¿ Accelrys Inc., the software subsidiary of Pharmacopeia Inc., of Princeton, N.J., said it used GeneAtlas to extend the number of functional annotations of the human proteome by almost 20 percent over those publicly available. These new annotations effectively transform once-indecipherable sequence data into thousands of potential new drug targets awaiting further experimental validation, Accelrys said. GeneAtlas is Accelrys¿ automated high-throughput pipeline of analysis and annotation tools. The new annotations are part of the AtlasStore database for members of Accelrys¿ Functional Genomics Consortium. The company said it has functionally annotated 89 percent of the more than 29,000 predicted Open Reading Frames of the human genome deposited in the Ensembl database.
¿ Amersham plc, of London, agreed to sell the group¿s remaining stake in Nycomed Holding A/S to Nordic Capital for #123 million (US $177.5 million), which includes #50.1 million representing repayment of subordinated debt. Amersham will use the proceeds to reduce its net debt and invest in the growth of its core businesses, Nycomed Amersham Imaging and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. Completion of the sale is expected in a few weeks.
¿ BresaGen Inc., the U.S. division of BresaGen Ltd., of Adelaide, Australia, said it will collaborate in research aimed at developing a new stem cell research facility in Melbourne, Australia. BresaGen, which developed four unique embryonic stem cell lines that qualify for funding by the NIH, will team up with research groups from Monash University in Melbourne to exploit applications of human embryonic stem cell technology. The new facility, the National Center for Advanced Cell Engineering, is being funded by the Australian government.
¿ ConjuChem Inc., of Montreal, said the underwriters of its recent stock offering have exercised their overallotment option to purchase an additional 831,400 shares at C$6.25 a share. The option was granted in connection with ConjuChem¿s 6.1-million-share offering on June 22. Total proceeds are now C$23.95 million (US$15.6 million). Lead underwriter was Yorkton Securities. Other underwriters included BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and HSBC Securities. The company is developing long-acting therapeutics based on its in vivo bioconjugation technologies.
¿ CytoGenix Inc., of Houston, has been re-listed on the Over The Counter Bulletin Board, the company said. CytoGenix, which trades under the ticker CYGX, is a genomics research and development company whose technology provides intracellular expression of sequence-specific single strands of DNA critical to the effective use of oligonucleotide-mediated intervention therapies such as triplex, antisense, catalytic DNA and aptamers.
¿ DNAPrint Genomics Inc., of Sarasota, Fla., signed a contract with Pharsight Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., that will allow DNAPrint to accelerate its pharmacogenomics research and product development. Under the agreement, Pharsight will supply DNAPrint with clinically phenotyped specimens from patients taking a variety of variably efficacious medications. The relationship with Pharsight will increase DNAPrint¿s specimen databank by about 10 percent and lay the foundation for other, more extensive future collaborations between the companies, it said.
¿ Gemini Genomics PLC, of Cambridge, UK, said its shareholders voted to approve a merger with Sequenom Inc., of San Diego, in an all-stock deal announced in May and initially valued at $238 million. Under the terms of the merger, which is subject to regulatory approval, Gemini shareholders will receive 0.2 shares of newly issued Sequenom stock for each ordinary Gemini share. The combined company will retain the name Sequenom and trade under the existing Nasdaq ticker SQNM. Sequenom would issue about 12.9 million shares in the deal and assume all outstanding options and warrants. (See BioWorld Today, May 30, 2001.)
¿ Pharmasset Inc., of Atlanta, was awarded its second Phase I NIH Small Business Innovation Research grant for 2001. The $130,000 grant, which comes from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, funds research into the potential of a new class of nucleosides designed to improve delivery of antiviral agents into lipophilic compartments such as lymphatic tissues and the brain. Pharmasset is an antiviral and anticancer drug discovery and development company.
¿ The Genetic Company Inc., of Zurich, Switzerland, said it entered a collaboration with Discovery Technologies Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, to identify precursors for drug leads to treat colon cancer. The aim of the research agreement is to test thousands of chemical substances in a high-throughput screen for their ability to block the activity of cellular proteins that trigger cell division. The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.