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In Brief This Week: Bio-Rad; Gen-Probe; Sony DADC; Microsaic Systems; PerkinElmer, Macrogen; Agilent; Tecan; Complete Genomics; Plexpress

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bio-Rad Laboratories disclosed in its 10-Q filed this week that during the first quarter it acquired certain assets from a current raw material supplier for around $12.5 million. It didn't name the company, but also said that it paid $2 million for employment agreements as an incentive to certain employees of the acquired business to remain with Bio-Rad.

Gen-Probe said that it issued a voluntary recall of certain lots of its Lifecodes PAK platelet antibody products last month after it determined that negative controls in the assays were increasing signals over time, which could potentially lead to decreased product performance. The firm disclosed the recall in its Form 10-Q filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week.

Gen-Probe also disclosed that its $50 million investment into Pacific Biosciences, made in June 2010, now has a market value of $11.2 million.

Sony DADC Biosciences, a business unit of Sony DADC that manufactures polymer-based consumables for in vitro diagnostic and biomedical research tool companies, this month opened its first US office in Cambridge, Mass. The firm expects the office to help it better serve its growing roster of US customers including Boston-area firms RainDance Technologies, Quanterix, and PerkinElmer subsidiary Caliper Life Sciences.

For more on Sony DADC's plans and comments from company officials see GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication PCR Insider.

Microsaic Systems announced that it has signed an OEM agreement to provide its miniature mass spectrometer, Microsaid MiD, to an unnamed international supplier of lab equipment. The supplier has committed to an initial minimum quantity of 100 units during the first 30 months of the deal. Shipments will begin later this year.

PerkinElmer said this week that it has signed an agreement to provide Macrogen with its Sciclone NGS Workstation for next-gen sequencing sample prep, LabChip XT nucleic acid size selection and collection system, and LabChip GX nucleic acid separation system for use in Macrogen's sequencing services.

Agilent Technologies has been added to Goldman Sachs' GS Sustain Focus List, which is centered on firms in each industry that the bank believes is best positioned to deliver long-term outperformance.

Separately, Agilent announced Anthony Mittermaier as the winner of the fourth annual Agilent Early Career Professor Award. Mittermaier is an associate professor of chemistry at McGill University in Montral and will receive $50,000 per year for two years to support his research.

Tecan has created Tecan Australia, a fully owned subsidiary that will provide products and services to customers in Australia, New Zealand, and the surrounding territories. The new headquarters is located in Melbourne and houses a sales and support organization and customer training and demonstration facilities.

Complete Genomics said this week that it has sequenced the genomes of 600 people from 20 Mexican-American families from San Antonio, Texas as part of a study aimed at identifying rare variants involved in type 2 diabetes. The research is being conducted by the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio as part of the T2D-GENES consortium. The 600 individuals were previously genotyped in an earlier genome-wide association study and are members of families with increased prevalence of diabetes.

Helsinki, Finland-based contract research organization SBW will provide its customer with access to Plexpress' TRAC platform for high-throughput gene expression analysis. Specifically, it will offer Plexpress' TRAC Cytochrome P450 multiplex assays for investigating drug interactions and pre-clinical ADME-Tox profiles.

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