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Variagenics, CombiMatrix, Lynx Therapeutics


Three firms License Variagenics’ Clot Gene ...

Variagenics said Jan. 16 it has licensed its patents on a gene related to thromboembolic events to GeneOhm Sciences, Sciona, and Tm Bioscience.

The worldwide, non-exclusive licenses to the gene, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, give the three firms the right to commercialize tests that identify polymorphisms in it. However, Variagenics retains the right to develop tests relating to other diseases that involve it.

GeneOhm, a California startup, is developing a chip-based technology to identify polymorphisms by interruptions in the flow of electrical current; Sciona is a British diagnostics and pharmacogenomics firm; Tm Bioscience, based in Toronto, is developing a battery of SNP-diagnostic tests.

... as firm Says no thanks to CombiMatrix

Variagenics said thanks but no thanks Jan. 20 to CombiMatrix’s unsolicited offer to merge. In an unusual step, Variagenics not only made public CombiMatrix’s advance but also illustrated in detail why it rebuffed its suitor and reaffirmed its love, so to speak, for Hyseq.

Among the Acacia unit’s turn-offs: Insufficient trading history, a low trading volume, a “complex” capital structure, and the risk that investors would just not get it. There were some sparks, however, during the four days the firms were courting: a possible love-connection between Variagenics’ SNP database and CombiMatrix’s array-processor system, and the latter’s rich friends and corporate connections.

Lynx grumbles over Second Nasdaq Letter

Lynx Therapeutics has received another notice from the Nasdaq exchange warning it is in additional danger of being delisted, the company said Jan. 15.

Nasdaq determined that Lynx was not in compliance with its requirements for continued listing. This notice comes on the heels of a Dec. 19 letter sent by the Nasdaq saying Lynx was in danger of being kicked off the exchange for failing to keep its share price above $1 for 30 consecutive trading days.

Lynx said it would appoint an independent director to its audit committee and would initiate a reverse stock split as a way to help kick-start the price. A one-for seven reverse split was approved by Lynx’s board and stockholders, and occurred Jan. 16.

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The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.