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Tepnel Life Sciences, Innogenetics, PamGene, Asterand, Bayer Diagnostics, US FBI, Iconix Pharmaceuticals


Tepnel Cuts by $1M the Purchase Price for Orchid’s Diagnostics Arm

Tepnel Life Sciences has downgraded by more than $1 million the final purchase price for its January acquisition of Orchid BioSciences’ diagnostics unit, the company said this week

Tepnel said that independent auditors revisited the completed accounts for the acquisition and determined that “a further adjustment of the final purchase price” would be necessary. The new final price will be $2.5 million in cash. This is a dramatic drop from the $3.5 million price quoted in January — which was itself reduced by $800,000 from the $4.3 million price tag originally proposed in last October.

Tepnel said the latest price is the result of $957,531 payable by Orchid Biosciences to Tepnel. Of this, $450,000 is held in escrow, and Tepnel said it expects to receive an additional $507,531 from Orchid Biosciences “directly.”

PamGene Licenses Technology to Innogenetics for Diagnostic Tests

Innogenetics will exclusively use PamGene’s microarray technology to develop multiple-parameter nucleic acid and protein diagnostics for infectious diseases, genetic testing, and neurodegeneration, the companies said last week.

Terms of the agreement call for Innogenetics of Ghent, Belgium, to develop tests in these areas for use on PamGene’s PamStation 12 instruments. The license may be extended to oncology applications.

The parties did not disclose the exact financial terms of the agreement, but said it includes an upfront payment as well as milestone fees when tests are launched on the market. PamGene also stands to pocket royalties on sales of these tests. The companies said the first set of tests is expected to “reach the market” in 2006.

Asterand to Use Rubicon’s Whole-Genome Amplification Tech for Diabetes Research

Asterand will use DNA-amplification technology developed by Rubicon Genomics as part of a collaborative diabetes study, Asterand said last week.

Asterand, a tissue-banking firm, will use Rubicon’s GenomePlex whole-genome amplification technology to obtain DNA samples from relatives of diabetes patients in a collaborative study that involves researchers from Wayne State University and elsewhere.

The trial will collect blood samples from people suffering from diabetes, but other family members “may prefer a simple mouthwash, and by using this new amplification technology we can get the information we need,” Asterand CSO James Eliason said in a statement.

Asterand said it will begin using the amplification method in Europe this month.

Bayer Dx to Provide Trugene, Versant Tests for Free to Africa

Bayer Diagnostics will offer two of its HIV molecular diagnostics to an Italian project aimed at providing HIV medications for patients in certain African countries, the company said last week.

Over the next two years, Bayer will supply the nonprofit Community of Sant’Egidio its Versant HIV-1 RNA 3.0 assay and the Trugene HIV-1 genotyping assay. The Rome-based organization will use the tests as part of its so-called DREAM Project. Mozambique will be the first recipient, and other nations weill follow, the companies said. Bayer said it will also provide scientific and technical collaboration and continuing education.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though Bayer anticipates its tests will be given to as many as 60,000 people by 2006. Considering that reference labs charge between $350 and $450 for the Trugene test in the United States, the dollar value of Bayer’s contribution could reach as high as $27 million for the Trugene assay alone.

According to the World Health Organization, one in 12 adults in Africa has HIV or AIDS. Last year, the continent was home to two-thirds of the worldwide population living with HIV and AIDS.

US FBI Taps MicroFluidic Systems to Develop Automated DNA-Extraction System

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has picked MAR and MicroFluidic Systems to help it develop an automated DNA analysis system, MicroFluidic said last week. Subcontractor MFSI, of Pleasanton, Calif., will create a device and protocols for automating DNA extraction from forensic samples. MAR, an administrative services company, is the contractor for the award.

Iconix Provides Chemogenomic Profiling Services to AstraZeneca

Iconix Pharmaceuticals will profile compounds from AstraZeneca for toxicity using its drug signatures library, a collection of predictive biomarkers derived from its chemogenomics reference database. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.