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Invitrogen, Genisphere, Arrowhead Research, Insert Therapeutics, Calando Pharmaceuticals

Invitrogen to Use Genisphere's Signal-Amplification Technology in miRNA Kits
Invitrogen said this week that it has licensed exclusive rights to use Genisphere’s 3DNA dendrimer signal-amplification technology in fluorescent microRNA microarray-labeling kits.
According to the companies, the kits, which will also incorporate Invitrogen’s Alexa Fluor fluorescent dyes, will be marketed under the NCode Rapid miRNA labeling system name.
Genisphere’s technology is based on highly branched DNA structures that serve as scaffolds for multitudes of fluorescent dyes. According to the companies, researchers using the technology can start with a total RNA sample as little as 250 nanograms, which eliminates the need to purify the microRNA sample before labeling. The NCode Rapid miRNA Labeling System can reliably detect two to 10 copies of microRNA per cell, they added.
“Because microRNAs play a significant role in cancer and in the differentiation of stem cells, discoveries resulting from experiments in those areas could potentially expedite the diagnostics applications of microRNA biomarkers in disease,” Peter Welch, director of research and development of gene expression profiling at Invitrogen, said in a statement.
Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Arrowhead Takes Control of Insert, Calando Subsidiaries
Arrowhead Research said this week that it has taken active control over its subsidiaries Insert Therapeutics and RNAi drug-developer Calando Pharmaceuticals (see related story, this issue).
The change comes about one month after Insert and Calando agreed to merge (see RNAi News, 1/24/2008). The move, which was first announced last October, remains subject to Arrowhead shareholder approval.
According to Arrowhead, the combination of the companies and the shift in control “is a response to current consolidation within the pharmaceutical industry.
“It is more capital efficient to leverage existing sales, marketing, and distribution infrastructure of established pharmaceutical companies than for Calando and Insert to invest in building their own,” the company added. “This model will enable Arrowhead shareholders to capture more value while decreasing their risk profile.
"We believe the best way to build shareholder value is not to build a large pharmaceutical company at this time, but rather a small, fast, and focused company," Arrowhead CEO Chris Anzalone said in a statement.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.