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NHLBI and Agilent, Schering, Bayer, and Jubilant, Vanderbilt and First Genetic Trust, Health Discovery and USPTO, OmniViz and Infocom, ADCRC and 5AM Solutions, GATC Biotech, Partek and Renovo, and Altana and GeneGo


NHLBI to Take SpringCore License from Agilent

The National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has issued a presolicitation notice stating that it “intends to issue a purchase order on a noncompetitive basis” to Agilent Technologies for an annual SpringCore license.

The software will be installed at the NHLBI Bioinformatics Core Laboratory, according to the notice.

The SpringCore program, which Agilent subsidiary Silicon Genetics developed for core microarray labs, includes 100 seats for company’s SigNet knowledge management software, a three-year license to the GeneSpring software, a license for a GeneSpring workstation, and training.

The NHLBI presolicitation notice did not include financial details for the licensing agreement.

Schering, Bayer, Japanese Research Center License Jubilant Databases

Jubilant Biosys said last week that Schering has taken a global license to its Kinase ChemBiobase. Separately, Jubilant announced that it had licensed its PathArt pathway database to Bayer Healthcare and to Yasushi Okazaki, a professor at the Research Center for Genomic Medicine, Saitama Medical School, in Japan.

The Kinase ChemBiobase is a curated database of more than 250,000 known inhibitors to the kinase class of targets, and includes structural and functional, disease, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information and other family specific information.

PathArt includes more than 1,200 signaling, metabolic, and disease-specific pathways.

Vanderbilt to Use FGT’s EnTrust to Study Genetics of Drug Side Effects

First Genetic Trust said last week that the Vanderbilt University Medical Center will use its EnTrust data management system to support a study on the genetics of drug-induced prolonged QT, a side effect for many different classes of drugs.

VUMC researchers will EnTrust’s “distance enrollment” capabilities to recruit and enroll consenting participants who are referred through VUMC by other clinicians and clinical sites globally. The system will be used to collect and manage online informed consent, samples, and clinical and genetic data from study participants.

The system will also allow patients who sign a specific consent to be recontacted online by investigators for additional longitudinal data collection or to be reconsented for additional studies.

USPTO OKs Health Discovery’s SVM Patent

Health Discovery said last week that it has received a notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a patent application covering the use of recursive feature elimination in support vector machines.

RFE is a process by which key features of input data can be identified as being more significant for use in classifying the data using a support vector machine, according to the company. The method is useful for reducing processor run time when analyzing the high volumes of data encountered with gene expression data and related information for discovery of biomarkers, Health Discovery said.

In addition to the allowed patent application, Health Discovery’s SVM patent portfolio includes nine issued US and foreign patents covering applications of support vector machines for discovery of knowledge from large data sets.

Stephen Barnhill, chairman and CEO of Health Discovery, said, “We expect to generate significant near-term revenue from licensing and royalty fees received from our increasingly valuable patent portfolio, which contains state-of-the-art technology currently used by diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies worldwide for identifying novel diagnostic tests and new drug targets.”

OmniViz Signs Development Pact with Infocom

Data-mining and visualization software firm OmniViz said last week that it has partnered with Tokyo-based Infocom to co-develop software for genetic network analysis.

OmniViz will integrate Infocom’s Auto Net Finder software with its own OmniViz visualization software. Auto Net Finder extracts genetic networks directly from gene expression data.

According to OmniViz, Auto Net Finder will allow researchers to validate the relevance of pathways being studied. The software uses graphical Gaussian modeling to derive genetic networks from expression data, and the resulting network can then be compared to pathways of interest to ensure consistency with the experimental system.

As part of the arrangement, OmniViz will become a distributor of the integrated version of Auto Net Finder.

ADCRC Awards Three-Year Contract to 5AM Solutions

5AM Solutions, a web solutions developer for life science research based in Phoenix, Az., said last week that it has been awarded a three-year contract totaling $300,000 from the Arizona Disease Control Research Commission to develop two life science informatics systems.

5AM will help develop the System for Collaborative Translational Research (SCTR) — a web-based application to support clinical research — and the Microarray Enterprise Manager (MEM) — a web-based information-management system for microarray core labs.

As part of the contract, 5AM will port the SCTR application to an IBM environment, enhance the software to meet the needs of researchers in Arizona, and provide access as an on-demand service available through

SCTR will initially support two simultaneous studies: an Alzheimer’s disease study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and an Autism study led by the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.

5AM said it is “seeking other early adopters within Arizona who might benefit from the use of SCTR.”

GATC Biotech to Develop Bioinformatics Tools for EU Study

GATC Biotech, a provider of molecular biology services based in Constance, Germany, said last week that it will participate in an EU-funded research project to evaluate the safety of gene therapy in the treatment of monogenic inherited diseases.

The €13 million project will run through 2008, and includes 18 academic groups and three companies from nine countries.

GATC said that it will develop a bioinformatics platform “for comprehensive data storage and analysis of vector insertion sites in the genome, allowing for mechanistic studies of transgene/host interactions.”

Renovo Licenses Partek Software

Partek said last week that it has licensed its Partek software to Renovo, a biopharmaceutical company based in Manchester, UK.

The company purchased a site license for the software.

Altana Licenses GeneGo’s MetaCore

Altana Pharma has licensed GeneGo’s MetaCore data analysis suite, GeneGo said last week.

Altana plans to use MetaCore to interpret genomics data and create new hypotheses for drug development.

MetaCore includes a database of human metabolism and signaling, network analysis software, and a toolkit for visualizing and managing high-throughput data.

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