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In Brief This Week: Agilent, Quidel, Genomind, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Agilent Technologies announced this week that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Advanced Analytical Technologies for $250 million in cash. Advanced Analytical's 109 employees with join Agilent as part of the new biomolecular analysis division within its diagnostics and genomics group. The new division will also consist of Agilent's existing microfluidics business.

Agilent also said this week that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all the business assets of Ultra Scientific, a provider of chemical standards and certified reference materials. Ultra Scientific manufactures and supplies certified reference materials, organic and inorganic standards, calibration standards, and IQ/OQ/PQ and quality control check standards. The firm serves the environmental, food, forensics, pharmaceutical, chemical and energy, and academia and government end markets, and Agilent is one of its largest customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Quidel said this week that it has entered into separate, privately negotiated exchange agreements with certain holders of its 3.25 percent Convertible Senior Notes due 2020 to exchange approximately $32.7 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2020 Notes for approximately 927,470 shares of the company's common stock, plus an additional number of newly issued shares of the company's common stock to be determined based on the volume weighted average price of the company’s common stock over the three consecutive trading days commencing on June 1. The transactions are expected to close on June 15.

Genomind announced this week that it has entered into a partnership with Albertsons Companies to allow pharmacy patients at select Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, and Acme supermarkets to voluntarily receive free education about Genomind's Genecept Assay, the genetic test designed to help clinicians optimize treatment decisions for their patients dealing with mental health issues. At the select locations, specially trained pharmacists may decide to counsel a patient if they see a pattern of the patient having unsuccessful experiences with a medicine prescribed for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other mental illnesses, the firm said. Upon agreement from the patient, the pharmacist would then contact the treating clinician and suggest, and then administer, the Genecept Assay. The pharmacist would review the results of the genetic test with the patient after it's returned from Genomind’s CLIA-certified lab. The clinician also would receive the test and could use it to help guide treatment decisions.

Laboratory for Advanced Medicine said this week that it has expanded its existing corporate headquarters in Irvine, California, to include a 10,000-square-foot sequencing lab for R&D, and additional labs to assist in clinical trials for potential US Food and Drug Administration approval of its IvyGene cancer blood tests. LAM also opened a new office in Dallas to support its sales and marketing team and accommodate inquiries and orders for IvyGene. LAM announced these initiatives in conjunction with the launch of a laboratory-developed version of IvyGene, which is designed to detect DNA methylation patterns consistent with the presence of cancer and provide quantitative data about the presence of cancer at the time of testing.

KeyGene said this week that it has opened an office in India in order to better serve the growing Indian agro food market with non-genetically modified solutions for improved crops. The office is located in the seed capital of India in the southern state of Telangana in Hyderabad. KeyGene also said this week that it has signed a letter of intent with the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics for research and co-development on legumes and cereals. The two institutions will work together on innovative approaches for trait development and gene discovery.

Advanced Genomic Solutions said this week that its genetic testing laboratory in Hong Kong has received CAP accreditation. The company is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. CAP inspectors from the US examined the Hong Kong facility’s records and quality control procedures for the preceding two years as part of the accreditation process. CAP inspectors also examined lab staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.

Australian multiplexed diagnostics firm AusDiagnostics said this week it has received ISO accreditation for manufacturing of its in vitro diagnostic products in London. All its products had been manufactured in its Sydney headquarters until recently. Since April, however, its London facility has been ISO 13485-certified and able to manufacture its product, enabling direct delivery to the firm's European customers.

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.