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In Brief This Week: Agendia, Expedeon, uBiome, and More

NEW YORK – Agendia said this week that a German public health insurance fund, Techniker Krankenkasse, will start reimbursing gene expression-based tests for breast cancer patients. Under the fund's contract with the German Pathologists Organization, it will pay for diagnostic tests with the CE mark, including Agendia's MammaPrint test. Agendia said a decision about reimbursement of MammaPrint by all public health insurance funds in Germany is still pending and expected for early 2020.


Expedeon announced this week that it has completed the sale of its proteomics and immunology business to Abcam for €120 million. €105.6 million of the purchase price is due immediately and €14.4 million will be held in escrow for two years, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the company said.

Following the asset sale, Expedeon will change its company name to 4basebio and will change its ticker symbol to 4BSB. Under its future name, Expedeon will focus activities in the field of genomics, specifically on DNA manufacturing to supply DNA products for therapeutic and other uses requiring large amounts of high-purity DNA.


The Psomagen-Macrogen Consortium said this week that it has completed the acquisition of all key assets of uBiome, a San Francisco-based microbiomics company that declared bankruptcy earlier this year. The acquisition includes a microbiome patent portfolio comprising 246 patents (60 registered US patents and 186 applications), anonymized microbiome data, nearly 300,000 samples, and laboratory equipment. The acquisition price is $7.05 million, a bit less than the $7.7 million that was reported by several media outlets in mid-December. The acquisition price represents approximately 1 percent of uBiome's estimated corporate value, the consortium said. The Psomagen-Macrogen Consortium comprises Korean precision medicine firm Macrogen and its US-based clinical diagnostics and direct-to-consumer genomics firm Psomagen.


Genetic counseling services provider InformedDNA announced this week that it has entered into definitive agreements to receive growth capital investments from TT Capital Partners, NovaQuest Capital Management, and Frist Cressey Ventures. InformedDNA said it will use the funds to continue scaling its technology-driven services and expand its staff of genetic counselors. The firm declined to disclose financial and other terms of the agreements.

In a related transaction, CIBC provided the firm with a flexible credit facility. Financial details were not disclosed.


Chembio Diagnostics said this week that it anticipates obtaining premarket approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its DPP HIV-Syphilis System during the first quarter of 2020.

Chembio's DPP HIV-Syphilis System is a single-use, 15-minute screening test for the simultaneous detection of antibodies to HIV types 1 and 2 and the bacteria that causes syphilis, Treponema pallidum. The system includes the DPP HIV-Syphilis test and DPP Micro Reader.


Hologic announced this week that it has completed the previously announced divestiture of its Cynosure medical aesthetics business to an affiliate of investment funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for a total purchase price of $205 million in cash, subject to certain closing adjustments. Hologic said that net of these adjustments, it received cash proceeds at closing of approximately $142 million.


In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on GenomeWeb.

The Scan

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.