Industry news in brief
news with developments at Affymetrix, Agilent, Ciphergen, Eksigent,
GE Healthcare, Horiba, Qiagen and Tepnel.
Affymetrix' Clinical Services Laboratory (ASCL) and DOCRO have signed a co-marketing agreement to help customers gain clearance or approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for in vitro diagnostic (IVD) biomarker technologies. There have been hundreds of expression and genotyping discoveries made with microarrays over the past decade that have had potential diagnostic applications, but many researchers have not had effective means to translate these discoveries into validated clinical diagnostic tests. "We are very excited to work with the highly experienced and enthusiastic team at DOCRO," said Dr Cynthia French, vice president of ACSL. "Together, we will enable our customers to bring more effective molecular diagnostic tests to patients faster than ever before." Agilent's range of analytical instruments will be used at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro for around 60 per cent of all the anti-doping tests that will be conducted by the LAB DOP (doping control laboratory), linked to the University of Rio de Janeiro's LADETEC (Technical Development Support Laboratory). Brazil's only WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) laboratory will test approximately 1,200 samples from around 5,500 athletes and will use multiple techniques such as: GC/HRMS (gas chromatography / high resolution mass spectrometry), IRMS (isotope ratio mass spectrometry), LC/MS/MS (liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry) and GCxGC/TOF (2D gas chromatography time-of-flight MS). "Doping tests must be precise and accurate, since results can have serious repercussions on athletes' careers," says Dr Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto, coordinator at both laboratories. Ciphergen has settled a patent dispute with Health Discovery Corporation (HDC) by licensing more than 25 patents that cover HDC's support vector machine technology for use with SELDI (surface enhanced laser desorption/ionisation) MS (mass spectrometry) technology in biomarker discovery. The license will cost Ciphergen $600,000 over a two year period and grant them access to a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license for life science and diagnostic applications of the technology and settles all disputes between the two companies. The company has also announced that the US patent office will re-issue its SELDI MS patent. Ciphergen sold its instrument business to Bio-Rad last November for $20m along with the rights to manufacture, sell and market the SELDI technology. The agreement also included a $3m equity investment in Ciphergen and a requirement for Bio-Rad to pay $2m upon re-issuance of the patent. Eksigent has announced a distribution agreement with Brazil's Nova Analitica that covers the sales and service of Eksigent's NanoLC HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) product line in Brazil. "The Eksigent NanoLC line has established a leading position for front-end sample handling in LC-MS proteomics applications," said Luiz Bravo, owner of Nova Analitica. "We are pleased to bring this exciting technology to Brazilian researchers." GE Healthcare and Abbott have agreed to terminate their agreement for the acquisition of Abbott's primary in-vitro and point-of-care diagnostics businesses because of a failure "to agree on final terms and conditions of the proposed sale". The deal was purported to be with over $8bn and both company's have agreed "it was in the best interests of both companies to mutually terminate the agreement and discussions". Horiba has opened a new technology centre, the HORIBA Technology Center, in Silicon Valley (Santa Clara, California) to help meet the needs of the US market for semiconductor and biotechnology products. The facility will be staffed with a new R&D team and will provide a venue and opportunity for collaborations between vendors, distributors and customers to aid them meet the "challenges of next generation processes". Qiagen has completed its acquisition of high-performance DNA genetic analysis company eGene that was announced in April earlier this year. The company's DNA analysis tools will sit nicely alongside Qiagen's sample and assay technologies for life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics research. Tepnel Life Sciences has agreed an extension of its license with Luminex Corporation for access to the Luminex xMAP platform which is incorporated into Tepnel's molecular diagnostics products. "The xMAP technology provides a powerful platform when combined with our state-of-the-art LifeMatch family of Lifecodes assays and software. We continue to extend our leadership position in the field of organ transplantation and anticipate strong continued growth for the LifeMatch product lines," said Ben Matzilevich, Tepnel's CEO.