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Roche, Epidauros, Correlagen and IntegraGen, Genetic Technologies Limited and Bionomics, and The Institute for Genomic Research


Roche Updates Its PCR Offerings as Patent Gradually Slips Away

As the remaining moments of Roche’s PCR patent tick away, the company is trying to keep hold on a piece of the market with the launch of a new “highly sensitive” real-time PCR system.

The LightCycler ST300, which has already begun selling is composed of the company’s LightCycler 1.5, a control computer, a centrifuge, and analysis software, that together “generate results in a speedy manner,” said the company.

Hoping to achieve $2.8 million this year in sales of the $45,200-per-unit system, the company is targeting universities and private companies.

For Its CE-MARKed CYP450 AmpliChip, Roche Licenses Epidauros’ polymorphism Patent

Epidauros granted Switzerland-based Roche non-exclusive rights to its CYP2D6 polymorphism patent for use in the drug company’s AmpliChip CYP450 test, the companies said last week.

The test, which received CE Mark approval from the European Union in September, is available for diagnostic use in Europe (see PGx Reporter, 9/9/2004).

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will provide Epidauros an undisclosed upfront payment, in addition to royalties on commercial sales of the test, the companies said.

With Test Licensed by Correlagen, IntegraGen hopes to Conduct European Diabetes Testing

IntegraGen will perform “maturity onset diabetes of the young” testing in Europe next year using a genetic test licensed to the firm by Correlagen, the companies said this week.

Paris-based IntegraGen has established a German subsidiary of the same name to provide a testing and counseling service beginning in 2005. Under the terms of the licensing agreement with Cambridge, Mass.-based Correlagen, the company has the right to commercialize the MODY tests throughout Europe.

“Our focus will be on the German market and, once the genetic testing-genetic counseling model has been established, we plan to expand these diagnostic offerings into other European countries,” said Jan Mous, IntegraGen CEO.

The tests are already performed in the United States.

GTG Will Pay Bionomics For Worldwide Rights to Epilepsy Tests

Bionomics granted worldwide testing and marketing rights to its genetic tests for epilepsy to Genetic Technologies Limited in exchange for a signing fee, royalties, and milestone payments, while Bionomics will pay GTG for a license to the company’s non-coding patents, the companies said in a statement this week.

GTG’s rights to the epilepsy tests includes exclusive rights to testing and marketing in Australia and New Zealand, the companies said.

More precise financial details were not disclosed.

In addition to testing performed by GTG, the company will make the tests “available” to the GENDIA network of international genetic testing laboratories, which will “bring these tests to more than 70 countries around the world,” including the United States and Europe, according to the statement.

TIGR, Virginia Tech Sign Broad Collaboration Agreement

The Institute for Genomic Research and Virginia Tech have signed a broad collaboration agreement, the institutions said this week.

TIGR wants to build both on existing collaborations with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, as well as work with other groups at Virginia Tech that are involved in translational biology and high-end computing. TIGR and VBI each operate a recently funded national Bioinformatics Resource Center to study pathogens and also plan to expand collaborations between these.

“There are clearly many areas of mutual interest and complementary capabilities at Virginia Tech and TIGR,” TIGR President Claire Fraser said in a statement. The partners plan to conduct joint research, share related facilities, appoint adjunct faculty, and involve students in research. The focus of research projects will be in microbial, plant, and animal genomics as well as functional genomics.


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The Scan

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.

Acne-Linked Loci Found Through GWAS Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics find new and known acne vulgaris risk loci with a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, highlighting hair follicle- and metabolic disease-related genes.

Retina Cell Loss Reversed by Prime Editing in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

A team from China turns to prime editing to correct a retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation in the PDE6b gene in a mouse model of the progressive photoreceptor loss condition in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CRISPR Screens Reveal Heart Attack-Linked Gene

Researchers in PLOS Genetics have used CRISPR screens to home in on variants associated with coronary artery disease that affect vascular endothelial function.