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Paradigm Genetics, Canadian Pork Traceability, BioWisdom, Hewlett-Packard, Celera Genomics, Ingenuity Systems

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Paradigm Acquires TissueInformatics

Paradigm Genetics last week said that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held TissueInformatics in an all-stock transaction.

TissueInformatics, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., develops automated pathology software for the quantitative analysis of tissue changes in drug discovery, disease assessment, toxicology, and tissue engineering.

Paradigm will offer approximately 3.4 million shares immediately, with around 2.7 million additional shares available for the transaction, subject to performance milestones. Based on Paradigm’s closing share price on Jan. 29, the deal could be worth as much as $7.8 million. Upon closing, Paradigm Genetics will receive approximately $2.7 million in cash and assume approximately $150,000 in long-term debt and capital lease obligations.

Paradigm said it plans to use TissueInformatics’ technology to obtain quantitative tissue feature information for use in its biomarker and target discovery efforts. The company also plans to continue selling TissueInformatics’ TissueAnalytics automated pathology software.

“We believe this acquisition provides Paradigm Genetics with a unique competitive advantage as the first company to combine gene expression profiling, biochemical profiling, and quantitative tissue analysis in a systems biology approach to life sciences discovery, “ said Heinrich Gugger, CEO of Paradigm Genetics.

If the deal closes, Paradigm will employ 225 people — Paradigm currently employs around 200 people, and TissueInformatics 24 people — and it will continue to be based in Research Triangle Park. TissueInformatics’ operations in Pittsburgh will remain in operation, and the existing TissueInformatics management team will join Paradigm Genetics. Peter Johnson will become executive vice president and chief medical officer, and Mark Braughler will become vice president of business development of healthcare.

The acquisition is expected to close in March.


IBM Joins Orchid and Partners for Canadian Pork Traceability Project

IBM will join Orchid BioSciences, Pyxis Genomics, and Toronto-based pork producer Maple Leaf Foods in a large-scale DNA-based pork traceability program in Canada, the companies said last week.

The program is designed to enable Canadian pork marketed anywhere in the world to be traced back to the maternal sow at the farm where the meat originated. Pyxis Genomics will provide marker identification for the program, and IBM will create and manage a database and search engine that will allow users to match DNA from a piece of meat to the maternal sow. Orchid will develop assays using a panel of SNPs identified by Pyxis, and will conduct high-throughput genotyping services for the program.


Pfizer to Pilot BioWisdom’s Ontology Technology

BioWisdom said last week that Pfizer has agreed to evaluate its ontology-based technology for use in studying toxicology issues associated with potential candidate drugs.

The agreement includes technology access and software licenses, consulting services, and access to relevant ontologies for the duration of the pilot, which will take place at several of Pfizer’s major R&D centers.

BioWisdom did not disclose the length of the pilot study or the financial terms of the agreement.


HP to Provide Storage for UB Bioinformatics Research

Hewlett-Packard is collaborating with the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, to build an open storage-area network with a capacity of 75 terabytes to support bioinformatics and life science research, the company said last week.

The SAN, which will house roughly four times the information found in the Library of Congress when completed, “will foster protein-structure determination research that UB scientists are conducting with colleagues at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute by supporting a large data warehouse that we generate and then mine in order to optimize our program in molecular structure determination,” said Russ Miller, senior scientist at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute and director of the UB Center for Computational Research.

HP Services will help design and deploy the system and will provide ongoing on-site support services for UB for a minimum of two years. The company is also providing funds for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship aimed at implementing a computational and data grid in western New York.

The open SAN is composed of HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Arrays, an HP StorageWorks ESL9595 tape backup solution, and Unix-based HP AlphaServer GS1280 systems.


Database Expirations Drag Celera’s Q2 Revenues Down

Celera Genomics last week reported decreased revenues and net losses for the second quarter of its 2004 fiscal year last week, accompanied by smaller R&D spending.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2003, Celera reported revenues of $19.2 million, compared to $22.9 million for the same period a year ago. The company attributed the drop in revenues to “the expiration of certain Online/Information Business customer agreements,” noting that agreements that were contributing approximately $5 million per quarter have recently expired.

Online/Information Business revenue decreased to $16.3 million for the quarter from $20.3 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income for the Online/Information Business decreased to $8.4 million, from $9.3 million in the prior-year quarter. The company said it anticipates fiscal 2004 revenues will be in the range of $55 million to $60 million, compared to $88.3 million in fiscal 2003. Additional Online/Information Business agreements are expected to expire through fiscal 2006.

The company’s net loss for the quarter totaled $13.6 million, or $0.19 per share, compared to $16.1 million, or $0.23 per share, in the prior-year quarter.

Celera spent $25.2 million for R&D during the quarter, compared to $32.9 million the year before.

As of Dec. 31, 2003, Celera had cash and short-term investments of about $770 million.


Wyeth Purchases Ingenuity Pathways Analysis Software

Ingenuity Systems said last week that Wyeth has purchased its Ingenuity Pathways Analysis software.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ingenuity, based in Mountain View, Calif., recently licensed the software to SurroMed, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, the Stanford Genome Technology Center, and GlaxoSmithKline.

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