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Pfizer Renews Subscription to GeneLogic's ToxExpress Database, Adds ToxShield

Pfizer has renewed its subscription to Gene Logic's ToxExpress database of gene expression profiles and clinical data, Gene Logic said last week.

In addition, Pfizer has subscribed to Gene Logic's ToxShield software for assessing and ranking drug candidates based on their potential toxicity in humans.

Gene Logic also provides microarray services to Pfizer — a program launched in March — to determine potentially toxic effects of novel compounds on tissues of interest.

Pfizer has been a subscriber to Gene Logic's ToxExpress database since February 2000. Its renewed subscription runs for three years.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the subscriptions.


Transgenomic's Q2 Revenue Grows 15.5 Percent as R&D Spending, Losses Decline

Transgenomic last week reported a 15.5-percent decline in second-quarter revenue atop significantly reduced R&D spending and a wide reduction in net loss.

Total receipts for the three months ended June 30 fell to $7.6 million from $9 million year over year.

R&D spending in the quarter plummeted to $581,000 from $1.7 million in the year-ago period.

The decline in R&D spending together with an 18.6-percent reduction in selling, general, and administrative costs helped the company post a 93-percent drop in net loss. Total net losses in the second quarter fell to $998,000, or $.03 per share, from $15.1 million, or $.52 per share, year over year, Transgenomic said.

Buttressed by a restructuring completed in February, the earnings "reflect a renewed focus on our Biosystems business," CEO Collin D'Silva said in a statement.

He added that he expect the company to "achieve operating cash flow break even by year end, driven by expected acceleration in revenue growth in our Biosystems segment for the remainder of the fiscal year."

Transgenomic said it had around $1.7 million in cash, equivalents, and short-term investments as of June 30.


NABsys Licenses Nanopore IP for DNA Sequencing from Brown University in Exchange for Equity

NABsys has exclusively licensed nanopore technology from Brown University to commercialize it for DNA sequencing, the Providence, RI-based company said last week.

Under the agreement, NABsys obtains exclusive worldwide rights to certain intellectual property in exchange for a "significant equity interest" issued to Brown University.

The nanopore technology was developed by Xinsheng Sean Ling, an associate professor of physics at Brown and a co-founder of NABsys. Ling recently received a $1.55 million grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue his research.

Earlier this week, the National Human Genome Research Institute awarded 12 grants totaling more than $32 million to advance DNA sequencing technologies, four of which involve nanopore technology.


Bruker Registers Mass Specs with Korean Regulators as Medical Devices for IVD Apps

Bruker Daltonics has registered its autoflex II MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers as class I medical devices with the Korean Food and Drug Administration, the company said last week.

The registration helps Bruker's customers obtain regulatory approval for mass spectrometry-based in vitro diagnostic methods they developed, according to the company.

The mass spectrometers are already being used by GeneMatrix of Korea for molecular diagnostics applications, which the company offers to medical centers and university hospitals in Korea, according to Bruker. The autoflex II instruments are also part of Bruker's ClinProt system for peptide and protein biomarker profiling.


ABI, DuPont to Co-develop Pathogen-Detection Tools for Food Industry

Applied Biosystems and DuPont Qualicon will co-develop new pathogen-detection applications for the food industry, the companies said this week.

The new products will be based on DuPont's Bax system, which uses PCR to detect microorganisms in food. ABI's TaqMan real-time PCR technology will add additional capabilities to the system, such as quantitation, strain discrimination, and detection of new organisms.

DuPont Qualicon is a DuPont business based in Wilmington, Del.


Clinical Microarrays Changes Name to Decision Biomarkers

Clinical Microarrays has changed its name to Decision Biomarkers, the company said this week.

According to Decision Biomarkers President and CEO Roger Dowd, the name change is a result of the company's efforts to "better communicate the scope and value of what [it] is preparing to deliver to the market."

The company is currently preparing to commercialize a fully-automated, multiplexed immunoassay system for quantitating protein biomarkers. The company also said it has relocated to Waltham, Mass., from Natick, Mass.


Genomic Profiling Systems Wins $4.1M SBIR to Develop Anthrax-Detection Platform

Genomic Profiling Systems, a microbial analysis startup based in Bedford, Mass., has received a three-year $4.1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to develop a testing platform for rapid diagnosis of anthrax, the company said last week.

GPS said that the system it is developing, called MultiPath, will enable rapid detection of biowarfare agents on a massive scale. The company expects the platform to have additional applications, including flu testing and detection of pathogens in food.

In its Phase I SBIR program, GPS demonstrated that its system "detected bacteria and soluble protein markers at levels that are thousands of times lower than achievable with standard commercial strip tests," Donald Straus, vice president of research and CSO, said in a statement.

According to the company's website, MultiPath combines a sandwich immunoassay using high-intensity fluorescent particles with proprietary imaging technology. In its abstract for the Phase II SBIR award, the company said that the test "rapidly detects multiple targets with sensitivities approaching nucleic acid amplification tests but with the cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness of over-the-counter immunoassay 'strip' tests."

The grant abstract said that the company's imaging technology "detects individual microparticles rather than the millions of particles required to detect a signal in standard strip tests."


CombiMatrix and ASU Center to Co-develop Peptide Synthesizer for Polypeptide Arrays

CombiMatrix and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University plan to co-develop a peptide array synthesizer using CombiMatrix's virtual-flask technology, the partners said last week.

Terms of the agreement call for the partners to develop a peptide synthesizer that can build polypeptide arrays on CombiMatrix CustomArrays platform. As part of the alliance, the Biodesign Institute's Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology will buy CombiMatrix equipment and pay for the development costs. CombiMatrix, for its part, will grant technology rights and contributing expertise.

CombiMatrix and the Institute will share revenue from any peptide array synthesizer, peptide array products, or intellectual property that might be developed.

The Arizona Technology Enterprises, the technology commercialization company for ASU and the Biodesign Institute, helped facilitate the deal. The Center for BioOptical Nanotechnology "will pursue rapid commercialization of these technologies," CombiMatrix said in a statement.


Genaissance to Provide Scrapie Genotyping in Greece

Genaissance Pharmaceuticals will provide scrapie genotyping services to Antisel Selidis of Greece, a contractor for the Greek government, Genaissance said last week.

Under the agreement, Genaissance will be the exclusive genotyping provider for Antisel, which has been awarded a contract by the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food. The contract derives from a European Union mandate to establish a breeding program in sheep that confers resistance to scrapie.

Antisel is Genaissance's distributor in Greece, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Filed under

The Scan

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The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

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