A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Caliper Life Sciences (Hopkinton, Massachusetts) reported that it has issued to Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) a non-exclusive license to use a portion of its microfluidics patents with Affymetrix' GeneChip microarray technologies. The license extends to the manufacture and sale of GeneChip products in all areas of application, including research, diagnostics and applied genomics applications.

In exchange, Affymetrix will pay up-front licensing fees and royalties on future products but the deal value was not disclosed.

The deal includes nucleic acids processing and handling associated with GeneChip arrays, but excludes the right to use LabChip with products intended primarily to perform nucleic acid separations as a discrete, non-integrated quality control step.

Caliper said the agreement is the second since it began a program to out-license its intellectual property portfolio. The new "LabChip Driven" program was put in place, it said, to support microfluidics adoption and accelerate the availability of new technologies and products in life science and diagnostics.

Merging the technologies is "an important option for us," said Alan Sherr, director of licensing for Affymetrix. He noted that the two companies have partnered for the past year and can now "extend the scope of our relationship with Caliper to this new area of potential value and importance."

Kevin Hrusovsky, Caliper president and CEO, said, "Incorporating our technologies first laboratory automation and now the potential for Caliper's microfluidics technologies into these vital areas of human health is important to our corporate ideals and to our future as a key technology provider to the industry."

Caliper uses its liquid handling and LabChip systems for drug discovery, disease diagnosis and scientific research. Caliper has R&D, operations and manufacturing facilities in Mountain View, California, and sales, service and applications support throughout the world.

Affymetrix invented the first microarray in 1989 and began selling the first commercial microarray in 1994. It reports shipping more than 1,200 systems around the world. The company has manufacturing facilities in Sacramento, California, and Bedford, Massachusetts.

In other financing news:

Avitar (Canton, Massachusets) reported entering into a $750,000 private placement of convertible preferred stock and warrants with Cornell Capital Partners. Gross proceeds of $375,000 were raised at the first closing and the second tranche of $375,000 gross proceeds are expected at the second closing within 30 days.

The securities issued in the private placement are $750,000 of Series E convertible preferred stock and warrants to purchase 75,000 shares of common stock.

Avitar manufactures ORALscreen, the world's first non-invasive, rapid, on-site oral fluid test for drugs of abuse, and Hydrasorb, an absorbent topical dressing for moderate to heavy exudating wounds. It also is developing diagnostic strategies for disease and clinical testing in the in vitro diagnostics market, targeting conditions including influenza, diabetes and pregnancy.

National Detection Clinics (Rochester, New York) reported that its board has approved a forward split of the company's common stock. Shareholders of record as of May 13 will receive 99 shares for every common share held. The transaction is effective May 19. There will be no change in the par value of such shares.

The company said that its board determined to take this step as the company "embarks on aggressive efforts to continue its strategic growth initiatives."

CEO Peter Johanssen said, "We are excited about the forward stock split because the board felt this would greatly increase shareholder liquidity."

National Detection Clinics is a developer of cancer clinics using FDA-approved infrared thermal imaging technology to determine structure changes in tissues leading to possible early breast cancer. The method is offered as an alternative to mammography.