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Sequenom, Arcturus, CSC/Imperial College Microarray Center, Rosetta, Lynx, Solexa, Tapestry, LBNL, UC Berkeley


One Month After Resigning from Sequenom, Schuh Named CEO of Arcturus

Toni Schuh will serve as the new CEO of Arcturus, the company said this week, nearly one month after Schuh stepped down as CEO of Sequenom.

Arcturus Bioscience, a privately held firm based in Mountain View, Calif., said that Schuh will also be elected to its board of directors.

Schuh succeeds former CEO and founder Thomas Baer, who resigned in late 2004 to serve as a consulting professor in the Applied Physics department at Stanford University.

Baer continues to serve as a director of Arcturus. Richard Kniss, who has served as a member of the Arcturus Board since January 2002, will be appointed non-executive chairman, the company said.

Arcturus sells laser capture microdissection systems for the isolation of single cells, as well as reagents for genomic analysis of microscopic tissue samples.

Imperial College Microarray Center to Use Rosetta Resolver

Rosetta Biosoftware said this week that the MRC Clinical Sciences Center and Imperial College London have jointly licensed the Rosetta Resolver gene expression analysis platform for use in the CSC/Imperial College Microarray Center.

The research institutes, both based in London, licensed the system with funding from the UK's Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.

Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Last week, Rosetta announced that it had licensed the Resolver software to Serono.

Lynx and Solexa Tie the Knot; First Gene-Analysis Product Planned for End of Year

UK-based Solexa and Lynx Therapeutics of Hayward, Calif., have completed their previously announced merger, the companies said this week.

The combined company, which will be called Solexa, is incorporated in Delaware and started trading today on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market under the symbol SLXA on March 8. The company's UK operation has become a wholly owned subsidiary, the firms said.

Solexa said it plans to launch its first product, a gene-analysis platform based on sequencing-by-synthesis and microrarrays, by the end of the year. Initially, the company will focus on the research market.

After Shuttering Genomics Division, Tapestry Risks Being Delisted from Nasdaq

Tapestry Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as NaPro BioTherapeutics, is in danger of being delisted to the Nasdaq Small-Cap Market for failing to keep its share price above $1 for 30 consecutive trading days, according to the Denver Post.

The Boulder, Colo.-based company has until Aug. 24 to "regain compliance," according to the newspaper. Tapestry is repositioning itself as a drug maker, and the company is "still getting the word out on what we are and what we do," the newspaper quoted Gordon Link, senior vice president and chief financial officer, as saying.

The news comes two months after Tapestry closed its genomics division in Delaware, and laid off 25 staffers. In November 2004, the company said it was taking the steps, which included selling or licensing out most of its assets, in order to save costs to develop its cancer drugs.

"Although we believe our gene editing technology has considerable long-term value, this current restructuring now focuses the majority of our assets on the development of our nearer term oncology clinical drug candidate portfolio," Leonard Shaykin, Tapestry CEO, said at the time.

The lay-offs affected about one-fourth of Tapestry's employees, and, along with the rest of the company's restructuring plans, including the closing of its Newark, Del., facility, are expected to save the firm about $4 million annually, according to a statement. The company's genomics program in Huntington's disease will be the genomics division's only project to remain operational, the company added.

Rodman and Renshaw have served as Tapestry's financial advisor during the sale and licensing of its assets, Tapestry said last November.

Tapestry's genomics division oversaw the company's gene-editing technology, which uses oligonucleotides to locate, label, isolate, and modify a single base pair in an organism's gene. Before the restructuring, the Boulder, Colo.-based company developed and licensed genomics technologies for agriculture, pharmacogenomics, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

NaPro changed its name to Tapestry in May 2004.

LBNL, UC Berkeley to Take Over Former Bayer Lab for Integrated Biology Research

Multidisciplinary biology research efforts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, will have a new home beginning next month when around 200 scientists and staff begin moving into a 72,000-square-foot facility previously leased to Bayer.

The lab space, located at 717 Potter Street in Berkeley, was renovated for biotech research in 1997 and includes large general laboratories, adjacent cold and warm rooms, viral suites, tissue culture rooms, lab benches and hoods, and other equipment and furniture.

UC's Board of Regents approved the lease proposal in November, and the Department of Energy, which runs LBNL, approved it in February. Negotiations between the two organizations and the property's owner, Wareham Development, concluded last week.

Terms of the lease agreement were not disclosed, but an LBNL spokesman told Pharmacogenomics Reporter sister publication GenomeWeb News that the lease was effective, retroactively, as of last month, and will run through June 2010.

The initial five-year term of the lease includes options to renew for up to 20 years, but LBNL said in a statement that its tenure "will depend upon the progress of capital projects on the Hill."

Scientists from LBNL's Life Science and Physical Bioscience departments will occupy most of the second floor of the facility.

The move to off-site lab space was driven by "unprecedented growth in biology programs at both institutions and their inability to provide quality research space for those programs," LBNL said. These space limitations "have restricted researchers' ability to be competitive for new grants, recruit and retain quality scientists, and conduct work sponsored by both DOE and the National Institutes of Health."

The Potter St. center will house LBNL's synthetic biology department, as well as its programs in biological and environmental research, including Genome: GTL projects, low-dose radiation, DNA repair, and functional genomics research.


Filed under

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.