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MetriGenix, NCRI, Deltagen, Galapagos, CombiMatrix, Aclara

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MetriGenix to Integrate Waban Software Tech Into Its Gene-Expression System

MetriGenix of Gaithersburg, Md., will integrate management software made by Waban Software into its gene-expression analysis system, the companies said last week.

The partnership was designed to make it easier for researchers to store and manage biological data when using MetriGenix’s gene-expression technology, according to a company statement.

Pharmaceutical companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb use Waban’s software to expedite the expensive and lengthy drug discovery and development process. Waban is based in Cambridge, Mass.


Britain’s NCRI to Launch National Tumor Bank

The UK’s National Cancer Research Institute last week said it plans to establish a National Cancer Tissue Resource, a country-wide tumor bank that will collect, store, and distribute cancer samples for research.

The resource will comprise a network of tissue-acquisition and -processing centers that will extract DNA, RNA, and other molecules, and produce tissue microarrays. These networks will be managed through a coordinating center that will develop standards for tumor collection and storage. A central information system will track samples and link histopathology data with clinical and research results.

Funding for the first five years will come from the Department of Health, which will provide £2.5 million, or roughly $3.9 million. The Medical Research Council and the charity Cancer Research UK will each pitch in £1.25 million.

The NCRI, a consortium including the UK government, the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, and other cancer charities, plans to appoint a senior chief operating officer to develop the tissue resource. Cancer Research UK will manage this appointment and establish an access system for the resource.


$10M Private Stock Placement Rescues Deltagen; CEO Named

Beleaguered animal-transgenic company Deltagen managed to sell $10 million of its preferred stock to existing institutional investors in a private placement, and has secured a commitment for a bridge loan of as much as $6 million, the company said last week.

Deltagen said the financing, which is subject to shareholder approval, will enable it to expand its product range and start new marketing and sales initiatives.

In addition, one-time Aclara president and CEO Joseph Limber has become Deltagen’s interim CEO, and is slated to become president and CEO once the financing closes. Richard Hawkins, Deltagen’s CFO, is expected to leave the company before the end of the month.


Galapagos, Degussa Pen Arthritis Nutraceuticals Collaboration

Belgian functional genomics company Galapagos Genomics this week said it is collaborating with Degussa BioActives to identify nutraceuticals for arthritis.

The deal, the first of its kind for the Belgian company, calls for Galapagos to design human cellular assays based on its functional genomics platform, and to screen libraries of natural compounds to identify leads.

Degussa, mean time, will have exclusive rights to commercialize any nutraceuticals that result from the collaboration, while Galapagos will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties based on these commercialized products.

Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos, said the partnership is the company’s first foray into the nutraceutical field and “has the potential to become an important income generator for Galapagos.”


CombiMatrix Sells Microarray Synthesizer to Japanese Lab

CombiMatrix this week said it has sold a DNA Microarray Synthesizer to Nihon Gene Research Laboratory in Sendai, Japan.

NGRL said it plans to use the synthesizer as part of a custom microarray production and analysis service for the Japanese research and drug-discovery market.

GRL purchased a CombiMatrix custom slide biochip synthesizer and also entered a multi-year agreement to purchase additional biochips for its contract research services business.


Aclara Signs on Lawrence Livermore as eTag Customer

Lawrence Livemore National Laboratory will use Aclara’s eTag assay system for a biological agent detection program.

Terms of the agreement, announced in a statement this week, call for Mountain View, Calif.- based Aclara to provide LLNL with eTag assay reagents, software, and services. LLNL scientists will develop miniaturized assays for detection of biological agents.

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The Scan

UK Funds to Stay Ahead of Variants

The UK has announced a further £29.3 million to stay on top of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Guardian reports.

Push for Access

In a letter, researchers in India seek easier access to COVID-19 data, Science reports.

Not as Cold

Late-stage trial results are expected soon for an RNA-based vaccine that could help meet global demand as it does not require very cold storage, the New York Times writes.

Genome Research Papers on Microbes' Effects on Host Transfer RNA, Honeybee Evolution, Single-Cell Histones

In Genome Research this week: influence of microbes on transfer RNA patterns, evolutionary relationships of honeybees, and more.