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In Brief This Week: Agilent, Qiagen, Invitae, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Agilent Technologies said this week that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of privately held Genohm, a developer of on-premise and cloud-based laboratory management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Agilent also this week declared a quarterly dividend of $.15 cents per share, to be paid on July 25 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on July 3.

Qiagen said this week that it has initiated the repurchase of a first tranche of shares under a previously announced share repurchase program. Between May 15 and August 20, a first tranche of about 1.7 million common shares of the company having a total purchase price of up to $50 million (or the equivalent Euro amount thereof) will be repurchased exclusively via the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The maximum purchase price per share will not exceed the average closing price for the last five trading days prior to the day of purchase on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by more than 10 percent, the firm said.

Invitae reported in its Form 10-Q this week that it has determined it has a variable interest in a variable interest entity through its partnership with genomic profiling firm Kew, which was announced in March. In the document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Invitae said it gained its variable interest by way of an investment in a convertible note issued by Kew, at a cost of $225,000.

In addition, Invitae has licensed Kew’s proprietary technologies and has a right of first refusal to acquire Kew, or to exclusively license any of its technologies. Invitae must continue to purchase incremental $225,000 convertible notes from Kew each month for a minimum of six months; make monthly payments of $225,000 for the right of first refusal for at least six months; and make licensing payments for the technologies for at least one year.

Genomic informatics firms BC Platforms and Seven Bridges separately said this week that they are working with Google Cloud to broaden access to their technology platforms. BC Platforms said that it has partnered with Google Cloud to deliver its integrated and clinical data solutions to hospital and industry partners. Google Cloud genomics and AI tools, including DeepVariant, will be supported in addition to storage, archiving, and calculation capacity, BC Platforms said. BC Platforms' technology can process thousands of genomes per day, produced using either genotype arrays or next-generation sequencing.

Seven Bridges said that it has become a certified Google Cloud technology partner. The collaboration brings together the data management and analysis flexibility of the Seven Bridges Platform with the infrastructure of the Google Cloud Platform. The Seven Bridges ecosystem includes the commercial Seven Bridges Platform and collaborative platforms based on Seven Bridges' core technology, such as the Cancer Genomics Cloud.

L7 Informatics this week said that it has connected and validated the performance of its Enterprise Science Platform (ESP) for scientific process and data management to the Microsoft Genomics service on the Azure cloud. The expanded offering enhances ESP's configurability and content portfolio, the company said. L7 Informatics was formerly called Lab7 Systems. The company announced the name change this week in conjunction with hiring a new CEO, Vasudev Rangadass.

Quest Diagnostics’ board this week declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.50 per share, payable on July 23 to shareholders of record on July 9.

Precipio said this week that its preliminary first quarter revenues rose 286 percent year over year to $712,000. The increase was driven by a restructured and expanded sales staff, a separate, dedicated sales staff for pathology services and ICE COLD PCR/pharma projects, and the increased cross-selling of pathology services with the ICP lung cancer treatment resistance panel, the firm said.

Sygnis announced this week that it has revised its guidance for full-year 2018 following its recently announced acquisition of TGR Biosciences. After assessing the impact of the acquisition on the expected results for 2018, Sygnis raised its 2018 revenue guidance to €13 million €14 million from a previous range of €11 million to €12 million.

The American Association for Cancer Research announced this week that 11 new institutions have agreed to participate in the AACR Project Genomics Evidence Neoplasia Information Exchange (GENIE). The 11 new participants are Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, Duke University, Columbia University, Swedish Cancer Institute, Providence Cancer Institute, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, The University of Chicago, the University of California, San Francisco, Vall d’ Hebron Institute of Oncology, and Yale University. There are now 19 institutions contributing clinical-grade genomic and clinical outcomes data to the AACR Project GENIE registry, and more are anticipated to be added in the near future, the association said.

Genomics Medicine Ireland announced this week that it is expanding its genomics study of inflammatory bowel disease. Six additional research sites have begun collaborating with GMI, resulting in a total of nine centers in five regions now taking part in the initiative, which is aiming to identify genetic markers that can help diagnose, predict disease severity, and identify personalized treatments for people with IBD. The six new sites are University Hospital Limerick, University Hospital Galway, Cork and Mercy University Hospitals, Beaumont Hospital Dublin, and St. James's Hospital Dublin, the company said.

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