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Qiagen and Molecular Staging, Invitrogen, PhyNexus and Qiagen, and Sprout Group and Sopherion Therapeutics


Qiagen Acquires Molecular Staging Assets

Qiagen said this week that it has acquired technology assets from Molecular Staging, including the company’s whole-genome amplification and rolling-circle amplification technologies, for $28.5 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Qiagen purchased the technology assets of MSI, including more than 160 applied or issued patents, for $28.5 million in cash plus potential earn-outs of up to $6.75 million.

Qiagen said it expects to incur one-time charges relating to the acquisition of around $2 million in the third quarter of 2004, and that it expects the acquisition to add approximately $6 million in net sales and $1 million in net income in 2005.

The company said it plans to launch a series of kits integrating the WGA technology with its own nucleic acid products by early 2005.

Molecular Staging’s WGA activities will be integrated into Qiagen’s operations in Germantown, Md., and Hilden, Germany.

Invitrogen Launches Bioinformatics Website

Invitrogen said this week that it has launched Bioinformatics Central, an Internet portal that provides access to the company’s collection of bioinformatics tools.

Included in the new portal are Invitrogen’s Vector desktop software, as well as free online tools for cloning, RNAi and primer design, searching, online ordering, and project tracking, the company said. The website also provides links to service and support, bioinformatics updates, and information about Invitrogen’s software products.

Bioinformatics Central can be accessed at

PhyNexus Signs Deal for Qiagen Resin

PhyNexus said this week that it has signed a deal under which Qiagen has granted PhyNexus the right to incorporate Qiagen’s Ni-NTA resin for the purification of His-tagged protein.

According to PhyNexus, the Qiagen resin will be used in its PhyTip columns, which are specifically designed for micro volume protein purification and enrichment. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sprout Group Takes Stake in Sopherion

Venture capital firm Sprout Group, which is an investor in Sirna Therapeutics, said last week that it has invested $12 million in Sopherion Therapeutics as part of the company’s $47 million series B financing round.

With the investment, Sprout Group partner Andrew Firlik has joined Sopherion’s board of directors.


The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.