remaining clinical diagnostic products "have excellent market positions."

Inverness Medical Innovations, which focuses on diagnostics for women's health and cardiology, will acquire Thermo Biostar's line of point-of-care rapid tests, as well as 55 full-time sales staff.

DNAVision, RNTech to Co-Market Biobanking, Genotyping Services

DNAVision and RNTech have agreed to co-market an oncology biomarker-discovery platform based on RNTech's oncology tissue bank and DNAVision's gene expression and genotyping services, the companies said this week.

DNAVision, a spin-off of the University of Brussels, offers expression profiling, SNP genotyping, and sequencing services.

RNTech was founded in 2002 and is based in Paris.

Transgenomic Regains Nasdaq Compliance, Escapes Delisting

Transgenomic will continue to be listed on the Nasdaq after its share price closed at or above $1 for 10 consecutive business days, the company said this week.

In March, Transgenomic was notified by the Nasdaq exchange that it had not maintained the mimimum closing bid price of $1 for 30 consecutive trading days and was therefore in danger of being delisted from the Nasdaq National Market. The company had until Sept. 27 to regain compliance.

According to CEO Collin D'Silva, recent changes of the company's business resulted in improved financial results and the increase in share price.

NCI Renews Funding Program for Cancer Detection

The National Cancer Institute last week renewed a funding program called "Exploratory Studies in Cancer Detection, Diagnosis, and Prognosis."

The program, first released in October 2002, seeks to fund exploratory research to evaluate new molecular or cellular characteristics of pre-malignant cells or tumors or to develop assays that will be useful for cancer detection, diagnosis, or prognosis. It is sponsored by the NCI's Cancer Diagnosis Program, the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, and the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group.

Funding will be available through the R21 award mechanism, which allows up to $275,000 in direct costs over two years. The total amount awarded and number of awards are not predetermined.

CombiMatrix to Obtain $10.5M in Stock Placement

CombiMatrix will receive $10.5 million from a registered direct stock offering by its parent company, Acacia Research, the company said last week.

Under the terms of the offering, Acacia will sell approximately 6.4 million shares of CombiMatrix's stock at $1.65 per share to a "select group of accredited investors." These investors will also obtain five-year warrants for the purchase of a total of approximately 1.6 million shares of common stock at an exercise price of $2.40 per share. Piper Jaffray is the exclusive placement agent for the transaction.

Filed under

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

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.