November 2010: Volume 36, Number 11
OCD and Avioq to Collaborate on HTLV-I/II Assay
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics has inked an agreement with Avioq, Inc. to develop and commercialize a test in the U.S. that will screen for antibodies to human T-lymphotrophic virus (HTLV) type I and II. HTLV, if left undiagnosed, can cause a rare form of leukemia and neurological diseases. Avioq is expected to submit the HTLV-I/II assay to the FDA by the end of 2010.
Biosearch Receives DoD SBIR Award
Biosearch Technologies received an $800,000 grant from the Department of Defense to develop rapid and accurate assays for identifying hazardous pathogens. The company plans to create reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR assays for field deployment in overseas military operations, as well as develop analyte-specific reagents for use in the tests.
3M, Northrop Grumman Win Grants to Develop MDx Against Biological Weapons
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has given 3M and Northrop Grumman $15.8 million to fund development of molecular-based tools as countermeasures against biological weapons. The companies won two of eight contracts awarded by the HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority that they will use to develop integrated diagnostic capabilities for rapid, high-throughput surveillance of natural or man-made biological threats.
Akonni Biosystems to Develop Drug-Resistant Genotyping Test with Grant
Akonni Biosystems, a molecular diagnostic firm, will use a nearly $3 million challenge grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund development of its multi-drug resistant/extensively drug-resistant (MDR/XDR) genotyping technology. The firm plans to develop a point-of-care testing technology for infectious diseases, such as MDR/XDR-tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Helicos Sues Pacific Biosciences over Patient Infringement
Helicos Biosciences has filed a lawsuit against Pacific Biosciences charging the company with infringing four patents underlying its single-molecule sequencing technology. The patents cover Helicos’s methods for sequencing a single strand of DNA by synthesizing a complementary DNA strand using labeled nucleotide bases. This sequencing-by-synthesis method underlies Helicos’s single-molecule sequencing platform. In the lawsuit, Helicos claims that Pacific Biosciences is infringing the patents through the manufacture and sale of instruments incorporating its Single Molecule Real Time DNA sequencing technology. Pacific Biosciences asserts that the patent infringement claims brought against the company are false, and that it plans to defend against the claims.
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