A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Tethys Bioscience (Emeryville, California) reported that it has acquired Lipomics Technologies (West Sacramento, California). The acquisition was expected to be finalized yesterday upon completion of customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition brings together Lipomics' metabolite profiling technology with Tethys' skills in the use of protein biomarkers to create novel tests capable of accurately predicting a person's likelihood of developing chronic diseases. Tethys launched its first such test – the PreDx diabetes risk test – earlier this year, and is working to develop similar tests that will predict a person's likelihood of experiencing an osteoporotic bone fracture or a major cardiac event.

Integration of the Lipomics understanding of lipid biology with the Tethys protein biomarker analysis capability provides the company with state-of-the-art technology as it extends its focus beyond diabetes. With this combination, Tethys said it is now "uniquely positioned to develop unprecedented insights into the biological mechanisms of a host of diseases."

"We believe that the best solutions for predicting and thereby preventing a range of chronic conditions will come from the thoughtful integration of multiple types of biomarkers – including proteins and metabolites," said Mickey Urdea, Tethys' founder, chairman and CEO. "The addition of Lipomics furthers our goal of arming patients and physicians with insights that will help reduce the incidence of preventable chronic diseases," he added.

All 30 employees of Lipomics will become part of Tethys. Steven Watkins, PhD, co-founder, president and CSO of Lipomics, will assume the role of CTO at Tethys. The Lipomics facility will continue its comprehensive and quantitative profiling of lipid metabolites as Tethys West Sacramento.

Tethys is a predictive personalized medicine company developing novel tests which address the growing global healthcare challenge of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Lipomics provides metabolic assessments for drug research, clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine.

In other dealmaking activity:

• Invitrogen (Carlsbad, California) and Applied Biosystems (AB) formerly known as Appelera (Foster City, California) reported the divisional structure and the executive leadership team for the combination of the two companies. The new structure will become effective upon close of the proposed merger, which is conditional upon shareholder and European Commission approvals.

The new company's four business divisions, focused on core competencies, are:

• Molecular Biology Systems, which will combine AB's Molecular and Cell Biology Functional Analysis division and Invitrogen's Molecular Biology business.

• Genetic Systems, which will be composed of AB's capillary electrophoresis (CE) and SOLiD System sequencing platforms and its Applied Markets business, as well as Invitrogen's Clinical Applications business and its third generation sequencing development program.

• The third is Cell Systems, which will provide solutions across the cell biology workflow. followed by the fourth, Mass Spectrometry Systems, which will provide mass spectrometry-based solutions in research and applied markets.

Greg Lucier, currently chairman/CEO of Invitrogen, will become chairman/CEO of the combined company, and Mark Stevenson, currently AB's president/CEO will assume that same position with the new company.

Invitrogen provides products and services that support academic and government research institutions and pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide in their efforts to improve the human condition.

AB is a developer of instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services for academic research, the life science industry and commercial markets.

• Oxygen Biotherapeutics (Costa Mesa, California) reported that the company has reached an agreement to license its glucose biosensor technology to Glucometrics (Hilliard, Ohio) for applications involving the measurement and monitoring of glucose levels in diabetes patients.

Oxygen Biotherapeutics will receive stock in Glucometrics and running royalties on a sliding scale based on worldwide net revenues from products derived from the licensed technology. Under terms of the agreement, the companies are not disclosing the royalty formula.

"I am proud to announce this major milestone in our corporate history with our first-ever license agreement. Because of our focus and the priority we've placed on development of applications for Oxycyte, we were just not able to put the required amount of resources into the development of the biosensor," said company chairman/CEO Chris Stern "With this agreement, the biosensor intellectual property can be developed to its full potential with the possibility of generating a future royalty stream for our shareholders."

Oxycyte is the company's perfluorocarbon (PFC) therapeutic oxygen carrier.

"As the field of glucose sensing grows and matures, the need for more accurate, more continuous, and lower cost devices has become even more pressing," said Bill Timmons, president of Glucometrics. "The glucose biosensor technology that we're licensing offers numerous important features, including better accuracy than the current FDA-approved gold standard, self-calibration, and reusability. These features combine to create a system that permits highly accurate, real-time, continuous glucose sensing."

Oxygen Biotherapeutics is developing pharmaceuticals and devices in the field of oxygen therapeutics and continuous substrate monitoring. The company has under development a perfluorocarbon therapeutic oxygen carrier and liquid ventilation product and an implantable glucose sensor.

Glucometrics is a start-up firm co-founded by Alan Brunsman and EnteraTech (Hilliard, Ohio), which is developing a continuous glucose sensing system.

• Sequenom (San Diego) reported that it has secured exclusive rights to fundamental patent rights for digital PCR technologies and methods through a licensing agreement with Genomic Nanosystems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cytonix (both Beltsville, Maryland).

The exclusively licensed rights include U.S. Patent Nos. 6,143,496 and 6,391,559 and pending applications. The license provides Sequenom with the exclusive right to use digital PCR methods on any platform for noninvasive prenatal diagnostics and analysis for any sample (for example, fetal cells, amniocentesis fluids, plasma, urine, etc.). Sequenom also secured the exclusive right to use digital PCR methods in conjunction with mass spectrometry for any commercial, diagnostic or research purpose, excluding second generation sequencing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Sequenom's extensive intellectual property position in noninvasive prenatal diagnostic testing for the assessment of fetal Down syndrome and other fetal genetic conditions is enhanced by this partnership, enabling us to develop even more highly sensitive tests on our MassArray system, as well as other platforms of our choice in our fields of use," said Harry Stylli, PhD, president/CEO of Sequenom. "We are particularly pleased to be chosen as an exclusive partner by Genomic Nanosystems. These exclusive rights ... further strengthen the proprietary foundation upon which we will continue product development and commercialization in our SEQureDx diagnostics business. Furthermore, Sequenom intends to develop a MassArray platform-based digital PCR solution for our genomic analysis business and for cancer research and diagnostics."

Sequenom provides genetic analysis products that translate the results of genomic science into solutions for noninvasive prenatal diagnostics, biomedical research, translational research and molecular medicine applications.

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