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NIH, SEC, Invitrogen, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Qiagen

NIH Seeks Industry Partners for RNAi Research Initiative
The National Institutes of Health is looking for businesses with RNAi-related know-how and technology to help support a planned trans-NIH effort to spread the use of RNAi within its institutes.
NIH said in a notice last week that it intends to meet with industry representatives in December for their comments and for information, and plans to discuss entering pricing arrangements with prospective contracts to support these RNAi-centered efforts.
NIH said in a request for information that its RNAi initiative aims to facilitate moderate-throughput and high-throughput screens “that ultimately target entire genomes,” and will focus on human and mouse models.
NIH intends to develop a list of firms and suppliers that may provide reagents and high-throughput screens, negotiate pricing, develop ordering procedures, and provide technical support to the researchers.
The moderate-throughput projects will aim for “uniform pricing and a mechanism for technical support.”
“Purchase units for both transfection and stable integration of human and mouse cells should be sufficient for triplicate experiments for each target gene, siRNAs, shRNAs, and other potential novel reagents … of interest.” The agency added that pricing for individual target genes, plates, and transfection reagents is planned.
On the high-throughput end, NIH said it seeks reagent pricing information and that pilot projects may require “close contact” between NIH researchers and the businesses involved in the initiative.
More information about the meeting and the RFI can be found here.

SEC Sues Former Invitrogen Official for Insider Trading
The US Securities and Exchange Commission late last month sued a former Invitrogen official for allegedly trading stock on insider knowledge in 2004, GenomeWeb Daily News, RNAi News’ sister publication, reported this week.
In its complaint, the SEC accuses Harry Yim of sparing himself $80,000 in losses and profiting to the tune of $410,000 by selling shares in Invitrogen soon after the company was informed in a July 7, 2004, meeting that it is in a “crisis” and that “fully 60 percent of Invitrogen’s business is shrinking.”
The complaint states that after the 2004 meeting Yim sold 1,603 shares and exercised options to sell an additional 4,728 shares for proceeds of around $410,000. He made his trades two days before Invitrogen issued that year's second-quarter earnings report, which caused the stock to tumble 20 percent that day.
The SEC is suing Yim, who was a molecular geneticist and executive with Invitrogen until he was fired in 2006, in a US District Court for the Southern District of California for the amount of losses he avoided, plus interest, and for a civil penalty, the Commission said.
Invitrogen did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Bio-Rad’s Revenues Rise on Profit Increase
Bio-Rad Laboratories this week said third-quarter revenues increased 11 percent as R&D spending rose 7 percent and profit jumped around 20 percent.
Total revenues for the three months ended Sept. 30 increased to $339.7 million from $304.8 million year over year.
R&D spending rose to $33.1 million from $31 million year over year.
Bio-Rad's profit jumped to $28 million from $23.2 million in the year-ago period.
Bio-Rad said it had around $472.8 million in cash and cash equivalents and $70.6 million in short-term investments as of Sept. 30.

Qiagen's Q3 Revenues Rise 50 Percent, But Acquisition Costs Hit Bottom Line
Qiagen this week said that its third-quarter revenues rose 50 percent year over year, but acquisition-related charges and a 77 percent increase in R&D costs swung the company from a profit to a loss.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, Qiagen reported revenues of $176.6 million compared to $117.9 million in the comparable period a year ago. The most recent quarter’s results include the operations of Digene and eGene, both of which Qiagen acquired in July for $1.6 billion and $34 million, respectively.
Qiagen did not break out the portion of revenue it derived during the third quarter from these two acquisitions.
Charges related to these two acquisitions, however, resulted in a net loss of $7.3 million for the quarter compared to a profit of $19.4 million in the third quarter of last year. Qiagen took charges during the quarter of $25.9 million for purchased in-process research and development; $4.5 million for acquisition, integration, and related costs; and $3 million for acquisition-related intangible amortization.
The firm’s R&D expenses climbed 77 percent to $17.9 million from $10.1 million year over year.
Qiagen finished the quarter with $308.7 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The firm reiterated its previous revenue guidance of $614 million to $635 million for full-year 2007.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.