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GNS, M2Gen, Gene Logic, Genetic Alliance BioBank, CLC Bio, SD Genomics, Beijing Genomics, NextBio, Genzyme, Gulf Scientific, Partek, Ocimum Biosolutions

GNS Pens Research Collaboration With Moffitt Subsidiary M2Gen
Gene Network Sciences said this week that it has begun a research collaboration with M2Gen, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute’s for-profit subsidiary. 
Under the terms of the agreement, researchers from Moffitt and GNS will use the company’s REFSTM (reverse engineering and forward simulation) software platform to develop cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. 
Specifically, GNS will use REFSTM to reverse-engineer computer models from de-identified tumor molecular profiling data provided by Moffitt. The models will be used to identify genes that cause cancer progression and the relationships between those genes and endpoints such as recurrence and survival.
The parties will “work together to validate the discoveries and will work with strategic partners to rapidly bring the diagnostics to market,” GNS said in a statement.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Gene Logic Contributes Software to Genetic Alliance BioBank
Gene Logic is contributing its TRIMS clinical information system to the Genetic Alliance BioBank in order to support the effort’s goal of hosting and managing thousands of DNA and tissue samples, the organization said this week.
The Genetic Alliance BioBank is a consortium of seven genetic patient-advocacy organizations formed in 2003 with the goal of building a repository to collect, store, and distribute biological samples and clinical data in a standardized manner.
The organization said that it will use Gene Logic’s TRIMS to collect clinical histories, medical records and images, and track this information over time.
Current members of the Genetic Alliance BioBank include Angioma Alliance, CFC International, Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Joubert Syndrome Foundation, National Psoriasis Foundation, NBIA Disorders Association, and PXE International.

CLC Bio Software to Support South American Biodiversity Database Project
A South American effort to create a database of sequence data from the continent’s “vast biodiversity” will use CLC Bio’s software, data-analysis tools, training, and other services, the company said this week.
The database project, called Patrimonio Genomico y Saberes Locales (PGSL) — roughly translated to mean “Genomic Heritage and Local Wisdom” — kicked off with a recent inaugural meeting in Ecuador.
The goal of the PGSL is to harvest and preserve sequence data from species throughout the continent and build a database similar to GenBank, EMBL, and DDBJ, CLC Bio said.
The project also intends to investigate and preserve traditional therapeutic healthcare substances that native civilizations in South America have used for thousands of years.
Another important issue for PGSL is to minimize “bio-piracy” — the act of non-native scientists harvesting and using genetic materials from South America for copyrighted products.
CLC Bio said it is supporting the program via a new educational software package and consultancy services.
Founding partners include Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Ecuador; Universidad Politecnica Salesiana, Ecuador; Instituto de Biomedicina of Universidad Central del Ecuador; Pontificia Universidad Javieriana, Colombia; Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental, Peru; Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, Venezuela; and others.

CLC Bio, SD Genomics, Beijing Genomics Partner on Bioinformatics Development
CLC Bio said this week that it has formed a partnership with the Beijing Genomics Institute and SD Genomics, a genomics service provider based in Aarhus, Denmark, to collaborate on the development of bioinformatics and genomics tools and plug-ins for use with CLC Bio’s bioinformatics platform.
CLC Bio said the companies will develop tools to manage and interpret data being generated by genomics research in biotech and pharmaceutical companies and in academic research.
In particular, CLC Bio cited “the vast volume of data” from new sequencing technologies as driving an “urgent need for new and innovative IT solutions for handling and interpreting such data in an efficient and value adding way.”
The collaborators will develop plug-ins for use with CLC Bio’s Workbench platform, and will also integrate several tools from the Beijing Genomics Institute with CLC Bio’s software.
SD Genomics CEO Jens Sundbye said the partnership will benefit its pharmaceutical company clients by removing “essential barriers in their workflow.”

NextBio Licenses Search Engine to Genzyme
NextBio said this week that Genzyme has licensed its life sciences data search engine and collaboration platform.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Earlier this month, NextBio closed a $7 million round of private-equity financing [BioInform 06-08-07].

Genedata Opens Tokyo Subsidiary
Swiss-based computational biology firm Genedata has established a subsidiary in Japan.
The new offices of Genedata KK, located in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district, will offer professional services for the company’s Japanese customer base, Genedata said.
The company said that it is seeing a “demand for enterprise-level computational solutions for life sciences and drug discovery research” in Japan.

Gulf Scientific to Distribute Partek Software in Middle East
Partek this week said that Gulf Scientific Corp. will market, sell, and support its software products in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.
Partek’s products include Partek Genomics Suite, Partek Discovery Suite, Partek QSAR Solution, and Partek Screener’s Solution.
Each package integrates statistical analysis with interactive data visualization and is built to target specific life-science research areas.

Ocimum Biosolutions Joins BioIT Alliance
Ocimum Biosolutions said this week that it has joined the Microsoft BioIT Alliance.
The BioIT Alliance is a consortium of pharmaceutical, biotech, hardware, and software companies looking to identify new ways to share biomedical data and collaborate among multi-disciplinary teams.
Other BioIT Alliance participants include Accelrys, Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems, the BioTeam, Digipede Technologies, Discovery Biosciences, Geospiza, Hewlett- Packard, Illumina, InterKnowlogy, Sun Microsystems, the Scripps Research Institute, and VizX Labs.

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