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Fitch Ups Beckman's Credit Rating After Biosite Forfeit Showed 'Financial Discipline'

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Credit-rating firm Fitch Ratings on Thursday raised its outlook for Beckman Coulter to “stable” from “negative,” largely in response to Beckman’s decision to step away from a bidding war with Inverness Medical Innovations over the firms' intent to acquire Biosite.
 
Fitch had lowered Beckman's credit rating in late March, just after Beckman disclosed its intent to buy the diagnostics company for $85 a share.
 
But Fitch’s analysts said Beckman showed “financial discipline by walking away from the transaction” as the price rose with Inverness’ rival offers.   
 
Fitch also said that it is “concerned” with the company’s recent shareholder payout dividend and stock buybacks.
The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.