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Scottish Executive and Genetic Health Initiative, Invitrogen and Illumina, National Cancer Institute, FDA, GlaxoSmithKline, and Vanderbilt University, and Lilly Endowment and Indiana University


Scotland Government to Grant $8.43 Million to Genetic Health Initiative for Association Studies

The Scottish Executive is providing $8.43 million to fund a proof-of-principle study underlying the Genetic Health Initiative, a project to determine the genetic predisposition to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, and mental health, the government body said this week.

Researchers will recruit 50,000 people aged 35-55 in the space of five years, in an effort to link anonymous information on lifestyle and healthcare history with genetic profiles. The investigation will allow identification of people at risk of developing disease, and to create “preventative healthcare strategies,” the executive said.

Invitrogen Invests $3.4M in Illumina, Gains Oligator Marketing Rights

Invitrogen and Illumina this week announced a collaboration to distribute Illumina’s Oligator DNA synthesis technology through Invitrogen’s marketing channels.

Under the terms of the agreement, Invitrogen will invest $3.4 million in Illumina’s San Diego, Calif., facility to extend Illumina’s Oligator technology into tube-based oligonucleotide products and to transfer the technology to two Invitrogen facilities outside North America.

The companies said that they expect to transition all responsibility for sales, marketing, and technical support for the Oligator products to Invitrogen over the “next several quarters” while Illumina builds its capability to manufacture tube-based oligos.

Revenues from the products will be split equally between the two companies.

NCI Earmarks $1M in SBIR Funding for Cancer Technology Projects

The National Cancer Institute is setting aside roughly $1 million to fund three to five Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer cancer-technology development projects during 2006, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In a request for applications, the NIH said the NCI will fund projects focused on developing technologies suitable for the molecular analysis of cancers and their host environment in support of basic, clinical, and epidemiological research.

Examples of technologies and tools of interest under the RFA are ones for in vitro scanning for and identification of the sites of chromosomal aberrations which reflect inherited aberrations or somatic alterations resulting from aging or oxidation, or exposure to radiation or carcinogens, including those that are suitable for scaling for use across whole genomes, detecting DNA adducts, or detecting rare variants in mixed populations; technologies for detection and characterization of nucleic acid sequences of novel exogenous infectious agents that may be present in human cancer; and technologies to elucidate molecular modifications of macromolecules that may be indicative of and critical to the transformation process, said the NIH.

Letters of intent are due by Jan. 17, 2005; May 17, 2005; and Sept. 18, 2005. Applications are due Feb. 17, 2005; June 17, 2005; and Oct. 18, 2005. Additional information is available at

Glaxo, FDA, Vanderbilt to Study Genetic Basis of Long QT Side Effect

The US Food and Drug Administration, GlaxoSmithKline, and Vanderbilt University will use First Genetic Trust’s enTRUST genetic-banking and research technology to conduct a post-marketing study into the genetic basis for drug-induced Long QT.

Long QT is a side effect for many different classes of drugs characterized by risk of developing heart arrhythmias that may, in rare cases, lead to sudden death.

GSK will use FGT’s system to recruit Long QT patients electronically through Vanderbilt and a network of referral sites. The company will use collected blood samples and clinical data to study the genetics of the side effect across several classes of drugs.

The FDA will facilitate patient enrollment by sending letters through MedWatch to health professionals who have reported a case of Long QT or Torsades de Pointe, a particularly severe form of the side effect.

University of Indiana to Use $53M Eli Lilly Endowment Grant for Metabolomics, Cytomics

The Lilly Endowment will give a $53-million grant to Indiana University, earmarked for broadening its life-sciences research, especially metabolomics and cytomics, the university said last week.

The school will use the funds to create a program in metabolomics and cytomics to complement the 2001 Indiana Genomics Initiative, a program also funded by Lilly.

Filed under

The Scan

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Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

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Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

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Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

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