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Pacific Biosciences, Geospiza, PSC, Migenix, GenomeQuest, SmartGene, Thomas Jefferson Hospital

Pacific Biosciences Discloses Some VC Backers
Pacific Biosciences said in a recruitment ad this month that it is “now venture funded” by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Alloy Ventures.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company, which changed its name from Nanofluidics in 2005, is commercializing a new DNA sequencing platform that is based on zero-mode waveguide technology developed by Watt Webb and Harold Craighead at Cornell University.
The company uses small optical confinement volumes, as well as proprietary reagents, to sequence single molecules of DNA, according to the posting. Earlier this year, a company spokeswoman told In Sequence that the company is in “stealth mode” and is not commenting on details of its technical or company status.
This week, the spokeswoman said that the job posting was an “inadvertent disclosure” of some of the company’s backers, “and is not a complete list of investors.” 

Geospiza, PSC Partner on Software Services for Genetic Testing
Bioinformatics firm Geospiza said this week that it is partnering with Pharmaceutical Services Corporation to deliver software and services to the genetic testing market.
Under the terms of the agreement, PSC will offer services based on Geospiza’s sequence data-management software “to reduce operational costs and regulatory risks for organizations that need to integrate genetic analyses into their manufacturing process,” according to a statement.
PSC will target the services offering to manufacturers of vaccines, biotherapeutics, and gene therapies that are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. The companies said they also plan to target organizations involved in environmental monitoring, food safety testing, molecular diagnostic testing, and clinical trials.

Migenix Licenses GenomeQuest's Sequence Search Software
GenomeQuest said this week that it is has licensed its sequence search software to Migenix, a Vancouver, BC-based drug developer.
The company, formerly known as Gene-IT, said Migenix will use its GenomeQuest product in its clinical programs, which include drug candidates for hepatitis C, catheter-related infections, and dermatological diseases.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
Gene-IT changed its name to GenomeQuest earlier this month [In Sequence 04-10-07].

Thomas Jefferson Hospital to Use SmartGene’s Sequence Analysis Software
Bioinformatics firm SmartGene said this week that Thomas Jefferson University Hospital will use its web-based sequence analysis software and databases to support the identification of bacterial and fungal pathogens.
SmartGene said that its technology is designed to help researchers rapidly identify pathogens via DNA sequence data. Its software enables sequence proofreading, alignment, and interpretation, and creates dendrograms and reports online.
The company also provides reference databases built with proprietary algorithms that extract and filter useful sequences from public repositories and curated reference databases.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.