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Bruker AXS, Quantron, Bio-Rad, Provalis, Invitrogen, Affymetrix, Partners HealthCare, BD, TriPath Imaging

Bruker AXS Acquires Metals Analysis Firm
Bruker AXS acquired metals analysis company Quantron in an all-stock deal on Sept. 6, Bruker said last week.
Founded in 2002, privately held Quantron develops, manufactures, and distributes advanced arc/spark optical emission spectroscopy systems for numerous metals analysis applications. Quantron has annual revenues of more than $6 million, Bruker said.
Bruker-Quantron will be based at Quantron’s current facility in Kleve, Germany, which will be expanded. The majority of Quantron’s distributors will be retained, Bruker said.
Paul Friedhoff, Quantron’s main shareholder, will remain with the combined company as managing director and executive chairman.
Financial details were not disclosed.

Bio-Rad Acquires Dx Firm Provalis for $3M
Bio-Rad last week announced that it has purchased the medical diagnostics business of Provalis for around $3 million in cash.
Provalis’ diagnostics business, based in the UK, sells point-of-care diagnostic products for chronic disease management of diabetes and osteoporosis. The unit’s principal products are the in2it A1c and Glycosal diagnostic tests for diabetes.
“While this is a relatively small acquisition, it expands our market breadth in the very critical area of diabetes monitoring,” Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad president and CEO, said in a statement.

Invitrogen Gets Biothreat Contract Extension from Defense Department
Invitrogen said this week that the US Department of Defense has awarded its Invitrogen Federal Systems subsidiary with a contract extension worth $1,243,000.
Under the contract, Invitrogen’s ProtoArray protein microarray technology will be used to detect and analyze biothreat agents such as hemorrhagic fever viruses, poxviruses, and anthrax. The research will build on work conducted under a previous contract of $970,000 awarded in January to detect and analyze smallpox and plague.
"In the near term, the type of research that Invitrogen is conducting will support the identification of protein biomarkers associated with biothreat agents, leading to the development of better, faster detection tools, diagnostics and vaccines," said Paul Kinnon, general manager for environmental diagnostics at Invitrogen, in a statement. “In the longer term, these findings will be the first step in developing personalized medicine applications for military use, such as blood tests to check an individual's immunization status or determine their susceptibility to certain diseases.”

Affymetrix, Partners HealthCare to Develop Microarray-Based Dx Tests
Partners HealthCare and Affymetrix have signed a three-year translational research collaboration to develop microarray-based diagnostics tests, the two organizations said last week.
Under the collaboration, Partners HealthCare’s researchers at Harvard Medical School, Partners HealthCare, and Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics will create and validate microarray tests using Affymetrix GeneChip genotyping, resequencing and expression technologies in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments laboratories.
Affymetrix and HPCGG estimate that it may take a year to develop the first chip-based diagnostic test for use in the CLIA-approved lab. The CLIA-validated tests will first be offered to patients in the Partners HealthCare system.
Financial details were not disclosed.

BD to Acquire TriPath Imaging
TriPath Imaging said last week that it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Becton, Dickinson, under which BD will acquire the 93.5 percent of outstanding TriPath shares that it does not currently own in a deal worth approximately $350 million.
BD announced its intent to acquire TriPath last month. The companies have been collaborating to identify cancer biomarkers since 2001, when BD acquired an approximately 6.5-percent equity stake in TriPath.
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, BD will pay $9.25 for each share of TriPath Imaging common stock, an 81 percent premium to $5.12, TriPath’s closing share price on Aug. 14, when BD announced its proposal to acquire the firm.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.
TriPath, based in Burlington, NC, develops and sells products for cancer diagnostics and treatment. The company’s TriPath Oncology subsidiary develops molecular diagnostic products for malignant melanoma and cancers of the cervix, breast, ovary, and prostate.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.