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Sequenom, DNA Chip Research, Mitsui, and NovusGene, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, National Institute on Aging, Department of Energy s Joint Genome Institute, and GenData and Celera Diagnostics

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Sequenom in Danger of Being Demoted to Small-Cap Market

Sequenom risks receiving a letter from the Nasdaq exchange warning the company of possible delisting if it fails to close above $1 by the end of trading on Sept. 17.

“There seems to be a threshold out there in the market place that is keeping us from closing above $1,” said a Sequenom spokesperson. “We’ve hit above $1 a few times in the past week or so, but we haven’t been able to close above $1.”

The company also closed at $.99 on Sept. 14. The last time the company’s stock closed above $1 was Aug. 5.

“Certainly we’re making every effort to get the price above $1: increasing newsflow; meeting with the investment community to find some new buyers for stock; and filling some of the holes that have been created. That’s the main plan, at the moment — to build demand for the stock,” the spokesperson told GenomeWeb News.

If Sequenom fails to raise its share price above the $1 mark 90 days after receiving the letter, and maintain a closing price above the threshold for 10 trading days, it will be downgraded to the Nasdaq small-capitalization market. After that step, Sequenom would have to go through the same process, starting with a requirement that its price close above $1 in a 30-day period. Should it fail the second cycle, the company risks the delisting of its stock to the over-the-counter market.


DNA Chip Research Inks Distribution Deal with Mitsui, NovusGene

DNA Chip Research said today that it has agreed to form a DNA chip product distribution arrangement with Mitsui and NovusGene, the Japan Corporate News Network reported this week.

Under the terms of the deal, NovusGene will market DNA Chip Research’s proprietary products including the AceGene series and also accept orders for DNA analysis services, JCNN said. NovusGene is a joint venture between Mitsui, Mitsui Knowledge, and Olympus Optical.

The deal also includes the use of Mitsui’s distribution channels to raw material manufacturers, pharmaceutical firms, and genetic analysis companies, JCNN said. The partners expect to achieve annual sales of ¥100 million ($910,000) in the future.


Sanger Institute Researchers Publish B. pseudomallei Genome Analysis

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said this week that its researchers, along with colleagues in Thailand, Australia, and the US, have published an analysis of the genome of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a soil bacterium that can cause a variety of illnesses.

The genome analysis may make possible the development of new methods to detect and diagnose B. pseudomallei infection, as well as provide new targets for vaccines against the pathogen, said the Sanger Institute.

The analysis, which is being published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals B. pseudomallei has two large chromosomes that “have acquired whole new regions of DNA, gaining new sets of genes to help the organism to live in humans and other environments,” said the Sanger Institute.


NIA Awards Perlegen Grant to Find Alzheimer’s SNPs

The National Institute on Aging awarded Perlegen Sciences a grant for a whole-genome association study of Alzheimer’s disease, the company said this week.

The phased study will use Perlegen’s oligonucleotide-array platform to map more than 1.5 million SNPs in late-onset Alzheimer’s cases and controls in a search for genetic markers associated with the disease.


JGI Completes Sequence Analysis of Human Chromosome 5

The Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute has finished analyzing the sequence of human chromosome 5, the 12th fully analyzed chromosome and the second chromosome completed by the Institute and the Stanford Human Genome Center, said JGI. The final analysis was published in the Sept. 16 issue of Nature.

Chromosome 5 is the largest yet completed, with 180.9 million bases and 923 genes, including 66 known disease genes. Another 14 diseases are linked to chromosome 5.

One duplicated region on chromosome 5 could eventually help explain how spinal muscular dystrophy is inherited. The region contains many duplications and other rearrangements that vary between individuals, leading to a possible explanation of differences in the disease’s severity.


GenData to Provide Celera Dx with DNA Samples for Autoimmune Disease Study

GenData will provide Celera Diagnostics with DNA samples and clinical information for a study aimed at identifying genetic markers of an autoimmune disease, the company said this week.

GenData provides commercial access to the Utah Population Database, which contains more than seven million records, including genealogical records, population records, and vital statistics linked to medical information.

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The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.