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Roche and Cellomics, NIAID and LIAI, Pharmacopeia, NCI and Incogen, NCBI, and OpenHelix

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Roche to Use Cellomics/EMC Data Storage System

Cellomics said last week that Roche has deployed a storage solution for its high-content cellular screening data based on the company’s Cellomics Store database and EMC’s Centera content-addressed storage system.

The Roche deal marks the first installation for the joint storage solution that Cellomics and EMC began developing in December [BioInform 12-15-03].

Roche will use the storage system to manage, store, analyze, and archive cellular image data.

Leon Garfinkel, director of research IT at Roche, said that his team “worked closely” with Cellomics on the development and testing of their integration module for EMC’s Centera system.


NIAID Awards LIAI $25M to Develop Immune Epitope Database

The La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology said last week that it has received a seven-year, $25 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop an Immune Epitope Database.

A prototype of the database will be available within a year, LIAI said.

The contract is expected to create at least 10 positions at LIAI, and additional positions at its three local subcontractors: the University of California, San Diego Supercomputer Center; Science Applications International Corp.; and the Scripps Research Institute. Scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark will also participate.

The subcontractors will concentrate on the bioinformatics infrastructure to support the database.


Pharmacopeia Moves Ahead with Spin-off Plans

Pharmacopeia took another step closer to the spin-off of its PDD drug discovery group last week when the SEC declared PDD’s registration statement on Form 10 effective.

PDD common stock began trading on a “when-issued” basis on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol “PCOPV.”

During the “when-issued” trading period, through the expected dividend distribution date of April 30, 2004, Pharmacopeia common stock will continue to include the right to receive PDD common stock and will trade on Nasdaq under the current ticker “ACCL.”


NCI Awards Incogen $2M for SELDI Data Analysis System

Incogen has received a two-year $2 million award from the National Cancer Institute to continue its development of cancer diagnostics based on the analysis of mass spectrometry data.

The Phase II SBIR project is a collaboration between Incogen and scientists from the College of William and Mary and clinical researchers from the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS).

The award follows on a grant that the company received last year to develop a pilot project to analyze data from surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. The goal of the Phase II research is to develop a clinical diagnostic software package based on Incogen’s VIBE (Visual Integrated Bioinformatics Environment) software.

Under the award, the two academic institutions will act as subcontractors to Incogen. The data will be produced at EVMS and analyzed at both Incogen and William and Mary.


NCBI Offers Enhanced ‘Field Guide’ Course

The National Center for Biotechnology Information has scheduled an “enhanced” course based on its popular resource training program, “A Field Guide to GenBank and NCBI Molecular Biology Resources,” that “provides more detailed coverage of NCBI molecular databases and tools,” NCBI said.

The two-day course focuses on the Entrez system and NCBI Blast (Web, standalone and client versions), with a special emphasis on genomic information and molecular structures. The course also includes “Exploring 3D Molecular Structures” and “Identification of Disease Genes” NCBI course materials.

The course is free, but registration is required and attendance is limited to 40 people. It will be held May 26-27 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md.

Further information is available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Class/FieldGuide/FGPlus/.


OpenHelix to Hold UCSC Browser Workshop

The University of California, Santa Cruz, Bioinformatics Group said last week that bioinformatics training firm OpenHelix will be offering a seminar and hands-on workshop on the UCSC Genome Browser.

The three-hour course will be held at the UCSC Extension Campus on May 6.

Details are available at http://www.openhelix.com.

Filed under

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.