Compugen Makes Sense of Antisense
Using a new algorithm dubbed “Antisensor,” Compugen has found that the transcription of antisense RNAs from the human genome is a much more common occurrence than previously believed.
The company, whose research on the topic appeared in Nature Biotechnology online ahead of print last week, said it has identified at least 1,600 sense/antisense pairs — complementary strands of mRNA that bind to each other to block transcription. This corresponds to 3,200 genes, a significant increase over previous estimates of only tens of genes with an antisense partner.
The company is currently in the process of incorporating the Antisensor algorithm, which detects genes on opposite DNA strands, into its LEADS computational biology platform. “ We already have an initial version of the antisense tool incorporated in our genomic offerings, and we expect to include a more comprehensive version within 12 months,” reported a company spokeswoman via e-mail.
UBI and Ocimum Sign Distribution Agreement
Canadian bioinformatics distributor United Bioinformatica (UBI) and Ocimum Biosolutions said last week that they have entered an agreement to distribute Ocimum’s Genchek sequence analysis package and Biotracker LIMS to the Canadian academic market.
UBI currently distributes software from BioDiscovery, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Informax’s Vector NTI from Invitrogen.
Ocimum, based in Hyderabad, India, is a subsidiary of the Saraca Group, an Indian chemical company.
Simulations Plus Sees Growth in Pharma
ADME absorption prediction software firm Simulations Plus reported “record total revenues” for pharmaceutical software and services for its fiscal second quarter ended February 28, 2003.
Pharmaceutical software and services revenues increased 4.2 percent to $572,000 for the quarter, compared to $549,000 for the second fiscal quarter of 2002. Total revenues were flat at $1.1 million for the second quarter year-over-year.
Walt Woltosz, chairman and CEO, said the company plans to release a new predictive modeling product called QMPRchitect during the third quarter, “and we expect this product to contribute to additional growth in revenues and earnings.”
Redasoft Adds Another Distributor
Redasoft last week signed a new distributor for its Visual Cloning software — the fifth distribution deal the company has signed since the beginning of the year.
Now, Johannesburg, South Africa-based Blue Stallion has agreed to sell the company's desktop software in the South African market.
Since January, Redasoft has signed distribution deals with United States Biological, ChemSW, ScienceServe, and BioExchange.com. In 2002, the company averaged one distribution deal a month.
Lion to Auction off More Lab Equipment
On April 15, Lion Bioscience is putting discovery-related lab equipment from its Heidelberg, Germany, headquarters on the block in a webcast auction hosted by Henry Butcher International and Karner AG.
In December, the company sold off similar equipment from its San Diego location.
The equipment includes DNA analysis and array scanning instrumentation; colony picking and pipetting equipment; gene amplification technology; additional “bioscience equipment”; and office furniture.
Details are available at www.henrybutcher.com/en/auctiondetails.asp?AuctionID=2231.