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Asuragen, Millennium, BioSurfaces, Qiagen, Epigenomics

Asuragen to Provide Lab Testing Services to Millennium
Asuragen said this week that it was selected to provide Millennium Pharmaceuticals with good laboratory practice-compliant lab testing services for gene expression studies.
Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.
“We are committed to applying our RNA expertise to produce the data quality required in clinical studies with organizations such as Millennium and believe that research like this may enable companion diagnostics and support the value of personalized medicine," Scott Hunicke-Smith, vice president and general manager of Asuragen Services, said in a statement.

BioSurfaces Wins NSF Grant to Develop siRNA-Releasing Biomaterial
BioSurfaces, a developer of novel materials for life science applications, this month received a one-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a material capable of releasing genetic material for stents and grafts.
According to the grant abstract, the company aims to develop a “fibrous material for the embedment and gradual release of appropriate genetic material, including small interfering RNAs and viral vectors carrying genes for anti-inflammatory molecules, from coronary stents and prosthetic grafts.”
The grant is worth about $150,000. The project is set to begin July 1 and run until the end of June 2008.

Qiagen, Epigenomics Expand Alliance to Include Molecular Dx
Qiagen this week said it has licensed exclusive worldwide rights to Epigenomics' sample-handling technologies for applied testing and in vitro diagnostics as part of an expansion of an earlier alliance.
The companies inked an OEM agreement two years ago that gave Qiagen exclusive rights to Epigenomics' bisulfite DNA treatment technology and Methylight assay technology for research uses.
Under the new agreement, Qiagen will pay Epigenomics an up-front fee, milestone payments, and royalties, Qiagen said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Epigenomics will retain the rights to its sample technologies in its own or partnered development projects and for commercializing diagnostics through a non-exclusive back-license from Qiagen.

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.