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Health Discovery, BiTmaP, Insightful, GenoLogics, Indigo BioSystems, BlueArc


Health Discovery Acquires SVM Patent Portfolio

Biomarker-discovery firm Health Discovery said last week that it has acquired a portfolio of issued and pending patents covering support vector machine technology from the inventors of the methods, Vladimir Vapnik and Isabelle Guyon.

The company also announced that it had launched "a new licensing and product development program" that will offer rights to use the patented technology in the fields of "learning machines and knowledge discovery."

Health Discovery originally acquired rights to use these patents for its use in biomarker discovery, and said that it has now acquired full ownership of the entire patent portfolio, which allows it to offer exclusive licenses of these patents in fields outside of biomarker discovery.

It also allows Health Discovery to maintain exclusive rights to the technology in "proprietary products" that it is producing with the intent to sell in the near future, although the company did not provide details on what those products will be.

The new program "will include an aggressive campaign to pursue licensing arrangements with corporations and institutions that are already using [Health Discovery's] patented technology," the company said in a statement, adding that it "intends to aggressively protect the rights granted by this significant and mature patent portfolio."

BiTmaP Partners with University of Illinois for Bioinformatics Training

BiTmaP, a new Chicago-based initiative that plans to offer tuition-free bioinformatics training, said last week that the University of Illinois at Chicago will serve as its academic training partner.

UIC will develop and administer the curriculum for BiTmaP's certificate program, which is designed to "retrain unemployed and underemployed information technology workers in the fast-growing field of bioinformatics."

Hui Lu, professor of bioinformatics at UIC, will serve as academic director for BiTmaP.

The program will consist of three courses and an industry internship. The total certification process is projected to take students up to a year to complete. Classes are scheduled to begin in August 2005.

The program is sponsored by a $3 million grant awarded to the Chicago Technology Park by the US Department of Labor.

Insightful Wins $850K in Contracts to Improve Text Analysis Software for Bioinformatics

Insightful has won two contracts worth $850,000 in total from the National Institutes of Health and from the US Air Force to develop text analysis tools for bioinformatics, the Seattle-based company said last week.

The two contracts will help Insightful improve its InFact natural language-based text search and analysis technology for the life sciences.

The US Air Force contract will be administered by the Air Force Research Laboratories, which are developing a system for the rapid diagnosis and screening of people exposed to toxic agents in the field.

The NIH contract was awarded as part of a project to develop technologies that help users access biological information stored in heterogeneous data resources by entering requests in explicit sentences or questions. The project will focus on developing algorithms for extracting higher level semantic structures. The approach will be tested on question interpretation and answer retrieval from Medline.

GenoLogics to Distribute ISB Software with ProteoLIMS

GenoLogics said last week that it will provide open source software from the Institute of Systems Biology as part of its ProteusLIMS lab information management system for proteomics.

Under the agreement, GenoLogics will try to enhance the functionality and usability of ISB's open source tools for genomics, proteomics, and high-speed cell sorting. The company will also integrate these tools with ProteusLIMS, and provide support for them.

ISB plans to extend the relationship as it develops new bioinformatics tools and GenoLogics extends its LIMS platform into systems biology.

IBM to Co-Develop Proteomics Repository with Indigo BioSystems

IBM and Indigo BioSystems are co-developing a public proteomics using IBM's hardware and Indigo's archiving technology, the companies said last week.

The database will store raw human proteomics data from a variety of instruments using open standards developed by the Proteomics Standards Initiative. The information will be available to researchers worldwide for data mining.

The archive will use IBM's Linux on Power hardware, DB2 database, and WebSphere application server, as well as Indigo's True Blue archive technology. Indigo, based in Indianapolis, first developed the technology to manage the data for a large pharmaceutical drug disposition group, and later applied it to proteomics.

Wash U Sequencing Center Buys a BlueArc Titan System

The Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University in St. Louis has bought a BlueArc multi-tiered Titan storage system with more than 60 terabytes of capacity, the company said last week.

According to BlueArc, the Titan system will "double" the center's available storage capacity, "bringing the group's installed data to more than 120 terabytes." The multi-tiered storage configuration features more than 60 terabytes in a mixed offering of high-performance fibre channel and high-density Serial ATA drives.

Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Filed under

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.