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Senator Barack Obama, Agilent, Proteome Systems, BioMachines, Digilab BioVisioN, Novartis, DoD, GeneGo, ABI, Sigma-Aldrich,

US Senator Proposes to Build New PGx Agency as Part of New Legislation
A US Senator last week introduced the first significant piece of legislation addressing pharmacogenomics that if approved into law could have broad implications for the development of molecular diagnostics and targeted therapeutics.
Introduced by Illinois Senator Barack Obama last Thursday, the bill, entitled the “Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act of 2006,” would create a new federal agency to oversee personalized medicine.
The agency would regulate the rate and scale of genomics research and physician education. It would also regulate incentives for developing genomic diagnostics and drugs, regulating genetic tests under the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act, and overseeing genomic privacy and direct-to-consumer advertising.
It would also create a tax credit for developers of certain companion diagnostic tests.
The bill contains provisions for $10 million to regulate the quality of genetic tests, including creating a genetic testing specialty under CLIA; and $30 million to regulate advertising for DTC genetic tests. The bill also encourages legislation of genetic privacy and non-discrimination.
“The entire bill itself will help expand pharmacogenomics,” Jennifer Leib, Affymetrix’ associate director for government relations and public policy, told GenomeWeb News sister publication Pharmacogenomics Reporter this week. sister publication  this week.
Ed Abrahams, executive director of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, said the bill “raises the profile of personalized medicine, underlining the fact that this paradigm requires new guidelines for regulation, reimbursement, privacy, and other concerns.”  
The original, complete version of this article appeared in the Aug. 9 issue of Pharmacogenomics Reporter, a ProteoMonitor a sister publication.

Agilent, Proteome Systems Expand Glycomic Analysis Alliance
Agilent Technologies and Proteome Systems expanded their alliance to use glycomic analysis to discover drug and diagnostic biomarkers, Agilent announced last week.
Under the deal, which expands a marketing agreement announced in April 2005, Proteome Systems will provide glycomics applications and software development for use with Agilent’s mass spectrometers.
Agilent will use an HPLC/chip-based 6240 ion trap LC mass spec to analyze protein-associated glycans.
Financial details were not disclosed.

BioMachines Chooses SameSpots for New Proteomics Services Division
BioMachines has selected its Nonlinear Dynamics SameSpots as the 2D analysis system for its new protein analysis division.
The SameSpots system eliminates the need for post-analysis editing, speeding up the analysis process and reducing editing subjectivity, Nonlinear said this week in a press release. 

Digilab BioVisioN and Novartis Continue Peptidomics Agreement
Digilab BioVisioN and Novartis have renewed their agreement reached originally in 2004 allowing Novartis to use Digilab’s Peptidomics technology to quantitatively characterize peptides in biological samples. The technology will be used to identify potential biomarkers.
Digilab will receive a research payment, milestone payments and royalties under the agreement. Further financial details were not disclosed. 

DoD Awares GeneGo $750,000 to Develop Proteomics Data Platform…
GeneGo was awarded a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the US Department of Defense to develop a systems biology suite for functional analysis of proteomics data, the company said.
In Phase II, GeneGo will adapt its MetaCore data-mining platform for proteomics data and implement “new algorithms for reconstruction of protein-state specific biological networks and pathways,” the company said in a press release.

… and Pays ABI Wins $24.5 Million to Develop Infectious Disease Detection Instrument
Applied Biosystems has been awarded a $24.5 million contract by the US Department of Defense to accelerate the development of a “prototype instrument system” to be used in the detection of infectious diseases for epidemiological and biosecurity purposes.
When completed, the system will be able to produce precise, reproducible results in less than one hour following sample processing and simultaneously analyze multiple pathogen targets in a single test, the company said in a press release.

Sigma-Aldrich declares $.21 per share dividend
Sigma-Aldrich’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend payout of $.21 per share, the company said.
The dividend will be payable on Sept. 15 to all stockholders of record as of Sept. 1.
Sigma-Aldrich also said that the company has added 5million shares to its repurchase authorization. The company is now authorized to buy back 45 million shares of its common stock.
The company has purchased 39.3 million shares of its stock since beginning the program in 1999.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

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.