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NCBI Delays Launch of Conversion Tool, Lion Bioscience, Gene Logic, Accelrys, SoftGenetics


NCBI Delays Launch of ASN.1-to-XML Conversion Tool

The National Center for Biotechnology Information last week said in an e-mail announcement that it is experiencing “unanticipated” delays in its development of a program to convert Entrez Gene’s ASN.1 format to XML.

The tool was expected to be ready in time for the March 1 deadline that NCBI has set for retiring LocusLink in favor of Entrez Gene.

As a result of the delay, NCBI said it will continue to update the LL_tmpl ftp file used for bulk downloads of functional annotation data. This file was supposed to be replaced with a new file in ASN.1 format after March 1 [BioInform 01-31-05].

NCBI did not provide a target date for the release of the ASN.1-to-XML converter, or a new date for when it plans to stop updating the LL_tmpl file.

The LocusLink interface will be removed on schedule, however, on March 1.

Questions or problems related to Entrez Gene can be sent to [email protected], or submitted online at

Lion Shareholders to Discuss Reorganization on March 24

Lion Bioscience has scheduled a shareholder meeting for March 24 to discuss resolutions related to the massive reorganization plans that it announced in November [BioInform 11-22-04].

Under the proposed plan, the company will reduce its headcount of 140 to between 50 and 70 over the next fiscal year. Lion said it will transform its Heidelberg headquarters into a “holding structure,” and will maintain operating facilities in Cambridge, UK, and Cambridge, Mass.

Shareholders will vote on several resolutions at the meeting, including the details of the strategic reorganization, changes and enlargements in the articles of the company such as the company’s objectives, and the authorization for the company to repurchase its own shares.

The company said in a statement that its proposed restructuring should push Lion into profitability for its 2005/2006 fiscal year, which begins on April 1.

Gene Logic’s Q4 DAta Revenues Flat

Gene Logic last week reported flat Q4 revenues year-over-year for its information business, with a total revenue increase of 2 percent, and narrowed losses.

The company reported total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 of $20.1 million, up from $19.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2003. Gene Logic posted a 9 percent increase in its contract study services revenue — to $6.3 million from $5.8 million — while its information service revenue remained unchanged at $13.8 million.

Total revenue for the company’s 2004 fiscal year increased 9 percent to $75.9 million, from $69.5 million in 2003. Information services revenue was flat year-over-year, at $52.0 million. Annual contract study services revenue, which the company began reporting after its April acquisition of TherImmune, increased to $23.8 million from $17.6 million.

Gene Logic nearly doubled its fourth-quarter R&D spending to $967,000, compared to $491,000 in 2003.

The company narrowed its quarterly net loss by 18 percent to $4.0 million, or $.13 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to $4.9 million, or $0.16 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2003.

Net loss for the full year of 2004 widened, however, to $28.5 million, or $0.91 per share, compared to $24.8 million, or $0.82 per share, for the prior year.

As of Dec. 31, 2004, Gene Logic had $53.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Accelrys to Host Spring Workshops

Accelrys said last week that it will host an online training workshop for its DS Gene package April 27-28, beginning at 7 a.m. PST and 1 p.m. PST, respectively.

The workshops are $600 per day for commercial users, $520 per day for government users, and $380 per day for academic users.

Course details and registration information are available at:

Accelrys will also host several modeling workshops in Cambridge, UK, in the spring: Intro to Life Science Modeling with Insight II (April 26-27); Homology-Based Protein Design (April 28-29); Structure Based Drug Design with Insight II (May 3-4); and CHARMm (May 5-6).

Information on these courses is available at

GATC to Distribute SoftGenetics’ GeneMarker

GATC Biotech, a bioinformatics distributor based in Constance, Germany, said last week that it has entered into an agreement to distribute SoftGenetics’ GeneMarker genotyping software in Europe.

GATC already markets SoftGenetics’ Mutation Surveyor and Mutation Explorer software packages. The company also distributes software from DNAStar and Integrated Genomics.


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