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Gene Logic Buys Millennium Group; Reports Falling Revenues in Q2

Gene Logic last week acquired technology and staff from Millennium Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth $4.5 million in order to create a new research service focused on identifying new indications for drugs.

Separately, the company reported falling revenues and a slightly increased net loss for the second quarter of the year.

In return for $3.5 million in cash or stock, and $1 million in payments to Millennium employees, Gene Logic has licensed a suite of technologies, including in vivo compound imaging, in vitro pathway screening, predictive and genetic ADME capabilities, and metabolomics methods. Gene Logic said it will spend at least $8.5 million over the next year and a half to develop and commercialize these technologies.

Millennium, which took a three-year license to Gene Logic’s ToxExpress database as part of the agreement, will be the first customer for the new service. Gene Logic will try to find new therapeutic indications for Millenn-ium’s MLN4760 compound in exchange for fees, milestones, and royalty payments.

Gene Logic has also licensed a compound from Millennium, which it expects to out-license in the future, following further development.

Gene Logic’s revenues for the quarter decreased to $18.6 million, from $19.4 million during the same quarter last year.

R&D costs fell to $357,000 from $463,000 during the year-ago period.

Gene Logic’s net loss for the quarter totaled $4.4 million, up from $4 million during the second quarter in 2003.

As of June 30, Gene Logic had approximately $41 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $101 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

The company also reported last week that it has signed an eighteen-month toxicogenomics services agreement with Dutch pharma Organon, a subscriber to Gene Logic's GeneExpress database since December 2000. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.


Geospiza, OpGen Win $100K SBIR for Optical Mapping Sequence Assembly

Geospiza and OpGen have secured a six-month, $100,000 Phase I Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to codevelop genomic sequencing tools based on optical mapping technology, the companies said last week.

OpGen and Geospiza said they would use the funding to incorporate data from OpGen’s optical mapping-based sequencing method as input to the Phrap sequence assembly program.

Geospiza said that the collaboration is in line with its ongoing effort to bring Phrap “up to date for modern assembly needs.”

In 2002, the company was awarded a $1.1 million SBIR to re-engineer Phrap for this purpose. The company said this earlier project will provide “a solid foundation” for the so-called “Optical-Map Phrap” application it is building with OpGen.


LifeGels to Distribute Nonlinear’s Software

Nonlinear Dynamics said last week that it has signed a distribution agreement with LifeGels (formerly Gradipore) of New South Wales, Australia, to supply Nonlinear’s TotalLab image analysis software.

Under the agreement, LifeGels will distribute evaluation copies of Nonlinear’s TotalLab software with all pre-cast gel orders. Users who then upgrade to a full license of TotalLab will receive four boxes of LifeGels pre-cast gels at no additional cost.


Software Sales Boost Tripos’ Q2 Revenues, INCOME DOWN

Tripos last week reported revenues of $15.9 million for the second quarter, a 14 percent increase from the previous year’s second quarter revenues of $14.0 million.

Increased sales of the company’s software systems contributed to the boost. Tripos took in $6.2 million for software sales and support for the second quarter, up from $5.8 million in the second quarter of 2003.

The company’s net income decreased, however, to $156,000 in the second quarter from $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2003. Tripos said that the prior-year quarter included an after-tax gain from the sale of shares of Arena Pharmaceuticals of $1.9 million.

Tripos’ R&D spending was down for the second quarter, at $2.5 million compared to $3.8 million in the second quarter of 2003.

Tripos had $5.2 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, up from $2.9 million as of December 31, 2003.


Apotex Licenses Waters’ NuGenesis SDMS Platform

Waters last week said that Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex is implementing the Waters NuGenesis SDMS (scientific data management system) platform across its worldwide R&D operations.

The deal is the first SDMS licensing agreement that Waters has announced since it acquired NuGenesis in February [BioInform 02-02-04] .

Initially, Apotex will deploy SDMS across three continents and eventually use it it at up to 15 sites worldwide, giving all of its scientists access to the platform.


Study Says Many Microarray Probes are Based on Old Data

Researchers from Harvard University and Washington University have published a study claiming that a large number of microarray probes in common use are based on gene sequences that are five or more years old.

The study, entitled “Increased measurement accuracy for sequence-verified microarray probes,” will appear in the August 2004 edition of Physiological Genomics.

The researchers attempted to confirm the accuracy of individual probe sequences for 20 microarray platforms. They looked at every probe on the array to see if it corresponded with the gene that it was intended to measure, and found that as much as 20 of the probe sequences did not correspond with the appropriate mRNA as defined by RefSeq.

The authors have created a website for checking sequences on microarrays for the 10 most common platforms, and plan to increase that number to 26 “relatively soon,” according to a statement. The database, called the Lung Transcriptome, is available at http://lungtranscriptome.bwh.harvard.edu.

 

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