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In Brief This Week: Ariosa Diagnostics; Abbott; Quidel; Precision BioSciences, Cellectis; Vermillion; Rosetta Genomics; BGI; NeoGenomics; Warnex; ClearBridge BioMedics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ariosa Diagnostics, formerly known as Aria Diagnostics, said this week that it has completed clinical validation of its Harmony Prenatal Test for non-invasive detection of common fetal trisomies and announced the first medical facility to offer the test. The San Jose, Calif.-based firm said that Atlanta Perinatal Consultants at Northside Hospital in Atlanta is the first to offer the test, which will "become more broadly available in the near future."

Abbott has obtained the CE Mark for its rapid, high-throughput Plex-ID molecular instrument, along with three assays for use on the system: the Plex-ID Viral IC Spectrum, Plex-ID BAC Spectrum BC, and Plex-ID Flu.

The Plex-ID Viral IC Spectrum assay is designed to detect and identify 11 viral families with more than 250 species of important systemic viral pathogens including herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and human adenovirus, among others. The Plex-ID BAC Spectrum BC assay detects and identifies nearly 400 species of bacteria, and also can detect the presence of genetic markers that determine bacterial resistance to certain antibiotics.

Quidel said this week that it has received the CE mark for its AmpliVue C. difficile assay, making it the first commercially available test using Quidel's non-instrumented format. The assay, which is now for sale in European countries recognizing the CE Mark, detects toxigenic Clostridium difficile bacterial DNA. (For more detail on the product, see GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication PCR Insider)

Precision BioSciences has filed its seventh and eighth patent infringement suits against French firm Cellectis. The latest suits allege infringement of Precision Bio's US Patents Nos. 8,143,015 and 8,143,016, which cover its Directed Nuclease Editor genome engineering technology.

Vermillion disclosed in its Form 10-K this week that under the terms of an amended research collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the firm will pay JHU $400,000 in 2012 and $100,000 in 2013. Vermillion also is required to pay the greater of 4 percent royalties on net sales of diagnostic tests using the assigned patents or annual minimum royalties of $52,500.

Investment bank Rodman & Renshaw on Friday said that it has terminated coverage of Rosetta Genomics "to better allocate resources within our coverage universe."

BGI said this week that it has launched a joint bioinformatics and computing laboratory with the National Supercomputing center in Tianjin, China, partly aimed at boosting the rapid development of 'omics-related industries. The partners intend to initially work on optimizing the pipeline of bioinformatics analysis and developing informatics tools for the "flood of genomic data."

NeoGenomics said this week that it has reached an agreement with CapitalSource Finance to increase the maximum availability of its revolving credit facility to $8 million from a previous $5 million. The amendment provides for a 1 percent annual decrease in the overall interest rate based on current LIBOR rates and extends the term of the facility to March 26, 2015.

Warnex has received a formal notice of default from the holder of its outstanding debentures, requiring the firm to make the full payment of C$882,095 (US$885,300) to the holder no later than April 3, 2012. The firm said that it is in the process of setting up a one-year operating line of credit of up to C$2 million, which it will use to repay outstanding debentures and support its operations.

ClearBridge BioMedics has received ISO 13485 certification for the development of cell-based in vitro diagnostic devices, the Singapore-based firm announced this week.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.