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Hiroyuki Mitani, J. Stark Thompson, BD Biosciences, Scanalytics, Institut Curie, GE Healthcare, ABI, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Clinical Data, Genaissance

People

Hiroyuki Mitani has been appointed president and CEO of GE Healthcare Technologies, Japan. Mitani joined GE Japan in 1992 as director of business development. Prior to his current role, he served as general manager of marketing and sales for GE Transportation, Japan. In 1996, he served as general manager of marketing and sales for GE Energy, Japan. Mitani received his MS in Operations Research from Stanford University in 1984 and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1983. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1977.


Luminex announced the appointment of J. Stark Thompson to the board of directors, where he will serve as a class III director. Most recently, Thompson served as president, CEO, and director of Life Technologies, which was purchased in 2000 by Invitrogen. Thompson has a BS from Muskingum College and an MS and PhD in Physiological Chemistry from Ohio State University. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors of Gene Logic, as well as serving as a director in various other private and civic organizations.

 

BioCommerce Briefs

BD, Scanalytics Partner on Automated
Image Analysis for High-Content Screening

BD Biosciences has entered into a "strategic partnership" with informatics firm Scanalytics to develop image analysis software for BD Bioscience's automated microscopy platforms, a company representative said in London last week at the Marcus Evans High-Content Screening conference.

According to Dietrich Ruehlmann, BD Biosciences' product manager for imaging and analysis, BD began the partnership with Scanalytics a few months ago with the goal of developing image analysis platforms for BD Biosciences' CARV II Confocal Imager and Pathway Bioimager for high-content drug screening.

Scanalytics, based in Fairfax, Va., markets scientific imaging software, including deconvolution and 3D restoration and gel analysis software.

A development timeline for the image analysis software was not provided.


Institut Curie to Use GE Healthcare's
IN Cell Analyzer for Cancer Research

GE Healthcare said this week that the Paris-based Institut Curie will use its IN Cell Analyzer 1000 sub-cellular imaging system for a new research project.

The study, called the BioPhenics project, plans to use cell biology and microscopic imaging to advance cancer drug discovery. The project will initially focus on breast and lung cancer, GE Healthcare said.

Institut Curie will use the IN Cell Analyzer to observe cells in culture in order to study cellular behavior and responses. GE Healthcare said that the institute will use the system for a range of biological applications, including screening, lead profiling, target validation, and assay development.

Financial terms of the agreement were not provided.


ABI Selects Comergent for E-Commerce Platform

Applied Biosystems will work with software developer Comergent on developing an expanded e-commerce platform to enable selling and ordering processes with its customers and partners.

The system will be designed to guide users through the processes of product selection, configuration, personalized pricing, ordering, and tracking.

Deloitte Consulting conducted the analysis and vendor search for ABI and will now manage implementation of the e-commerce platform over a three-year period.


BIO Opposes 'Ironic' Limit on
VC Backing for SBIR Grantees

Representatives from the Biotechnology Industry Organization are calling for the Small Business Administration to revise its current interpretation of eligibility standards for Small Business Innovation Research grants.

Late last year, SBA revised its guidelines to refuse eligibility to small companies that are 51-percent owned by venture capital firms.

Jim Greenwood, president of BIO, issued a statement last week calling for the SBA to "correct" this "misinterpretation" of eligibility standards.

"Most small and emerging biotechnology companies, which are years away from revenue-generating products, must look to the venture capital community for investments to fund the very high-cost preclinical and clinical research," Greenwood said. "Prior to the new interpretation, these companies used SBIR grants to validate the potential of their research as they raised critical start-up investment funds."

Greenwood added, "It is ironic that the SBA's rulings are actually squelching the very research that the [SBIR] law sought to stimulate when it was initially passed."

Morrie Ruffin, vice president of business development for BIO, testified on behalf of the organization at a hearing SBA held on the SBIR eligibility issue late last week.

Greenwood supported legislation introduced in the House by Sam Graves (R-MO) and in the Senate by Kit Bond (R-MO) to revisit the eligibility requirements. "We urge members of Congress to support this new legislation," Greenwood said.


Clinical Data to Acquire Genaissance for $56M

Diagnostic developer Clinical Data plans to acquire Genaissance Pharmaceuticals in an all-stock transaction valued at $56 million, the companies said this week.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Clinical Data views Genaissance's pharmacogenomics capabilities as a "strong strategic fit" as it takes steps to enter the molecular diagnostics market, said Israel Stein, president and CEO of Clinical Data. "We believe the acquisition will allow us to leverage our market knowledge and experience with GNSC's platform to become a leading pharmacogenomics company with high margin, proprietary tests and services serving broad markets," he said.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by both company's boards of directors, Genaissance stockholders will receive 0.065 shares of Clinical Data common stock for each share of Genaissance common stock. Based on the companies' closing prices on June 20, this represents a price of $1.33 per share of Gennaisance stock.

Genaissance shareholders will own approximately 40 percent of the combined company.

"Genaissance is aligning itself with a financially stable company, enabling us to integrate our pharmacogenomics products and services with a well-established company in the development and marketing of medical diagnostics," said Kevin Rakin, Genaissance CEO, in a statement.

Rakin, along with current Genaissance board member Joseph "Skip" Klein III, will join Clinical Data's board of directors following the merger. Burton E. Sobel, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Vermont, will also join the board, bringing the total number of directors to seven.

The Scan

Review of Approval Process

Stat News reports the Department for Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General is to investigate FDA's approval of Biogen's Alzheimer's disease drug.

Not Quite Right

A new analysis has found hundreds of studies with incorrect nucleotide sequences reported in their methods, according to Nature News.

CRISPR and mRNA Together

Time magazine reports on the use of mRNA to deliver CRISPR machinery.

Nature Papers Present Smartphone Platform for DNA Diagnosis of Malaria, Mouse Lines for Epigenomic Editing

In Nature this week: a low-cost tool to detect infectious diseases like malaria, and more.