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Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, CeMines Estonia OU, Perlegen Sciences and Johnson & Johnson PRD, Applied Biosystems, Stanford University and University of Miami, Lynx Therapeutics, and Affymetrix

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Marine Research Institute Launches Public Toxicogenomics Database

The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory has publicly released a comparative toxicogenomics database, the marine research institute said this week.

The database, which is available as a prototype, contains curated molecular and toxicology data from several organisms.

CTD, which is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, can be accessed here [http://ctd.mdibl.org/]. Scientists can submit data sets via the website. The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory is based in Salisbury Cove, Maine.


CeMines’ Estonian Subsidiary Co-Founds Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics Firm

CeMines Estonia OU, a subsidiary of CeMines International, has co-founded VTAK, a privately held company focused on researching and commercializing cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, CeMines said this week.

VTAK was founded in conjunction with the Estonian government, as well as several academic institutions and companies including Tallinn Technical University; Helsinki Yliopiston Saatio; Regional Hospital of North Estonia; ProSyntest AS; Kevelt AS; CeleCure AS; Trial Form Support AB; and InBio OU.


Perlegen Pens Pharmacogenomics Deal With J&J Company to Predict Drug Response

Perlegen Sciences will genotype patients for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development to find genetic markers indicating response to an undisclosed drug, the company said this week.

Under the agreement, Perlegen will determine SNPs in several hundred patients and correlate them with therapeutic response to the drug. The aim is to predict the patient population that responds best to the agent.

The two parties did not disclose the terms of the collaboration. J&J PRD is a Johnson & Johnson company.


ABI Expands Biomarker Collaboration with Stanford, U of Miami to Include TaqMan Array

Applied Biosystems has expanded an ongoing collaboration with researchers at Stanford University and the University of Miami to further study lymphoma biomarkers, the company said this week.

In the new studies, the scientists will use ABI’s TaqMan Low Density Array, a microfluidic card for real-time PCR, to validate the predictive value of six gene-expression based markers associated with treatment response and survival in diffuse large B cell lymphoma, the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


Lynx Receives Nasdaq Delisting Notice for Failure to Hold Annual Shareholder Meeting

Lynx Therapeutics said after market close Friday that it received a delisting warning from Nasdaq on Jan. 4.

According to the Nasdaq Staff Determination letter, the company’s securities are subject to delisting from the Nasdaq SmallCap Market due to its failure to hold an annual meeting of stockholders by Dec. 31, 2004.

Lynx said that it has delayed the annual meeting until a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Oct. 29, 2004, has been approved by the SEC. The company said in a statement that it has “tentatively” scheduled its annual meeting for Feb. 17, in order to approve its proposed merger with Solexa, which it still plans to complete by the end of the quarter.

“We will appeal this decision as we plan to hold an annual meeting of stockholders during the current quarter to vote on our proposed business combination with Solexa,” Mary Schramke, Lynx’s acting CEO, said in a statement.

The company said that its stock will continue to be listed on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market pending a final ruling of the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel.

Schramke added that the notice “does not come as a surprise as we elected to avoid the costs of holding multiple annual stockholders’ meetings in a relatively short time period.”

Following the upcoming stockholders’ meeting, she said the company will be “in full compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements.”

Schramke said that Lynx has filed an application for initial listing of its shares after the merger with Solexa.

Lynx is also struggling to meet a requirement that its stock trade above $4 for 90 trading days preceding the merger with Solexa. The company said in SEC filings that it does not currently satisfy the minimum bid price and intends to effect a reverse split of its outstanding shares in order to satisfy these requirements.


Affymetrix Non-Staff Directors Get 50-Percent Raise; Increase Brings Remuneration to $30K Per Director

Non-employee Affymetrix directors will get a 50-percent increase in the annual fee the company pays them for their services, Affymetrix said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

The six non-employee members will receive $30,000 a year, up from $20,000, the company said.

The company’s non-employee directors are: Susan Desmond-Hellmann, president of product development at Genentech; John Diekman, managing partner of 5AM Ventures; Vernon Loucks, chairman of The Athena Group; David Singer, chairman of Oscient Pharmaceuticals; and John Young, retired president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

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The Scan

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Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.